for this game

McAlarney shoots Notre Dame past Furman

Dec 1, 2008 - 12:02 AM SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- Kyle McAlarney's second straight big effort helped Notre Dame deal with a big absence inside.

McAlarney hit nine 3-pointers en route to scoring 32 points as eighth-ranked Notre Dame cruised to a 93-61 victory over Furman on Sunday.

It was the 39th consecutive home victory for Notre Dame, a school record.

Ryan Ayers contributed 19 points and Tory Jackson added 17 and eight assists for the Fighting Irish (5-1), who shot 52 percent (36-of-69) in bouncing back from a 102-87 loss to top-ranked North Carolina in the title game of the Maui Invitational.

A senior guard, McAlarney scored a career-high 39 points in that previous matchup, connecting on a school-record 10 baskets from the arc. He brought that sizzling scoring touch back with him to South Bend, finishing up Sunday 11-of-20 from the field, including 9-of-17 on 3-pointers.

The second consecutive big effort from deep by McAlarney helped Notre Dame deal very easily with the absence of top scorer and rebounder Luke Harangody, who is out indefinitely due to pneumonia.

"It felt great," McAlarney said. "I'm real confident coming off the Maui tournament, and not playing with Luke tonight, I knew I needed to be a little bit more aggressive.

"The looks were there and my teammates, especially Zach Hillesland, I have to give him a ton of credit for just getting me some shots, and like I said the shots were there and I just felt real confident."

McAlarney had part of his barrage from lone range during a 16-2 run late in the first half that put the Fighting Irish in complete control. McAlarney sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around one from Luke Zeller, helping to turn a 19-18 edge with just under six minutes remaining into a 35-20 advantage with 1:10 before the break.

McAlarney capped the burst with his sixth and final 3-pointer of the opening 20 minutes, ending up with just as many points (22) as Furman had at intermission.

"Kyle right now is in a great frame of mind," Irish coach Mike Brey said. "He's very confident and his teammates have done a really great job of finding him and getting him open."

In the early minutes of the second half, McAlarney was fouled making his seventh 3-pointer before completing a four-point play for a 51-28 cushion with 16:53 to play.

Zeller finished with eight points and 13 rebounds for Notre Dame, which finished with a 45-35 advantage in rebounds and 32-16 cushion in points in the paint despite the absence of Harangody.

"I'm proud," Brey said. "We were mature enough to be focused and ready to play. You come back from the Hawaii trip, and it's almost a give in that you're not supposed to play well, or you're supposed to have jet lag, and of course we have Harangody out, it's an afternoon game, all of our students aren't back. I thought we were pretty mature about handling our business."

The Irish also proved to be very opportunistic, taking Furman's 12 turnovers and converting them into 27 points.

Justin Dehm had 14 points and Brandon Sebirumbi added 12 and 10 rebounds for the Paladins (1-4), who shot 38 percent (24-of-63).