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Ohio State stifles McAlarney, beats Notre Dame

Dec 7, 2008 - 2:32 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Notre Dame's Kyle McAlarney came into Saturday's game against Ohio State as one of the hottest shooters in the country. But he could not solve the Buckeyes' swarming defense.

Ohio State held McAlarney without a 3-pointer and upset the seventh-ranked Fighting Irish, 67-62, in the Hall of Fame Showcase at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Evan Turner scored a career-high 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting for the Buckeyes (5-0), including two free throws that made it 65-62 with 21 seconds remaining.

"He made big plays down the stretch for us," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "One thing we talked about was where we could take advantage of Notre Dame, and he had a pretty good read of what we were talking about."

Ohio State posted its second straight win over a ranked opponent, defeating No. 22 Miami, 73-68, in its last game on Tuesday.

Notre Dame (6-2) got the ball into the hands of McAlarney, but his 25-footer to tie from the right wing caromed off the front of the rim with nine second remaining.

Ohio State's Jeremie Simmons hit a pair from the line with two seconds left to clinch the win.

"They got us out of our offensive rhythm," said McAlarney, who averaged 32.7 points in his previous three games. "We weren't in a good flow, weren't scoring well."

Power forward Luke Harangody returned for the Fighting Irish after missing two games with pneumonia and dominated inside with 25 points and 16 rebounds.

However, he didn't get much help, as the Fighting Irish struggled against the Buckeyes' zone in a contest that was played at Ohio State's preferred slower tempo.

McAlarney entered Saturday's contest leading the nation with 39 3-pointers, but was held to six points - 14 below his average - and was just 3-of-11 from the field, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range.

After a close first half in which neither team led by more than six points, Ohio State began to pull away slightly after the intermission.

David Lighty's layup capped a 6-0 spurt that staked Ohio State to a 58-48 lead with just under seven minutes remaining.

Tory Jackson, not known as a strong outside shooter, pulled a page out of McAlarney's book by hitting three 3-pointers for the Fighting Irish down the stretch and finished with 13 points.

Jackson's second straight 3-pointer pulled Notre Dame within 63-62 with 26 seconds remaining, but the Buckeyes held on by making their final four free throws.

"Even though we turned it over only 10 times, it probably prevented us from attacking the press," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "And their second shots really hurt us. We probably didn't deserve to win. Ohio State outplayed us and deserved to win."

B.J. Mullens added 11 points for the Buckeyes, who held Notre Dame to 38 percent shooting from the field (24-of-63).