NEW ORLEANS - There may be as many games and moments and memories of his college career filed away for reflection one day as there were career points (2,476) for Notre Dame All-American Luke Harangody. But three trips to the NCAA tournament, at least from a personal production standpoint, likely won’t be among the best of his reflective times. Bothered by early foul trouble and never able to find a flow within the Irish offense, Harangody scored four points with seven rebounds as No. 6 seed Notre Dame saw its season end Thursday with a 51-50 loss to No. 11 Old Dominion during first-round play in the South Regional at New Orleans Arena. Harangody’s motto, whether he had played well or struggled, long was, “On to the next one,” be it a game or a practice. But this one was his final one. “I feel like we’ve got a game Saturday,” he said. “That’s not going to happen any more. It’s been a blast.” In four career NCAA tournament games, Harangody shot 15-for-51 (29.4 percent) from the field. Only once - as a sophomore against George Mason when he went 8-for-19 with 22 points and 15 rebounds - did he leave the floor a winner. His four points Thursday were the fewest since also scoring four in the 2007 NCAA Tournament loss to Winthrop, a stretch of 96 career games. Harangody, who played 23 minutes off the bench, didn’t score his two baskets Thursday until the final 12.6 seconds. The last one of his career fell at the final horn. Picking up two fouls early in the first half rendered the second-leading scorer in school history a non-factor. “That didn’t help at all,” he said. “Coming off the bench, I kind of like to hit my first shot and get my rhythm. It just wasn’t going there for me today. “No excuses.” Harangody refused to use his health as a reason for not helping the Irish advance, but admitted Thursday afternoon that the bone bruise to his right knee, which forced him to miss five games, remains an issue. “I definitely don’t feel like myself out there yet,” Harnagody said. “I’m not going to say I put up four points today because of that. There’s no excuse for that. “I’m not there yet. It’s going to take a while.” But not while in a Notre Dame uniform.
Scott settles downNervous about having to perform on college basketball’s biggest stage for the first time in his career, Notre Dame junior Carleton Scott knew how to get going - with a pair of dunks. Scott finished one of the few Irish breaks with a one-handed windmill dunk early in the first half. He later followed with a monster two-hand return of a Ben Hansbrough missed 3. When it was over, Scott had tallied the third double-double for points and rebounds in his career - all this season - with 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. He also had two assists and two blocks and was a guy that coach Mike Brey pointed to as a bright spot heading into next season. “You can take out a lot of nervousness on the rim,” Scott said. “It definitely helped me out a lot, just getting to run the floor and the feel. “It was good for me.”
End to forgetThe season’s last seven games was a stretch that Irish junior Tim Abromaitis would like to forget - and fast. Starting with last month’s road win at Georgetown and carrying over to Thursday’s loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Abromaitis saw his shooting stroke disappear. In the last seven games, Abromaitis, who once ranked among the nation’s best from deep, hit only three of his final 31 looks (9.6 percent) from 3. He was 0-for-5 on Thursday. “We got great looks every possession down,” Abromaitis said. “We just couldn’t get them to fall.” Abromaitis refused to admit that Old Dominion’s defensive switch - from man to zone - played a part in the poor shooting. Even in the different look, the Irish continued to get good shots. Open shots. “We just couldn’t get shots to drop,” he said. “It was frustrating because those are shots that we knock down all the time. “I don’t know.” The Irish shot 35.6 percent Thursday, the fourth time in the last six games they failed to get to 40.
Big Easy bits
- Irish guard Tory Jackson closed his career as Notre Dame’s all-time leader in games played with 135. His 121 starts rank third.
- Notre Dame was the first of eight Big East teams to play, and subsequently lose, in the NCAA Tournament.
- The Irish are 4-2 in first-round games under Brey. Both losses came as No. 6 seeds to No. 11 teams.
- Former Notre Dame baseball coach Paul Mainieri, now at Louisiana State, attended Thursday’s first-round game.
- Old Dominion has won six games in a row and 10 of its last 11.
- Monarchs forward Frank Hassell came into the contest averaging 8.9 points per game, then scored a team-high 15.
- Once the nation’s leader in assist to turnover ratio, the Irish managed only 12 assists to 10 turnovers against the Monarchs.
- The game featured two ties and nine lead changes. Notre Dame led by as many as nine points in the first half and trailed by no more than three in the second.
- Notre Dame held Old Dominion to four points - two baskets - during an 8:44 stretch in the first half. The Irish then managed only one basket the final 7:50 before Harangody’s hoop at the horn.
- Ticket sales for New Orleans Arena were running at 65 percent of capacity (18,000) for the first- and second-round games. Thursday’s contest, which tipped at 11:25 a.m. local time, started with the arena maybe a third full.