Aug. 15, 2008
LIMERICK, Ireland – The University of Notre Dame got off to an impressive debut on Friday evening (Aug. 15) in the opening game of the Emerald Hoops Southern Slam before a packed house at the University of Limerick Sports Arena as the Irish cruised to a 104-67 victory over Ireland.
Luke Harangody led six Irish players in double figures as he finished with 15 points, while classmate Tory Jackson finished with 14 points. Jonathan Peoples and Kyle McAlarney eached finished with 11 points, while Zach Hillesland and Carleton Scott rounded our the double-figure scoring with 10 points each.
Harangody led Notre Dame in rebounding with seven boards, while Luke Zeller, who also finished with seven points, grabbed five rebounds. Tyrone Nash also grabbed five rebounds and finished with nine points.
Notre Dame used a variety of different lineups in the game, but starting the contest for the Irish were Harangody, Hillesland, Jackson, McAlarney and Zeller.
Notre Dame led 22-16 after the first quarter after jumping out to an early 9-2 advantage. The Irish opened the contest with three consecutive three-pointers from McAlarney, Jackson and Harangody, but went nearly four minutes late in the first half without a field goal. Hillesland’s basket at the buzzer game gave the Irish a six-point lead after the first 10 minutes.
Jackson was saddled with foul trouble throughout the first quarter as he picked up three quick fouls. Peoples came off the bench in the first 20 minutes and scored nine of his 11 points in the first half.
Ireland dressed only 10 players on the contest with several missing the game due to injury. Notre Dame’s depth began to take over in the second quarter as the Irish put together a 16-6 run after the first-quarter intermission with Peoples contributing six points in the stretch.
McAlarney started the second half just as he led off the first quarter when he nailed a three-pointer, one of 12 for the Irish in the contest. Notre Dame methodically built on its lead in the third quarter with patience and unselfishness on the court as the Irish took advantage of their adept passing ability that was so instrumental a year ago in helping them lead the nation in assists.
Notre Dame held a 30-point advantage following 30 minutes and used many of its younger players in the final 10 minutes of the contest. After being sidelined for most of the first two quarters with foul troubles, Jackson put together an impressive second half with eight points, while Nash added seven second-half points.
Notre Dame went over the century mark on back-to-back three-point field goals by Tom Kopko.
Following the game, the Irish players signed autographs and posed for photos with an appreciative and delighted crowd.
“Tonight’s atmosphere was great for the fans and for our players,” head coach Mike Brey said. “I thought we did a great job of really focusing on our gameplan after the second quarter. It took us about 10 minutes to get into a flow, but once we settled down, I was impressed with how we played. As we did a year, we demonstrated what an unselfish group we are and how well we play together. I saw some things that we need to work on, but that is to be expected. These games are intended to be a learning experience on the court.”
Notre Dame will spend Saturday as a travel day and then will take on an All-Star Team from Ireland on Sunday afternoon (August 17) in Belfast.
— ND —