March 11, 2009


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Notre Dame Meets West Virgnia In Second Round Action

• No. 10 seed Notre Dame (18-13, 8-10) advanced to the second round of the BIG EAST Championship with a 61-50 victory over Rutgers in first round action. The Irish will meet No. 7 seed West Virgnia (21-10, 10-8) in the second round.

• This will be the second matchup of the season between the two teams. West Virginia handed the Irish a 79-68 setback in Morgantown on Feb. 18.

• Notre Dame leads the all-time series 24-9 and is 13-2 in the last 15 meetings. This will be just the second time the two schools have faced each other in the BIG EAST Tournament. The Irish and Mountaineers played each other in the firstround of the 2004 as Notre Dame escaped with a 65-64 victory.

• With the win over Rutgers, Notre Dame improved to 5-13 all-time in BIG EAST Tournament play and is 4-8 under head coach Mike Brey. Irish teams have advanced to the semifinals (both under Brey) on two occasions — 2002 and 2007.

• Mike Brey is 11-2 all-time versus West Virginia.

• Notre Dame owns a 52-40 (.565) record all-time when playing at Madison Square Garden.

• Notre Dame has played 12 ranked opponents this season and is 3-9 in those contests. It’s the most ranked opponents any Notre Dame team has faced during the regular season in the 104-year history of the program.

• Notre Dame’s seven-game losing streak and six-game BIG EAST skid earlier this season was the longest for a Notre Dame team since the 1992-93 campaign and the most consecutive losses under head coach Mike Brey. The six straight BIG EAST losses also were the most since joining the conference in 1995-96.

• Notre Dame’s three wins over ranked teams all were against teams ranked in the top 10.

• The most ranked teams an Irish squad has faced during a season is 12 (1977-78 & 2008-09). The 1977-78 team advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament and played five during its tournament run.

Irish Hold Scarlet Knights In Check

• The 50 points allowed by Notre Dame against Rutgers were the fewest allowed by a Notre Dame team in a BIG EAST tournament gam and the fewest scored in the tournament since the championship game when Pitt scored 42 points in the championship against Georgetown in a 65-42 loss.

Winning Ways • During the past four years, Notre Dame’s senior class of captains Ryan Ayers, Zach Hillesland, Kyle McAlarney and Luke Zeller they have compiled an overall record of 83-43 (.659) and 39-29 (.574) in BIG EAST regular-season play.

Irish Toughens Up • Notre Dame held Louisville and USF to 57 points in back-to-back games in home outings on Feb. 12 and Feb. 15, respectively. It marked the first time since joining the BIG EAST in 1995-96 that an Irish team has held BIG EAST opponents to under 60 points in back-to-back league contests.

• The Irish did that again on Tuesday night when it held the Scrarlet Knight to 50 points after allowing St. John’s 55 points in the regular season finale last Friday night.

• In fact, after giving up an average of 91.7 points in consecutive losses at Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and UCLA, the Irish have yielded 66.2 points (595 points) in their last nine outings.

Tough Stretch

• Notre Dame faced the toughest stretch that any Irish team has faced during the regular season as Coach Mike Brey’s squad played five straight ranked opponents and four consecutive top-10 foes. No Irish team has ever faced five consecutive ranked opponents during the regular season. The 1977-78 Irish squad played five straight ranked foes during the `78 NCAA tournament.

Gody Goodies • Luke Harangody became the first player in league history to lead the conference in scoring in back-to-back seasons as he averaged 25.2 points and 12.8 rebounds this season after winning the scoring and rebounding titles as a sophomore when he averaged 23.3 points and 11.3 rebounds. In his three-year BIG EAST career, he has scored 1,031 points (19.9 ppg.) in 52 league contests. Only three other players in the history of the league — Ray Allen and Richard Hamilton (Connecticut) and Pat Garrity (Notre Dame) — have scored more than 1,000 points in three seasons.

Big Numbers

• Luke Harangody’s 31 points and 12 rebounds against St. John’s was his 15th double-double in BIG EAST play, 21st double-double of the season and 46th overall. He has scored 20-plus points in 20 games overall this season (and in 15 of 19 BIG EAST regular-season and tournament games ) and topped the 30-plus point mark five times. His 19 points versus South Florida, 18 against Providence and Villanova and 14 against Connecticut have been the only times this season in BIG EAST play that he has not topped the 20-point mark. He has failed to register a double-double in all but four BIG EAST games (Providence, Connecticut, Villanova and Rutgers). Harangody was held to season-lows of five points and one rebound against UCLA. Prior to that game, Harangody had registered 11 straight double-doubles and scored 20-plus points in 14 consecutive contests. The streak was the first of his career in which he scored 20-plus points in 14 consecutive games and registered 11 consecutive double-doubles. • Currently, he is the only player in the country who ranks in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding.

• The last player with better than eight consecutive games with 20-plus points was Adrian Dantley. He scored 20-plus points in nine consecutive games during the 1975-76 campaign. His longest streak of 20-plus games was 11 straight that spanned the final four games of his sophomore season in 1974-75 and the first seven games of his junior campaign in `75-’76. He also had a string of 10 games with 20-plus points in `74-’75.

• Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer, Austin Carr, had 58 straight games with 20-plus points (every single game his last two seasons in 1969-70 and 1970-71) and finished his career with 20-plus points in 70 of 74 career outings.

• The last Notre Dame player with at least 11 straight double-doubles was Ryan Humphrey when he recorded 11 consecutive double-doubles in the final 11 games of the 2001-02 season.

An Elite Club

• With 1,701 points and 899 rebounds in 94 career outings, Luke Harangody is one of just seven players in the 104-history of the Notre Dame basketball program to score 1,500 points and grab 800 rebounds. The others to reach this milestone have been: Adrian Dantley (1973-76): 2,223 points, 843 rebounds Troy Murphy (1998-01): 2,011 points, 924 rebounds Tom Hawkins (1956-59): 1,820 points, 1,318 rebounds Bob Arnzen (1966-69): 1,665 points, 944 rebounds Bob Whitmore (1966-69): 1,580 points, 1,043 rebounds LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92): 1,505 points, 1075 rebounds

McAlarney Reaches Three-Point Century Mark Again

• With his three three-pointers against Rutgers last night, Kyle McAlarney now has 111 three pointers as he eclipsed his three-point record of a year ago. He is the only player in school history with better than 100 three-pointers in multiple seasons. In 2007-08, McAlarney set the Notre Dame single-season mark with his 108 three pointers as he became just the second player in school history with 100-plus treys in a season. As a junior in 2005-06, Colin Falls established the previous single-season mark with 102.

It’s All In The Experience

• Zach Hillesland (107 games played/48 starts), Luke Harangody (94 games played/78 starts), Ryan Ayers (112 games played/46 starts), Tory Jackson (97 games played/82 starts) and Kyle McAlarney (105 games played/86 starts) boast a combined 340 starts in the 515 games the five have combined to play in during their careers. Luke Zeller has started 33 games in the 123 that he has appeared in during his career.

334 And Counting

• Heading into tonight’s game against West Virginia, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 334 straight games, a mark that dates back to the 1998-99 campaign. The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer in a game was in a 101-70 loss to Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center on Jan. 12, 1999 as Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc. The 2005-06 Irish squad set the single-season record with 288 three-pointers and fell just one field goal short of that mark (287) in 2006-07.