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Harangody lifts Notre Dame to 34th straight home win

Feb 9, 2008 - 9:17 PM SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- Notre Dame's home winning streak is alive and well.

Luke Harangody scored 18 points and Tory Jackson added 14 as 21st-ranked Notre Dame knocked off No. 16 Marquette, 86-83, in a Big East Conference clash Saturday.

Kyle McAlarney contributed 12 points for the Fighting Irish (18-4, 8-2 Big East), who extending their home winning streak to 34 games and avenged their last loss at the Joyce Center.

Marquette (16-6, 6-5) is the last team to win here - having claimed an 80-72 triumph on February 25, 2006 - and the Golden Eagles nearly pulled out another victory in this one.

"We made a couple of mistakes at the end there," Harangody said. "But we still stayed poised, no matter what. I don't think we were playing too (conservatively down the stretch), we just didn't take care of the ball."

Notre Dame led by as much as 13 points midway through the second half, but Marquette closed the gap to 84-83 with under a minute to play on a 3-pointer by David Cubillan and three virtually uncontested layups by Dominic James.

After Harangody drained a pair of clutch free throws to forge an 86-83 lead with eight seconds left, James attempted to tie things as time expired, but his 3-pointer was off the mark.

"I couldn't foul a lot (late in the game) so instead of giving up the three I had to let (James) drive by," Jackson said. "I had confidence in our players to knock down free throws.

"This is a team win for us. There weren't any individual stats that really stood out for us. It was just about the things we did as a team. Free throws were big today."

Notre Dame, which was 0-for-6 from the field during the final 6:22, has won five straight and is 8-2 in the Big East for the first time since the 2000-01 season.

"We played smart," Irish coach Mike Brey said. "We did a good job not giving up the 3-point shot on their last few possessions. Our fans certainly helped us."

Notre Dame is now four home wins away from matching the school-record of 38 consecutive, a mark set from 1943-48.

The first half appeared to be going in Notre Dame's favor, as Jackson made a 3-pointer to put it up, 27-18, with just over eight minutes to play.

However, Dan Fitzgerald and Lazar Hayward led Marquette on a 16-6 run which propelled the Golden Eagles to a 34-33 edge with three minutes to play.

Notre Dame overcame the rough patch, however, and when the 6-8 Harangody delivered a dunk in the closing seconds of the first half to cap a 13-2 run, the Irish owned a 46-36 edge.

The Irish opened up a 63-50 lead midway through the second half and were up 78-67 with just under four minutes to play before letting the Golden Eagles back in the game.

James led all scorers with 23 points while Hayward added 21 for Marquette.

"They played very good basketball," Marquette coach Tom Crean said of his team. "I was really proud of the energy, the effort, the passion and the stick-to-it-ivness that our guys had throughout the entire game.

"There were many times that our guys could have folded up the tents and not felt that this was a winnable game but that never entered into the equation."

Cubillan had 11 points off the bench for the Golden Eagles, who have lost four of five road games in conference play.