for this game

Harangody, Notre Dame rise from ashes with rout of Louisville

Feb 13, 2009 - 5:02 AM SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- Although it had been reeling, Notre Dame got enough of its groove back to hand Louisville coach Rick Pitino a bitter loss.

Luke Harangody scored a season-high 32 points and pulled down 17 rebounds as Notre Dame brought its seven-game losing streak to an end with Thursday's 90-57 victory over seventh-ranked Louisville.

Kyle McAlarney had 21 points and Ryan Ayers added 19 for the Fighting Irish (13-10, 4-7 Big East), who claimed their first win since an 88-79 decision over Seton Hall on January 10.

"To say we needed that would be an understatement," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "We needed that. I thought we played really well. There is still a lot of basketball left to play."

It was Notre Dame's longest losing streak since the 1992-93 season, one that included six losses in the Big East and an embarrassing 89-63 setback at then-No. 12 UCLA on Saturday.

Earl Clark had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinals (18-5, 9-2), who absorbed their worst loss in the eight years under Pitino.

"I thought we were going into a hornet's nest," Pitino said. "I didn't think we were going into an earthquake. We knew it would be a tough game. I was hoping we would have played better."

The Fighting Irish did not look like they were a team in the middle of a midseason downward spiral that may end up costing them a place in the NCAA Tournament at the start, scoring six of the first seven points and taking a 17-4 lead nine minutes in on the strength of an 11-0 run.

Louisville entered the game with 10 wins in its last 11 games, but ended up with almost no highlights in this one.

"This was a game they had to have," Pitino said. "You have to give all the credit to them. We have to give them credit and move on."

It did close its early deficit to 24-16 on a 3-pointer by Preston Knowles with 4:48 left in the first half, but Notre Dame went on another crushing run, going into the break on a 13-3 burst for a 37-19 cushion.

The intermission did not slow down the Irish, who had won 20 straight Big East games here prior to a 69-61 loss to then-No. 3 Connecticut on January 24. Ayers hit his third 3-pointer after the Cardinals' Samardo Samuels opened the final half with a layup and Harangody added a pair of jumpers following a free throw by the Louisville freshman.

"It was nice to see our offensive rhythm because that is how we play, that's how we need to play against teams in this league, and that's how we have been successful against teams in this league," Brey said. "That is the kind of offensive rhythm to kind of nullify lack of athletic ability."

Notre Dame, which next will host South Florida on Sunday, later put together a 17-4 run to make it 70-38 with 7:35 remaining. McAlarney had a four-point play and knocked down another 3-pointer during that stretch.

The Fighting Irish finished 10-of-18 from the arc en route to shooting 54 percent (35-of-65) from the field.

"We dictated the way we play," said McAlarney, who finished 5-of-9 on 3-pointers. "We stayed within ourselves and I think our frustration in the past two weeks that we've been going through really just came out and us just getting back to being ourselves and us just sticking it to them and really not letting up."

Samuels finished with 10 points for Louisville, which was outrebounded by a 48-28 margin.

"We all got rebounds. Kyle and Tory (Jackson) came down with rebounds," Harangody said. "Luke Zeller did great tonight too. It was really a group effort."

Jackson finished with 14 points, five rebounds and five steals for Notre Dame, which went over 85 points for the first time since the start of the losing streak. It had surpassed that total eight times in 15 games previously.

Terrence Williams ended up with five points and four boards as he fell way below the production he had in Louisville's previous game against the Irish, shooting 2-of-9 from the field.

The senior forward came close to a triple-double in the first meeting with Notre Dame, scoring 24 points, pulling down 16 rebounds and handing out eight assists.