NEWARK, N.J. — Hands atop his head and his eyes empty as he left the basketball court late Thursday, Notre Dame senior power forward Luke Harangody carried the look of someone who wanted in the worst way to help. In the end, with the game on the line and a big basket sorely needed from someone in a blue jersey, Harangody couldn’t do a thing. An aching right knee wouldn’t let him. Hurt in the second half while chasing a rebound against Seton Hall, Harangody missed the final 4:40. He could only sit at the end of the Irish bench and watch Notre Dame drop its fourth consecutive Big East road game, 90-87. “I came down funny, think I twisted it a little bit,” said Harangody, who was limited to 13 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes. “We’ll see how it feels in the morning.” When it first happened, it felt none too good, and even scared him. Harangody checked out, limped to the end of the bench and explained to a Seton Hall doctor that he “felt something” in the knee when he jumped while going for a rebound. But the more Harangody iced the outside of his knee, the better it felt. “Something wasn’t right; I don’t know,” he said. “But we checked it out in the locker room, all the ligaments feel fine. It could just be a sprain. “We’ll just hope for the best. That’s all you can do.” Harangody’s status heading into Sunday’s home game against St. John’s is uncertain. If he plays, great. If he doesn’t play, the Irish have no choice but to keep moving ahead with whatever combination that can click. “It’s not a major concern,” said senior Tory Jackson, who scored a career-high 25 points, 17 in the second half. “This team is not built around one player. It’s a team. “He’s a competitor. He’s going to come back.” Even without their All-American, the Irish had a chance after trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half. A Jeremy Hazell basket dropped Notre Dame into a six-point hole with 55.4 seconds remaining, but a Jackson 3 sliced it in half. It still was a three-point game with 18.6 seconds remaining when the Irish, following a missed free throw from Keon Lawrence, had one last chance. Make that two last chances. Tim Abromaitis and Carleton Scott each had relatively clean looks from 3 in the final three seconds, but neither shot fell. When Scott’s offering bounced off and the final horn sounded, Notre Dame had dropped to 17-8 overall, 6-6 in the Big East. Seton Hall, which had lost three straight, improved to 13-9, 4-7. “That’s our luck,” said Jackson. “It was crazy.” “It felt like it was on line,” said Abromaitis, who scored 18 points, including 12-of-12 from the foul line. “My shot felt good all night.” But so did Seton Hall’s, which hit 55.0 percent from the field and 63.2 percent (12-of-19) from 3. Hazell led everyone with 35 points as the Pirates finished with 23 assists and forced 14 Irish turnovers. “We just did a lot of great things,” said Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez. Sluggish at the end of the first half and again to start the final 20 minutes, Notre Dame finally put together some defensive stops, got out in the open floor, scored some easy baskets and chipped away at the 12-point deficit. The Irish ran off a dozen unanswered points of their own, capped by a Harangody 3, his last basket, to tie the game at 63. “We got some key stops and rebounds,” Abromaitis said. “Tory really carried us again.” But as quickly as the Irish looked to be in it, they were out of it. Notre Dame trailed by nine with 6:22 before Harangody left as coach Mike Brey patched together various combinations and the Irish dug in and tried to steal one. “It looked tough a couple times,” Brey said. “We kept giving ourselves chances to come back. We were going to have to keep scoring to have a chance.” Insisting that Thursday would be - had to be - different in terms of effort and energy and execution away from home, especially on the defensive end, the Irish allowed a season-high 49 points in the first half to the Hall, who also shot 60 percent and was 7-of-9 from 3. A team struggling with their confidence got it in bunches early. A team that needed a good defensive effort never got it. “That’s got to change,” Harangody said. “Sounds like the same old story.” It was. NOTRE DAME (17-8): Ty Nash 5-7 3-4 13, Tim Abromaitis 2-7 12-12 18, Luke Harangody 4-10 4-4 13, Tory Jackson 9-12 3-5 25, Ben Hansbrough 4-7 0-0 10, Jonathan Peoples 0-1 0-0 0, Joey Brooks 1-1 1-2 3, Carleton Scott 2-5 0-0 5. Totals 27-50 23-27 87. SETON HALL(13-9): Herb Pope 3-7 0-1 6, Jeff Robinson 7-10 0-0 14, Keon Lawrence 3-10 0-1 6, Eugene Harvey 1-3 6-6 9, Jeremy Hazell 12-16 3-5 35, Jordan Theodore 3-4 2-2 9, Jamel Jackson 0-0 0-0 0, Robert Mitchell 3-9 0-0 8, Ferrakohn Hall 1-1 0-0 2, John Garcia 0-0 1-4 1. Totals 33-60 12-19 90. Halftime - Seton Hall 49-39. 3-Point Goals - Notre Dame 10-19 (Jackson 4-6, Hansbrough 2-4, Abromaitis 2-5, Harangody 1-1, Scott 1-2, Peoples 0-1), Seton Hall 12-19 (Hazell 8-11, Mitchell 2-3, Harvey 1-1, Theodore 1-2, Lawrence 0-2). Fouled Out - Nash, Robinson. Rebounds - Notre Dame 32 (Abromaitis 8), Seton Hall 25 (Pope 9). Assists - Notre Dame 14 (Jackson 6), Seton Hall 23 (Harvey 10). Tot al Fouls - Notre Dame 18, Seton Hall 19. A - 8,403.
Notre Dame's Tyrone Nash (left) blocks a shot-attempt by Seton Hall's Herb Pope during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010, in Newark, N.J.
(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)