Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Irish Beat Bearcats 91-74: Home streak reaches 31

After trailing at the half due to an atrocious shooting start, the hustlin' Fightin' Irish hoopsters finally remembered they were home and started hitting their shots, turning a 34-27 halftime deficit into a 91-74 triumph over Cincinnati running their winning streak to 31 straight in South Bend.

Notre Dame had just got creamed by 26 points Saturday, at Marquette, and the Milwaukee hangover seemed evident at the start here, as the Irish were shooting a woeful 24 percent going into intermission. But Coach Brey must have taken them outside to look at the Dome at the break, for the Irish roared out and scored 64 after halftime (on 69 percent shooting) putting the game away with a decisive 17-2 run. Nowhere whas the turnaround more evident than with Luke "The Loveable Lug" Harangody, the only Irish lad (29 points against Marquette) to hold his own Saturday. Yesterday, Luke was 0-5 with one point in the first half, but proved it was a fluke by then hitting 6 of 9 from the floor for a game high 25. Kyle McAlarney, held to 8 points at Marquette, regained his magic touch while playing in Our Lady's shadow, scoring 22 verses Cinnci on 7 of 10 shooting, including 5 of 8 from beyond the arc. Tory Jackson again led the Irish in assists with 8, and Rob Kurz chipped in with a 17-pt. 10 rebound double-double.

So while Domers for Huckabee could not pull one out Tuesday, Notre Dame kept FIT's night from being a total loss. Indeed the Huckabee primary season is starting to resemble Notre Dame's Big East basketball results; The Irish's first half flourish and second half withstanding of the physical fouling Huskies echoes Huck's surge in Iowa, followed by his surviving the lying attack ads to win there. The ND blowout by the Golden Eagles resembled Huckabee's loss in New Hampshire, and the Irish's slow starting first half, Tuesday, looked like Huck's luck in Michigan. But the Irish's 24-point second half turnaround, which led to another home victory, may foreshadow a Huckabee triumph in South Carolina, provided the Christians there come out to cheer (and vote) the way they do in South Bend. Remember, Champions of Faith, Lou Holtz, not only coached at Arkansas and became famous at Notre Dame, he also ended his illustrious career as a South Carolina Gamecock. This logic may seem poppycock to the Romney and McCain camp, but I've followed the Irish long enough to know that a Notre Dame connection should never by ignored. Remember O most gracious Virgin ...



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