Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Notre Dame Men's Basketball 78, DePaul 54

A lazy sportswriter would begin this column with a "Fool me once..." joke.

Of course, a lazy sportswriter would also use one-sentence paragraphs for emphasis.

The Irish played with determination from the opening tip on this one. Colin Falls made a three-pointer 15 seconds into the first half, and also closed the first half with a three. He had 19, all in that opening stanza.
Led by Falls' 19, Notre Dame took a 40-22 lead into the locker room. Early in the second half, the Irish looked content to once again let their opponent back into the game. But then something sparked, and the Irish powered their way to a 25 point lead. A huge part of that spark was Tory Jackson, who finished with 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. The refs were letting the teams play a physical game, and Jackson delighted in it, driving the lane for layup after hard-fought layup.
Along with Falls and Jackson, the remaining three starters all scored at least 13 points. Luke Harangody and Russell Carter had 13, and Rob Kurz had 15. The bench only had 5 points - a three from Ryan Ayers and a two from Zach Hillesland. But this was a night when the starters, playing 148 of a possible 200 minutes, didn't need much help from the bench.
Still, it was the Notre Dame bench on the court. The decisive win allowed Luke Zeller, Jonathan Peeples, Kieran Piller, and Joe Harden to see playing time at the end of the game.

Up next, the Irish play host to a very tough Marquette team at 3:30 this Saturday, a game that will be televised on ABC.