Nov. 25, 2008

MAUI, Hawaii –

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#8/8 Notre Dame (3-0) vs. #6/7 Texas (3-0) EA Sports Maui Invitational November 25, 2008

Notre Dame vs. Texas

Today’s semifinal matchup against Texas will mark the third meeting between the two schools and the second time the Irish and Longhorns have squared off in the EA Sports Maui Invitational. The first-ever meeting was in 1993 in this same event with Texas earning an 89-72 victory on Dec. 23, 1993. The second matchup took place in the championship game of the BB&T Classic in Washington D.C., with the Irish taking the title over the number-two ranked Longhorns 98-92 on Dec. 8, 2002.

Looking To Keep It Rolling

Notre Dame will be looking for its first 4-0 start since the 2002-03 campaign when the Irish rattled off wins over Belmont (76-48), IUPUI (89-45), Bucknell (73-42) and Furman (75-50).

Climbing The Polls

Notre Dame is ranked eighth in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USAToday polls. The Irish began the ranked ninth in both preseason polls and climbed to eighth last week in the AP ranking. This is the highest ranking for Notre Dame since the 2002-03 campaign when the Irish climbed to as high as fifth in the AP poll and sixth in the ESPN/USA Today ranking in the second week of January 2003.

Battling Another Top-10 Foe

The last time Notre Dame faced a top-10 opponent when it was ranked in the top 10 was on Feb. 9, 2003 when, as the ninth-ranked team in the country, the Irish defeated fourth-ranked Pittsburgh 66-64 at the Joyce Center.

Brey vs. Ranked Opponents

Ninth-year head coach Mike Brey is 23-49 all-time versus ranked opponents and 23-43 at Notre Dame. The Irish were 2-6 versus a ranked team in 2007-08. Notre Dame last win against a ranked team was an 86-83 victory over 16th-ranked Marquette (86-83) at the Joyce Center on Feb. 9, 2008. Notre Dame’s last win against a top-10 foe was on Dec. 7, 2006 when the Irish beat #4/5 Alabama at the Joyce Center 99-85.

Irish vs. The Big 12

Notre Dame is 20-17 all-time playing teams from the Big 12 Conference. The last time the Irish faced a Big 12 opponent was last season when it dropped a 68-64 decision to the Bears in the second game of the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Baylor went on to win the tournament championship.

Action Jackson

Tory Jackson’s 21 points against Indiana in yesterday’s 88-50 victory over the Hoosiers matched the junior point guard’s career high and was the third time in his career that he scored 20-plus points in a game. Both of Jackson’s other two 20-plus point efforts occurred during his freshman season (2006-07 campaign) when he scored 21 points versus Marquette and 20 against Georgetown in the semifinals of the 2007 BIG EAST Championship.

Double The Pleasure

Senior Luke Zeller’s 10 points and 11 rebounds in yesterday’s win over Indiana was the first career double-double for the Irish center. The 11 boards also were a career high, marking the second time this season that Zeller had recorded a personal best. In the season opener against USC Upstate, Zeller had a career-high 18 points.

Out of Shooting Slump

After being held scoreless for just the fourth time in his career against Loyola Marymount in last Friday night’s victory, and first time since his freshman season, Kyle McAlarney scored a season-high 18 points as he canned 18 three-pointers in the contest.

34 and Counting

Luke Harangody saw his streak of four straight games (dating back to last season) with a double-double snapped a Indiana yesterday as he finished as he finished with 14 points and five rebounds. Harangody, however, extended his streak of double-figure scoring outings to 34 consecutive games.

Ayers Nets First Double Figures Outing of Season

Ryan Ayers’s 13 points against Indiana was the first double-figures scoring effort of the season for the Irish senior and the 13th of his career. Ayers was 5-7 from the field and 2-4 from three-point range in the contest.

Irish Roll Under Brey In November

Irish teams have traditionally played well under Irish head coach Mike Brey during the month of November. During his eight-plus seasons on the Irish bench, his teams have compiled a 33-5 record.

306 and Counting

With its 10 three-pointers yesterday against Indiana, Notre Dame extended its streak to 306 games making at least one three-pointer. The last time an Irish team failed to make a three-pointer in a game was in a 101-70 loss to Connecticut at the Harford Civic Center on Jan. 12, 1999 as Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc in the game.

Tough Defense

Notre Dame has yielded just 162 points in its first three outings for an average of 54.0 points per game. It’s the lowest three-game output to start the season since the 2004-05 campaign when the Irish gave up an average of just 47.3 points in its first three games of the season against Harvard (59 points), IPFW (45 points) and Charleston Southern (38 points).

Big Win Against Hoosiers

Notre Dame’s 88-50 win over Indiana yesterday in the 68th meeting between the two schools was the largest margin of victory (38 points) ever for an Irish team against the Hoosiers. It also marked the second straight win for Notre Dame against Indiana.