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Harangody, Notre Dame slap Savannah State

Dec 23, 2008 - 4:09 AM SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- Luke Harangody posted a double-double as No. 11 Notre Dame cruised into the holidays with an 81-49 romp over Savannah State on Monday.

The Irish (9-2) put together a series of spurts and took a 37-21 advantage at the half. The second session was the same as the first with a 10-0 surge midway through, giving Notre Dame a 55-29 lead with 12:30 left and turning the rest of the contest into extended garbage time.

"Only 11 turnovers against that chaos was pretty good," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "I thought we did a great job on the offensive boards, especially Harangody, to help establish the lead in the first half.

"I thought our transition defense was excellent in the first half as well. I am proud of how we handled our business. ... It was important for us to handle our business in this one heading into the break."

Harangody, the defending Big East Player of the Year, had 23 points on 5-of-14 shooting and 13-of-14 on free throws. Eight of his 13 rebounds were at the offensive end.

"It doesn't matter if it's 6-5 guys or 7-0 guys, he seems to beat everyone to the ball off the rim," Brey said. "I think he has learned he can go to the offensive boards when people are doubling him and being physical with him and trying to change the style of play so we can't establish him like we normally do to get his.

"Tonight was a good example, too, of when you go to the offensive boards, you get fouled. I think he understands that when people take things away from him he needs to crash the boards."

Harangody was well aware he did not have his touch from the field.

"It's just one of those nights where you aren't making it from the field and you know it's going to happen," the 6-8 junior said. "You just have to keep shooting and I was able to get to the line. Nights like that are going to happen, I'm just glad to get it out of the way."

Tory Jackson and Ryan Ayers each scored 10 points for Notre Dame.

"We know we can get better," the junior point guard Jackson said. "The way things have been going, we've been getting better day-by-day. Free throws for example, got better today. We are working on a lot in practice and this was a good game for us heading into the Big East. It let us know where we are and what we need to work on."

The Irish next will play on December 31 at DePaul as they open conference play.

"We're really excited to get back after Christmas break and go to DePaul and we know that it's going to be a battle just like every Big East game is, without doubt," Harangody said.

Chris Linton was the only Savannah State player to reach double figures, scoring 12 points.

The Tigers (7-5) are off until December 30 when they face Bethune Cookman. They had previously been defeated by Clemson and took Michigan to overtime before falling, 66-64, on November 29. In that contest, Savannah State led by 20 at the half.