March 12, 2010
NEW YORK, N.Y. -
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BIG EAST Central
Irish Advance To BIG EAST Semifinals:
Notre Dame advanced to the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship for the second time in program history with Thursday's 50-45 quarterfinal victory against Pittsburgh. The win was the second of the season for the Irish over the Panthers this season.
Notre Dame is 0-2 in its two previous semifinal appearances. The Irish advance to the semifinals for the second time in four years.
Notre Dame's win over the Panthers marked the first time since the school's first appearance in the BIG EAST Tournament in 1996 that an Irish team has won back-to-back games in the BIG EAST Tournament.
All-American Luke Harangody and teammate Tory Jackson each scored 12 points and were the only two Irish players in double figures in the victory. Notre Dame shot better than 50.0 percent for the second straight game as the connected on 52.9 percent from the field, connecting on 18 of its 34 field goal attempts. Tyrone Nash led the Irish with six rebounds and also finished with eight points.
Notre Dame also had 14 assists on its 18 baskets against the Panthers.
The Irish limited the Panthers to just 38.6 shooting from the field (17-44) and 20.0 percent (2-10) from three-point range. It marked the second straight game that Notre Dame's defense held its opponents to under 40.0 percent shooting from the field.
The 50 points scored by the Irish were the fewest in a BIG EAST tournament games. The 45 points scored by Pittsburgh also were the fewest allowed by Notre Dame in the conference championship.
Notre Dame In The BIG EAST Championship:
With the win over the Panthers, Notre Dame improved to 7-14 all-time in the 21 games its had played in the tournament since 1996. The Irish are now 6-9 under head coach Mike Brey.
Notre Dame is 3-5 all-time in BIG EAST tournament quarterfinal contests.
Friday night's semifinal matchup with West Virginia will mark the third time the Irish and the Mountaineers will meet each other in BIG EAST tournament action. West Virginia defeated the Irish 74-62 last year in a second-round matchup, while Notre Dame defeated the Mountaineers 65-64 in a first-round contest in 2004
Notre Dame other semifinal appearances were in 2007 and 2002.
The Notre Dame-West Virginia Series:
Friday night's semifinal matchup between the Irish and Mountaineers will be the second meeting of the season between the two team and 36th overall. Notre Dame leads the series 25-10 and has won 14 of the last 17 meetings.
Earlier this season, the Irish handed the Mountaineers a 70-68 setback at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center on Jan. 9. Notre Dame held a 45-25 advantage at the break and was able to hold off a furious West Virginia rally at the end of the game. In the contest, Notre Dame was held to just one field goal in the final 14 minutes of the game.
Mike Brey is 12-3 all-time versus Pittsburgh.
Last Outing Versus West Virginia:
Luke Harangody scored 24 points to lead three Irish players in double figures in the two-point victory. Tim Abromaitis finished with 17 points and Tyrone Nash added 13.
The Irish shot 75.0 percent from the field (18-24) in the first half and marked the best-ever shooting percentage in a half by a Notre Dame team under Mike Brey. Notre Dame's 86.7 percent (6-7) accuracy from three-point range also was the best ever in a half under Brey.
Notre Dame had 21 assists on 23 baskets that included 17 in the first half.
On A Roll:
The win over the Panthers was the sixth straight for the Irish and is the team's longest of the season.
Winners of four straight to conclude the regular season, Notre Dame's six-game win streak against BIG EAST foes is the longest since the 2000-01 campaign.
Notre Dame's longest win streak in BIG EAST play is eight games. The Irish did that in 2000-01 en route to winning the BIG EAST Conference West Division crown in Mike Brey's first season along the Irish sidelines.
Irish At MSG:
Notre Dame is 54-41 all-time playing at Madison Square Garden.
Notre Dame vs. Ranked Opponents:
Notre Dame is playing a ranked opponent for the eighth time this season and are 4-3 in those contests.
The Irish are 30-54 all-time against ranked opponents under head coach Mike Brey.
Notre Dame's four wins over ranked opponents this season are the most for an Irish team since 2006-07 campaign when that Irish team had four wins over ranked opponents.
The most wins over ranked opponents by and Irish team under Brey are 5 (2002-03).
A win against the Mountaineers would by the highest over a ranked opponents since Notre Dame defeated No. 4/5 Alabama, 99-85, on Dec. 7, 2006 at Purcell Pavilion.
Tory Jackson has never missed a game during his Irish career and against the Panthers last night set the Notre Dame record for career games played as he played in his 134th contest. The previous mark was 133 games set by Matt Carroll from 1999-03.
Jackson has started 120 of the 134 games he has played.
History In The Making:
With the victory over Pittsburgh, Notre Dame's senior class of Tim Andree, Luke Harangody, Tory Jackson and Jonathan Peoples set the record for most wins by a four-year class as the squad earned its 93rd victories. The mark of 42 wins was done on two occasions from 1975-79 and 1977-81.
This year's senior quartet is 93-41 all-time for a .701 winning percentage.
The group also became the all-time winningest Notre Dame class in BIG EAST regular-season play as they finished with a 43-27 (.614) record.
Luke Harangody recorded his 64th career double-double against Seton Hall and first since scoring 19 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. against USF on Feb. 7. He also scored 20-points for the 64th time in his career to rank second all-time in that category.
Since becoming a starter in the Irish lineup seven games ago, Carleton Scott has averaged 10.3 points (72 points) and 54 rebounds (7.7).
Tim Abromaitis' nine points against Seton Hall and seven points versus Pittsburgh marked just the fourth and fifth times, respectively, this season that the Irish failed to score in double figures.
Notre Dame has shot better than 50.0 percent in 15 games this season.