Dec. 20, 2008
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Delaware State couldn’t slow No. 12 Notre Dame.
The Hornets tried to take high-scoring Notre Dame out of its offense by holding the ball until late in the shot clock, but the Fighting Irish didn’t let it bother them. Luke Harangody scored 20 points and Notre Dame scored five points over its season average to beat Delaware State 88-50 on Saturday.
“It’s a test of your concentration because you’re having to guard a team that’s holding the ball,” Irish coach Mike Brey said. “So then when you get the ball back, can you be good offensively and not take a bad shot? Because if you do, you’re coming all the way back and having to guard again.”
For most of the night the Irish (8-2) were able to take a good shot, and often it was quick. Early in the game, Delaware State’s Marcus Neal missed a 3 as the shot clock was running down. Kyle McAlarney responded with a fastbreak basket 6 seconds later.
It happened again two possessions later when Frisco Sandridge missed a 12-footer as the shot clock sounded. McAlarney, who finished with 14 points, hit a 3-pointer 10 seconds later.
“We were never able to play the type of game we wanted to play,” Delaware State coach Greg Jackson said.
Notre Dame dominated inside, outscoring the Hornets in the paint 32-10 with a 41-24 rebounding advantage, with Harangody pulling down eight. Ryan Ayers added 18 points for the Irish on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range. The Irish had 25 assists in the game and just four turnovers.
Kris Douse and Marcus Neal led Delaware State (2-13) with 11 points each as leading scorer Donald Johnson, who usually scores 11 points a game, was held to six points on 2-of-12 shooting. Delaware State shot 37 percent. The Hornets only took two free throws during the game.
Although the Hornets are 0-9 on the road this season, the Irish were just the second team to score more than 80 points on them, shooting 52 percent.
“They understand exactly what they’re trying to get out of the offense and the defense on both ends of the floor,” Jackson said. “That makes it tough for you to get into any type of offensive rhythm because they shoot the ball so well.”
Harangody, who was 7-of-8 from the floor for 16 points in the first half, said the Notre Dame man-to-man defense got the team going.
“It fuels our offense,” he said. “When it comes to offense, we set the tone for the entire game.”
The Irish, who were in command throughout, had several high-flying dunks in the game, including a rim-rattling two-handed slam by Harangody on a pass from McAlarney with 36 seconds left in the first half and a one-handed slam rebound by Zach Hillesland that gave the Irish a 67-37 lead.