Jan. 12, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville’s depth finally wore down Luke Harangody and Notre Dame.
Terrence Williams had 24 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists as the 20th-ranked Cardinals ran by the 12th-ranked Fighting Irish 87-73 in overtime on Monday night.
Freshman Samardo Samuels added 18 points, six rebounds and four blocks and Earl Clark had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Louisville (12-3, 3-0 Big East), which won its fourth straight.
Harangody had 28 points and 13 rebounds but went scoreless in overtime before fouling out with 5 seconds remaining. Kyle McAlarney added 19 points for Notre Dame (12-4, 3-2), which made just one field goal over the game’s final 12 minutes.
The victory gave the Cardinals their best start since joining the Big East in 2005. Up next for Louisville is No. 1 Pittsburgh on Saturday.
It wasn’t easy against Notre Dame, but nothing is in the nation’s toughest conference.
The teams spent 32 minutes racing up and down the court at the kind of pace that leaned more toward in the Atlantic Coast Conference before turning it into a Big East slugfest down the stretch.
Both teams had a chance to win it at the end of regulation with the game tied at 71, but Notre Dame’s Tory Jackson threw the ball into the backcourt with .8 seconds left. Louisville got the ball at halfcourt, but Will Scott’s jumper from the corner missed badly as the horn sounded.
The Cardinals wasted little time taking control in overtime. Clark gave Louisville the lead for good with a 3-pointer from the corner that put Louisville up 76-73. Samuels followed with a three-point play before reserve freshman center Terrence Jennings blocked Harangody, setting up a runner by Williams that pushed it to 81-73. Ryan Ayers missed a 3 in the corner for Notre Dame, and Louisville had its third thrilling win in eight days.
It’s been a sometimes bumpy two months for Samuels, considered one of the top freshmen in the country when the season began. He’s struggled against quality opponents but seemed inspired playing against the reigning Big East player of the year.
While hardly a match for Harangody’s varied offensive game–Samuels battled foul trouble most of the second half–the 6-foot-9 Samuels used his width to eventually get Harangody in foul trouble.
Samuels hit a layup with 3:21 left that tied the game at 71 and the teams spent the final minutes throwing away opportunities to win it.
Harangody, who had 40 points in a loss to the Cardinals last season, went cold late against Jennings, who had two points, six rebounds and three blocks in 19 minutes.
McAlarney and the rest of the Irish couldn’t pick up the slack as they wore down under Louisville’s pressure. Notre Dame played seven players during all but the final minute of overtime while Pitino sent in wave after wave of players in an effort to turn up the defensive intensity.