Thursday in College Basketball: Notre Dame Comes Full Circle To End Skid
On Jan. 12, 2009, Notre Dame was outscored by 14 points in overtime, and lost to an upstart Louisville team. Coming into Thursday night's rematch, Notre Dame had not won a game since, putting them on a seven-game losing streak.
A team once ranked in the top 10 in the country, Notre Dame is now an afterthought to make the Tournament.
But the Irish came out with a vengeance on their home floor and made a statement. Luke Harangody had 32 points and 17 rebounds to lead Notre Dame to an easy 90-57 win over No. 7 ranked Louisville.
After the first few minutes of the game, Notre Dame established a positive scoring margin, and continued to build that for the rest of the game. Notre Dame had four players score more than 14 points in the game, while Louisville failed to have any one player top 11 points.
Notre Dame still only stands at an unimpressive 13-10 overall and 4-7 in the Big East Conference, but could be poised to make a run for the remainder of the season. The Irish have very winnable games in the Big East the rest of the way, with the one exception being at No. 1 Connecticut.
Playing for the Pac-10
No. 18 ranked Arizona State kept in the race for the Pac-10 title with a 74-67 upset win over No. 6 ranked UCLA at home. Coupled with an earlier overtime win over UCLA on the road, the Sun Devils have swept the season series with the Bruins. Arizona State has given UCLA two of their three Pac-10 losses this season.
Arizona State used an incredibly balanced scoring attack to get the job done, with five players scoring in double figures. Guards Derek Glasser and James Harden led the way with fifteen points each, while forwards Jeff Pendergraph and Rihards Kuksiks added 14 apiece, and guard Ty Abbot also contributed 12 points.
Zags Remain Perfect in WCC
Just two weeks ago Gonzaga made a statement in the West Coast Conference with a huge second half to defeat then-ranked and then-undefeated-in-WCC-play Saint Mary's.
On Thursday night, the two teams met again, and again No. 21-ranked Gonzaga got the best of the Gaels. Gonzaga won 72-70, but had to withstand an impressive last-minute comeback.
Gonzaga rebounded from the beat-down Memphis gave them over the weekend to keep their perfect conference record in-tact. Saint Mary's, on the other hand, has now dropped four conference games, and looks to no longer be a challenger for the WCC regular season crown.
In a game Northwestern badly needed for their NCAA Tournament hopes, No. 20 ranked Illinois' Demetri McCamey banked in a jumper with 2.9 seconds left to give the Illini a 60-59 win over the Wildcats. Despite trailing for nearly all of the second half, Illinois garnered their 20th win of the season, and improved to 8-4 in Big Ten play.
No. 17 ranked Utah State kept their incredible season going on Thursday night with a 62-53 victory over Idaho in the WAC. The Aggies are 24-1 on the season, 12-0 in the WAC, and nearly a shoo-in for the NCAA Tournament.
Arizona earned a big victory by defeating USC at home in a matchup of mediocre Pac-10 teams. The Wildcats have won six in a row to improve their record to 17-8 overall and 7-5 in the Pac 10. They are looking like a team that could make a run at the NCAA Tournament, where they currently have the longest active consecutive tournaments-made streak.
No. 24 ranked Washington played like a team that belonged in the Top 25 with an impressive 79-60 victory over a much-improved Oregon State team. The Huskies outscored the Beavers by 18 points in the second half, and now find themselves in first place in the Pac-10 after the loss by UCLA.
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