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Harangody, Notre Dame sneak by Boston University

Dec 14, 2008 - 4:02 AM SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- Notre Dame extended its home-winning streak Saturday, but it was not easy.

Junior forward Luke Harangody had 23 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks to help the 13th-ranked Fighting Irish escape with a 74-67 win over Boston University.

Kyle McAlarney added 16 points and the Fighting Irish (7-2) overcame a sluggish start and a six-point halftime deficit to avoid consecutive losses.

"I told them at halftime, we are going to have 20 Big East games like this," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "I thought we defended really wisely in the second half. We did a better job packing it in. We scored 47 points and got the ball to the right people."

Ryan Ayers had 10 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 81 seconds left as Notre Dame scored the final seven points of the game. McAlarney and Tory Jackson each knocked down a pair of free throws down the stretch to put it away.

Notre Dame has won 41 straight at home, which ranks second in the country for active home-winning streaks. The Irish had to work for this one against the Terriers (5-4) though, as their American East opponent fell just short of their first victory over a ranked team since 1959.

"They're a tough team. This is just one of those days where they had everything going, and we made some early mistakes," Jackson said. "We kept it together. We stayed poised. They came out early hitting big shots. We knew it was going to be tough. We did a good job sticking to our game plan."

BU's last win over a Top-25 team came against No. 8 Navy in the NCAA Tournament 49 years ago.

It was in position to score the upset after Corey Lowe's 3-pointer with 3:25 left put BU ahead, 66-64, but it was the last lead the visitors would have.

McAlarney answered with a long-range jumper to put Notre Dame ahead and, after Jake O'Brien knotted the game at 67-67 with a free throw, Ayers connected from behind the arc as well.

"Against a team like that, you do get worried in the back of your mind," McAlarney said of trailing for most of the game. "But we've got guys that are going to make big plays, going to give us a chance. You can get worried a little bit, but at home, we have the crowd behind us, it just gives us that little push. And we have the streak in the back of our minds."

The Terriers missed their last four field-goal attempts and McAlarney and Jackson clinched the victory from the line.

"Our turnovers are untimely, they came at bad times in the game," Lowe said. "The ball just didn't bounce our way."

Lowe scored 19 points on just 7-of-22 from the field for the Terriers, who actually held a 40-34 rebounding edge, including 15-8 on the offensive end.

"With a team like Boston that shoots a lot of threes, it's hard to get those long rebounds," Harangody said. "It's a different kind of game than we're used to, with lots of loose balls. I'm excited, this is a big win for us. This is a great team, and to be in a situation like that and get free throws up at the end of the game, it's great."

John Holland added 15 points and nine rebounds off the bench for BU.