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November 19, 2006NOTRE DAME, Ind.-So far in November, it's been feast or famine for the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame strapped on the feedbag Sunday afternoon in the Joyce Center in its 74-50 victory over The Citadel in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the score indicated.
The Irish took a 40-12 lead into the locker room at halftime and kept the patient, run-the-clock Bulldogs at more than arm's length before closing out the victory with ease.
"Twelve points I don't know if I've seen that on the ticker this year," said Irish head coach Mike Brey, whose squad raised its record to 3-1, including 2-0 in the Joyce Center.
In Notre Dame's three victories, the Irish have won by 43 over IPFW, 32 over Lafayette and 24 over The Citadel, with a two-point loss to Butler the only smudge on its record.
Five Irish players notched double figures, led by Luke Harangody's 18 points, 16 of which came in the first half on 7-of-8 shooting. Russell Carter tossed in 14 points, Luke Zeller scored 12, Colin Falls had 11 and Rob Kurz scored 10.
"Obviously, he's blossoming," said Brey of Harangody. "He's a very talented young man whose approach is like a junior, not a freshman."
Notre Dame (3-1) shot to a double-digit lead less than five minutes into the game and led by 20 on a pair of free throws by Kurz at the 6:41 mark of the first half following a five-minute scoring drought by the Bulldogs (1-4).
A three-pointer by Falls with 1:01 left in the first half made it 40-12, Notre Dame's largest lead of the first half.
"I'm not very pleased with the way their basketball team knocked us back," said first-year head coach Ed Conroy, whose squad lost games at Michigan State and at Iowa on Nov. 13-14. "They were the aggressor and it threw our guys back a little bit.
"I thought the more of these games we played, the more accustomed we'd be to them. When you're out-sized and out-manned, you must deliver the first blow. We were back on our heels and we let them take it to us."
The Citadel played competitively in the second half behind the resurgence of J'mel Everhart, who scored all 12 of his points over the final 20 minutes. Notre Dame also got a little sloppy with the basketball, turning it over nine times in the second half after just four turnovers in the first half.
But the outcome was determined early on when Harangody, who entered the game at the 15:58 mark of the first half, scored 16 points in just 11 minutes of action.
"Low post touches for Luke H. are a good thing," Brey understated. "There's no one in that locker room that would (disagree)."
Notre Dame limited The Citadel to 21.7 percent shooting in the first half and forced the Bulldogs into 11 turnovers before relaxing a bit in the second half.
"Good teams have to be consistent all the time," said Kurz, a co-captain along with Falls. "We have to be consistent both halves.
"We did some great things in the first half, but like coach said, we got a little bit disinterested in the second half. That will not be good enough in the coming games."
The Irish have an eight-day break between games. They'll host Lehigh on Monday, Nov. 27, and then follow up with a home game against Winston-Salem State two days later.
The Citadel travels to Southern California to take on the Trojans Tuesday.