for this game

Harangody stars in Notre Dame's win over DePaul

Jan 1, 2009 - 6:16 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Luke Harangody picked right up where he left off in the Big East last season.

Harangody scored 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as No. 10 Notre Dame captured a 92-82 victory over DePaul in the conference opener for both teams on Wednesday.

Zach Hillesland had 17 points and Ryan Ayers added 14 for the Fighting Irish (10-2, Big East 1-0), who won their fourth straight game.

The reigning Big East Player of the Year, Harangody went 10-of-17 from the field and pulled down seven offensive boards.

Harangody's performance highlighted an effort from the Irish that coach Mike Brey knew the team was primed for since the shootaround.

"It's funny how the focus cranks up (in Big East play)," Brey told The Daily Herald. "I saw that today in the shootaround: Older guys just locked in.

"I told them if we can continue to do that for the next two months, 2 1/2 months, we'll be there when the smoke clears. That's something I think we can do better than other teams in this league."

Despite 18 first-half points by the Blue Demons' Dar Tucker, Notre Dame built a 47-34 lead at the half as it used its decided advantage inside. Harangody and Hillesland both had 12 points prior to the break.

DePaul (8-6, 0-1) did manage to close within 49-42 with 16:49 left on a layup by Jabari Currie, but Notre Dame scored nine of the next 13 points to back ahead by double digits at 58-46 with 13:04 to play.

"Every time they started to make a run, the crowd got into it a little bit," Harangody told The Herald. "We showed that we were an older team, a veteran team, and we got a good shot every time down the court."

Kyle McAlarney had 13 points and six assists and Tory Jackson added 12, seven and six rebounds for the Irish, who shot 52 percent (35-of-67) and finished with a 40-31 advantage on the boards.

Tucker finished with 24 points and Mac Koshwal had 26 for the Blue Demons, who lost to the Irish for the fourth straight time.

"I think we played real well," Tucker told the newspaper. "We've just got to work on a few things."