Dec. 13, 2008
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody was wrestling for a rebound with Boston University’s Jake O’Brien seconds into the second half when Harangody angrily pulled the ball away.
The officials called it a held ball, and although BU took possession and O’Brien hit a 3 to put the Terriers up by nine, Harangody got his message across: The Terriers weren’t going to out-rebound the 12th-ranked Fighting Irish by 13 in the second half the way they did in the first.
“I think I set the tone for the second half for us,” Harangody said.
Harangody, playing his second game after being diagnosed with pneumonia, had 23 points and 15 rebounds and Notre Dame finished with a 10-1 run to win 74-67 on Saturday night, extending its home winning streak to 41.
BU (5-4) out-hustled and outplayed the Irish (7-2) for much of the game. The Terriers led by 10 points early and by six with 9 minutes left, but fell shy of earning their first win against a ranked opponent since beating No. 18 Navy in 1959.
“I thought we gave ourselves a chance,” BU coach Dennis Wolff said. “But at the end, we just didn’t make enough plays.”
Ryan Ayers hit a 3 for Notre Dame with the shot clock running out in the final minutes to help the Irish pull away.
“I’m really proud of our guys because we were on the ropes a number of times against a very good team,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “I was impressed with BU and I wondered why I scheduled them the more I watched tape of them all week.”
After shooting 37 percent in the first half and falling behind 33-27, the Irish shot 50 percent in the second. They out-rebounded the Terriers 21-15 in the second half after being out-rebounded 29-16 in the first.
“With a team like Boston that shoots a lot of 3s and crazy shots, it’s hard to get those long rebounds sometimes. It’s a different kind of game than we’re used to,” Harangody said.
After making just 3-of-15 3-pointers in the first half, the Terriers made 8-of-15 in the second half.
“They made some in the second half where we defended it pretty good,” Brey said. “I mean bombs that break your spirit a little bit. Mine was starting to wonder, quite frankly.”
Kyle McAlarney, who started the game 1-of-6 from the field, finished 3-of-5 over the final 14 minutes and had 16 points. Ayers added 10 points and the Irish outscored BU 26-14 inside.
Corey Lowe led BU with 19 points. John Holland, who scored the first 10 points for the Terriers, finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, and Tyler Morris added 12 points.
McAlarney said the thought of seeing the home winning streak end began to creep into his mind.
“You do get worried in the back of your mind,” he said. “But at the same time, we’ve got the type of guys that are going to make big plays.”