Notre Dame
73 - 87 Final - OT
  for this game

Williams, Louisville race past Notre Dame in overtime

Jan 13, 2009 - 3:47 AM LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Louisville saved its best for last against a tiring Notre Dame team. Terrence Williams was brilliant all game long.

Williams had 24 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists as No. 20 Louisville used a dominant run in overtime to post an 87-73 victory over 13th-ranked Notre Dame on Monday.

Freshman Samardo Samuels scored 18 points - including key baskets down the stretch - and Earl Clark chipped in 15 and 10 rebounds for the Cardinals (12-3, 3-0 Big East), who scored the final 14 points of the extra session.

"That was as good of college basketball game as you'll see," Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said. "There was tremendous play by so many people on both sides. They were playing their hearts out and we are real proud to win."

Clark drilled a 3-pointer to give the Cardinals a 76-73 lead 56 seconds into the overtime and, after a turnover by the Fighting Irish, Samuels converted a three-point play to extend the lead to six.

Luke Harangody had his shot blocked on the other end and Williams scored a tough runner in the lane to give Louisville an eight-point lead. Andre McGee made a pair from the line to make it, 83-73, and Clark later added a jumper to put the game out of reach with 1:40 remaining as Notre Dame missed its final seven shots.

"I thought the team was really smart and Samardo was really smart by throwing it back out and getting a second pass to the post, not forcing it," Pitino said. "We were trying when they switched Harangody and Earl, we were trying to get Earl to drive. We were very big on the glass and we did it down the stretch shutting down the three."

Louisville trailed by four late in regulation but answered to tie the game as Samuels made a pair of free throws and followed with a layup to even the score at 71-71 with 3:22 to play.

Between missed shots and turnovers, neither club scored over the final few minutes to send the game into overtime.

Notre Dame wound down the clock to try and win the game in regulation, but Tory Jackson's drive to the hoop was cut off and his pass bounced into the backcourt where Harangody just beat Williams to the ball for a violation - but preventing a breakaway.

On an inbounds play with six-tenths of a second to play, Will Scott's off-balance 3-pointer from the right corner was well long at the buzzer for Louisville.

Harangody finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds for the Fighting Irish (12-4, 3-2), becoming the first Notre Dame player to register nine straight 20-point games since Adrian Dantley did it during the 1975-76 season.

"I'm proud of our group because we answered every run," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "We were on the ropes a little bit in the second half, but you have to win it in regulation ... have to win it on that last possession. Louisville made really key plays down in the overtime. The wind is taken out of your sails, but for us, we are going to be in a lot of tough atmospheres on the road in this league against good teams."

Louisville led by as many as nine early on before Notre Dame fought back to take a 22-21 edge with 8:05 left in the first half.

The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the session - highlighted by Clark's two-handed driving dunk over Harangody with 2:38 before the break - and the Cardinals took a 41-38 lead at intermission.

Notre Dame scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 45-41 edge, but neither team would let the other establish control over the final 20 minutes.

Williams capped a 12-2 run with a 3-pointer to give the Cardinals a 64-57 advantage with 11:22 remaining but the Fighting Irish responded with a 14-3 run of their own to take a 71-67 lead on a pair of Harangody free throws with 5:35 to play.

Notre Dame only scored two points the rest of the way, including overtime.

"I think you have to give their defense credit," Brey said. "They really defended, I think we tried to get a couple of hand checks or so. We were at seven team fouls for a long time. We could've used a couple of those. They kept really contesting and getting after us. It was hard to get anything in transition."

Kyle McAlarney scored 19 points for the Fighting Irish, who have not won at Louisville since 1958.