Freshman Luke Harangody continued his early season success with 18 points and Notre Dame held the Bulldogs to just 12 first half points as they rolled to a 74-50 victory. The win moves the Irish to 3-1 on the year and next up is Lehigh on November 27th. If all goes well for the Irish, they possibly could have, at worst, a 10-3 record heading into conference play. True measurement games come on December 3rd vs. Maryland in Washington, D.C. and December 7th at home against Alabama. The only negative on Sunday might have been that The Citadel outscored Notre Dame in the second half. Other than this nitpicking, the Irish controlled the flow of the game on both ends of the court.
"It was an interesting style to play against," head coach Mike Brey said. "You're playing defense for 30 seconds every possession. I thought we did a good job of being in position and not being impatient defensively.
"For the most part, there were things we did well and some things we need to work on. We can come back and work on it for a couple of days here. We take a short Thanksgiving Day break and then get back at it."
Harangody kept up his early momentum. In the first three games, the freshman forward had averaged 15 points a contest and over seven rebounds a game, both second on the team in the categories. Harangody came off the bench in the first half and hit 7-of-8 shots from the field and 2-for-2 from the free throw line, good for 16 points before the intermission. It helped Notre Dame stake a 40-12 halftime lead. The big body of Harangody gives Brey a physical presence down low who can put the ball in the hoop on a consistent basis. The freshman certainly made an impression on the opposition.
"He's very tough," The Citadel head coach Ed Conroy said of Harangody, whose team fell to 1-4 on the season. "We wanted to make him work on the defensive end. In the first half, we didn't execute at all. He was extremely tough for anybody. With our deficiencies in bulk and size, it was extremely tough for us."
The defense in the first half was outstanding. The Irish held the Citadel to 21 percent shooting from the field. The Bulldogs hit just five field goals before intermission as Notre Dame forced them into 19 turnovers for the contest and converted them into 23 points. Brey might harp on The Citadel scoring 38 points in the second half. But the early defensive surge was key in running out to an insurmountable lead.
"Twelve points. I don't know if I've seen that on the ticker in a Division 1A game this year at halftime," Brey said about this team's defense in the first half. "I said that to the team. We did a good job of staying in position. We knew they would drive at the end of the shot clock. We did a good job of staying with our guy the few times we did get beat. We did a good job of rotation and our guards did a good job of coming down and rebounding. I was very pleased with that and something we can take from the positive side tomorrow."
Along with Harangody, Notre Dame asserted themselves down low. The forwards combined for 40 of the team's 74 points. The Irish racked up 34 points in the paint. Luke Zeller was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and scored 12 points. Rob Kurz added 10 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Russell Carter did score 14 points but shot just 5-for-14.