Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Irish Comeback to Defeat Ruters

Notre Dame:  70
Rutgers:  65

Hope is still alive.  Notre Dame was down by double digits in the first half, but battled back to win a game that everyone considered a must-win for the team.  Mike Brey really motivated the team as well as the crowd to help get the victory.  I have never seen him so animated, you can tell he still wants this just as much as anyone.  The win for the Irish moves them to 16-11 overall and 7-8 in the Big East. Again, the win also keeps NCAA hopes alive.  

Harangody contributed 20 points and 15 rebounds, a typical game for the big guy.  Tory Jackson had 18 points with 4 assists, he really turned it on in the second half.  He was a big reason the Irish were able to comeback and win.  McAlarney also did his best and added 13 points.  Tyrone Nash also had a great game, getting big rebounds and put backs when the Irish looked like they had no answer to Rutgers.  Just work on the free throws. 

Rutger's freshmen Mike Rosario is going to be good, he contributed 20 points to his team's effort and will big a key guy for them over the next few seasons.

This win moves attention to Saturday, which is not a must win game for the Irish, but it is very important.  Most analysts are saying that the Irish need to win 2 out of their last 3 to be in tournament contention.  St. John's is a must win and that leaves UConn and Villanova left.  One of those games has to be won.  The Irish will obviously, fair better against Nova at home than the new #1 team in the nation on a hostile court,  but upsetting UConn would almost guarantee the Irish a spot in the tourney and take off the load of pressure that the Irish have on their shoulders. 

Saturday needs to be a fight and as Mike Brey would say, it needs to be interesting.  The Irish were counted out just a few weeks ago, now is not the time to backdown.   


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