Sunday, February 17, 2008

Irish edge Rutgers, 71-68

The Irish were able to hold off Rutgers down the stretch, which lead to 71-68 victory.  The first half was controlled by the Irish who had a lead of 12 at one point, and an 8 point lead at the half.  However, Rutgers battled back and got the crowd in the game and took a 3 point lead midway through the second half.  The game came down to a late 11-0 run by the Irish which consisted of two 3s from Kurz and  McAlarney. 

Jackson lead the charge for the Irish with career numbers in 3 categories. 17 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds.  8 rebounds?! Jackson who is listed at 5-11 (yeah right), matched the rebounding numbers of Luke Harangody.  Jackson really saved the game for the Irish.  Without this completely unexpected performance by the guard, the Irish might have settled for a loss to the worst team in the conference.  This game shows Jackson's true potential.  By the time Jackson becomes a senior he will be having games like this every time he steps on the court.

Luke Harangody was successfully shut down this game by Rutgers. Harangody finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds.  After getting into early foul trouble on a couple of tick-tack fouls, he really didn't play well.  However, the team picked him up this game.  This  proves even when Harangody doesn't have his usual 20 points and 12 rebounds that the Irish can still find a way to win.  

Kyle McAlarney loves playing back at home.  The Staten Island native was only 20 minutes away from his hometown and he put on a show for his fans.  Nailing two early 3s with ease, and finishing with 16 points you can really tell that Kyle likes to perform in the spotlight. Hopefully he brings this intensity to Manhatten for the Big East Tournament.

This win should prove that the Irish belong in the polls despite that close loss to Connecticut on the road, which the Irish suffered earlier this week. The Irish play again Thursday, in a Top 25 match-up at the Joyce Center with Pittsburgh.


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