Harangody Makes First-Career Start

SOUTH BEND - Notre Dame coach Mike Brey and his staff tinkered around with the thought of moving Luke Harangody into the starting lineup. The way the 6-foot-8, 250-pound freshman forward played in the Irish's first 16 games, it was only a matter of time before Harangody heard his name during pre-game introductions. Sunday's Seton Hall game, Brey decided this was the time to make a lineup change.

Harangody justified the move. Starting in place of sophomore Luke Zeller, the Schererville, Ind., product scored 12 points and pulled down five rebounds in 22 minutes, helping the 22nd-ranked Irish to a 88-76 win over the Pirates, at the Joyce Center.

"It was exciting, and fun to start," said Harangody who missed his first shot but drained his second jumper, four minutes in.

As the team's sixth man, Harangody came in averaging 12 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, providing another offensive weapon off the bench. The freshman had become a fan favorite for his physical play, and ability to score the basketball.

With point guard Kyle McAlarney and his 10.3 points per game being suspended indefinitely, Brey thought it was time to add another scoring threat to the starting lineup.

"We've been playing around with it, Brey said. "I just thought giving who we are offensively now with (Tory) Jackson as our point, to have some more offense out there to start, and to see if we could get him going early in some low post stuff.

"I thought he gave us really good stuff," Brey continued. "But he is going to have to rebound better if we're going to start him. I told him at halftime, he had one rebound, he has to rebound the ball better, he can rebound the ball better.

Brey was right. Harangody grabbed four in the second half.

With Harangody and Jackson in the starting lineup, it was the first time Notre Dame (15-2, 3-1 in the Big East conference) started two freshmen since the 2001-02 season when Chris Thomas and Jordan Cornette did it six times.

*Colin Falls was able to convince Brey to let him play against Seton Hall (10-6, 2-2 in the Big East conference), even though he was bit in the stomach by the flu bug. Falls had missed two Irish games early in the season, and did not want to sit out another contest.

Falls could only give 19 minutes, struggling to a 1-of-7 performance from the floor. The senior guard was able to make one triple, getting fouled and converting a four-point play for all his points.

On Saturday, Falls was only able to make it through roughly 20 minutes of practice, and Brey said he didn't look good at the team meal Sunday.

"With Falls with the stomach virus and only practicing a little bit and really sick, (we) probably shouldn't of played him, he wanted to try it, he wasn't ready," Brey said.

"I say (Monday) by four o' clock it will be through his system."

*With Falls limited, freshman point guard Jonathan Peoples played a career-high 19 minutes. As he's done since McAlarney's suspension, he has given the Irish exactly what they needed. He's been a reliable ball-handler, good passer, and shooter when needed.

Peoples scored a career-high nine points, and matched a career-high three assists, all but one assist coming in the second half, when the Irish ran away with the game.

"I just wanted to be ready and the coaches said we needed somebody to come off the bench with energy, so I think I just came out and wanted to contribute to the team," Peoples explained. "I think I did a good job."

Peoples checked in with 13:53 remaining in the second half, and Notre Dame up 60-47. He hit both of his 3-point attempts, got to the foul line twice (3-of-4) and found teammates for a couple easy baskets.

"Coach told me to be ready to shoot, so I shot it and it went in," Peoples said with a laugh.

"He's a gamer with his shots," Brey said. "Maybe the stroke doesn't look as pure as some other guys we've had here, but he's a gamer when the lights are on. He stepped up to stick those two, and boom, he felt it."

*Sophomore forward Ryan Ayers gave Notre Dame 16 very good minutes off the bench. He hit both of his shots from the arc for all six of his points, and didn't force anything.

"That's a nice dimension," Brey said. The Irish shot 10-of-20 from the perimeter. "It's good to have another, with Kyle gone, you know Ryan and (Peoples) making shots, we can still spread people. We weren't able to get that for awhile and maybe that's why we scored 48 and 60 (the last two games). If we can get those guys making open looks because they're going to get them, maybe that gets us back in that territory offensively of who we were."

*Notre Dame is 13-0 at home this season, and have won 15 in a row dating back to last year.

*This was the only regular season meeting between Seton Hall and the Irish.

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