Big Irish Second Half Defeats Richmond

Mark Allen

Irish Blue And Gold

ND Women’s Basketball

Junior Charel Allen scored a career high 22 points as Notre Dame (4-2) defeated Richmond (2-6), 87-66, on Tuesday night at the Joyce
Center.  The Irish placed five players in double figures in points.

 The game, in the first half, was close.  The Spiders gave the Irish all they could handle.  Notre Dame led at the half  by a score of 34-31.

The second half was different for the Irish in many ways.  The most obvious difference came at the free throw line.  In the first half, Notre Dame did not attempt a free throw.  As a matter of fact, they did not attempt one for almost three quarters of the way through the game.  Then, came the barrage from the charity stripe.  In the second half, the Irish connected on 18-of-22 free throws to put the game away.

Junior Charel Allen, who was seen by this writer, hours before the game in the Joyce Center shooting, came out on fire.  She scored 10 points in the first ten minutes and also hit on two three pointers.  She finished 10-of-18 from the floor.  She scored every way possible.  She hit the trey.  She drove the lane.  She also hit the medium range jumpers.

The Irish had some good production from their two centers.  Melissa D’Amico scored 15 points and was 6-of-7 from the floor.  Freshman Erica Williamson, perhaps the surprise of the team, contributed 9 points on 4-of-6 shooting.  She also pulled down 7 boards.

 Hometown favorite Melissa Lechlitner played a fine game.  She scored 10 points.  She also hit on a pair of three point shots.

Freshman Daniel Ben-Tsvulun scored the first points of her Irish career.  She hit on 3-of-4 free throw attempts to finish with 3 points.

Also in double figures were Crystal Erwin (10) and Ashley Barlow (11). Erwin, after not hitting on any threes in her first three years, hit on a couple in this one to give her four for the season.  Barlow hit on all six of her free throw attempts.

Notre Dame will travel to Michigan on Friday for a matchup against the Michigan Wolverines.  They return home next on Sunday, December 3 versus Indiana.  The game is a big one and is on the way to being sold out.

Irish Blue And Gold Items

*Chandrica Smith was on the sidelines in street clothes.  She was injured and is listed day to day.

*Melissa Lechlitner looked more in control and comfortable in this game.  Look for her to show marked improvement as the season progresses.

 *Muffet McGraw was more animated on the sidelines.

 *Around 9,000 tickets have been sold for the IU game on Sunday.  If sold out, it would be the fourth sellout in Notre Dame women’s basketball history.

 Box Score

Richmond (2-6)

Powell 1-2 1-3 4, Hawkins 3-13 0-2 6, McKnight 6-10 0-0 14, Thomas 1-2 0-0 2, Campion 5-8 1-3 13, Holzer 4-6 1-1 9, Williams 3-8 2-4 10, Hendrix 1-5 0-0 2, Bell 1-4 3-4 5, Morrow 0-0 0-0 0, Zygaite 0-0 1-2 1, Totals 25-58 9-19 66

Notre Dame (4-2)

Erwin 4-6 0-0 10, D’Amico 6-7 3-4 15, Allen 10-18 0-0 22, Gray 0-4 0-0 0, Gaines 2-2 3-4 7, Barlow 2-7 6-6 11, Lechlitner 3-7 2-2 10, Williamson 4-6 1-2 9, Tsipis 0-0 0-0 0, Ben-Tsvulun 0-0 3-4 3, Totals 31-57 18-22 87

Half: Notre Dame 34, Richmond 31.  Shooting: Notre Dame: 31-57 (54.4 percent), Richmond: 25-58 (43.1 percent)3-point shooting: Notre Dame: 7-17 (41.2 percent; Lechlitner 2-5, Allen 2-4, Erwin 2-3, Barlow 1-2, Gray 0-3), Richmond: 7-15 (46.7 percent; Campion 2-4, Williams 2-4, McKnight 2-2, Powell 0-1, Bell 0-2, Hendrix 0-1, Hawkins 0-1).  Rebounds: Notre Dame: 35 (Williamson 7, Barlow 6), Richmond 31 (Campion 5).  Assists: Notre Dame: 17 (Gaines 4), Richmond 18 (Hawkins 4).  Total Fouls: Notre Dame 18, Richmond 22, Attendance: 5, 629.


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Irish Survive Hot Shooting Lehigh, 93-87

Mark Allen

Irish Blue And Gold 

ND Men’s Basketball 


Rob Kurz scored a career high 25 points while Colin Falls scored 21 as Notre Dame (4-1) overcame a hot shooting Lehigh, 93-87 on Monday night.  Lehigh’s Jose Olivero scored 32.


Lehigh (2-6), coached by former Irish basketball player Billy Taylor, jumped out early in this one.  The Mountain Hawks, sizzling from the opening tip, jumped to a 12-5 early lead.  Lehigh’s largest lead became 13 at 34-21.  Time and again the Mountain Hawks were left alone behind the three point arc and made the Irish pay in gaining the lead.  For the game, Lehigh hit on 14-of-19 shots from three point land.  That is an outstanding and astounding 73.7 percent.


The Irish have to be given some credit, even in a game they should have won handily.  Trailing, 49-39, with 4:22 left in the first half, Notre Dame played much better – and as expected.  For the remaining 24:22 of the game, the Irish went on a 64-38 run.

Also important in the Irish win was sparkplug, Zach Hillesland.  Hillesland is Notre Dame’s energy guy.  Coach Brey started Hillesland in place of Luke Zeller in the second half.  The move paid off.  Hillesland was all over the place on offense and on defense.  He also rebounded well, pulling in seven.  Perhaps his most important rebound came on a tip in basket.  Colin Falls was fouled on a three point attempt.  After making his first two, Falls missed the third.  But, Hillesland was right there for the tip, the basket and the Irish’ first lead in the second half.

Notre Dame finally gained a double digit lead late in the game.  The shooting of Olivero and Kyle Neptune (22 points) kept Lehigh from being blown out.  But, despite the final score of 93-87, one had the perception, late, that Notre Dame would win.


Notre Dame placed five players in double figures as far as points.  Russel Carter had 14, Zach Hillesland 11 and Luke Harangody 10, in addition to Kurz and Falls.


Both teams shot well from the field.  The Mountain Hawks shot 56.9 percent while the Irish hit on 54.5.  Notre Dame won the rebounding battle, 32-24.  Kurz had 8 and Hillesland, 7, to lead the Irish.

The Irish hit on 26-of-33 free throws.  They outscored the Mountain Hawks, 26-7 from the line.

Notre Dame will be back in action on Wednesday night at the Joyce Center.  The opponent will be Winston-Salem State.  Game time is at 7:30.

Irish Blue And Gold Items 

*The game was a homecoming for Lehigh coach Billy Taylor.  The former small forward was an Irish team captain in 1994-1995.

 *Taylor was not alone on Monday night.  He brought 50-60 family and friends.  Among them were former teammates Carl Cozen, Brooks Boyer and Lamarr Justice.

*Notre Dame coach Mike Brey presented Billy Taylor with a plaque prior to the game.

*Luke Harangody scored 10 points on Monday night.  The freshman has now scored in double figures in each of his first five collegiate games.

Box Score

Lehigh (2-6)

Carrington 2-4 1-1 5, Mgebroff 4-5 1-1 9, Neptune 9-14 0-0 22, Olivero 11-16 5-7 32, Hall 3-7 0-0 8, Gourlay 0-0 0-0 0, White 0-5 0-0 0, Page 0-2 0-0 0, Shamis 1-1 0-0 3, Anderson 3-4 0-0 8, Szalachowski 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 33-58 7-9 87

Notre Dame (4-1)

Kurz 6-9 12-13 25, Zeller 1-1 2-4 5, Falls 6-11 5-6 21, Carter 6-14 2-4 14, McAlarney 2-7 0-0 4, Harangody 4-7 2-2 10, Hillesland 4-5 3-4 11, Ayers 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 1-1 0-0 3, Totals 30-55 26-33 93

Half: Lehigh 46, Notre Dame 44.  Shooting: Notre Dame: 30-55 (54.5 percent), Lehigh: 33-58 (56.9 percent)3-point shooting: Notre Dame: 7-20 (35 percent; Falls 4-8, Kurz 1-2, Zeller 1-1,
1-1), Lehigh: 14-19 (73.7 percent; Olivero 5-8, Neptune 4-4, Anderson 2-3, Hall 2-3, Shamis 1-1).  Rebounds: Notre Dame: 32 (Kurz 8, Hillesland 7), Lehigh 24 (Hall 7, White 7).  Assists: Notre Dame: 17 (McAlarney 6), Lehigh 18 (Hall 6).  Total Fouls: Notre Dame 14, Lafayette 24Attendance: 8, 178.

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Just out played

Notre Dame came to the USC game ranked sixth in the BSC and riding a winning streak where the offense broke school records.

Then the Irish played an actual Division 1A school, one that knows about big games. USC 44, Notre Dame 24.

It was never really close. The Trojans came out and scored on their first two drives and Notre Dame couldn’t do much with huge turnovers and a solid early defensive effort.

But, similar to the Michigan game, the lack of speed and talent on defense caught up to Notre Dame after the offense stalled. Brady Quinn led the Irish in rushing yards, for example.

There really isn’t much more to say on this game. Notre Dame played a schedule of soft teams. USC played one of the toughest schedules in the country. The result of today’s matchup shouldn’t have surprised anybody.

The good news, though, is that Notre Dame is probably headed for a BCS bowl. The predictions are that the Irish will meet Michigan for the Rose Bowl. That’s the bad news. Go Irish?

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Now, we’ll see….

Louie Villalobos

I have to be honest here. I watched, maybe, four plays of today’s Notre Dame game. There was just no reason to watch for me. Not when Ohio State and Michigan were trading knockout punches a few channels away.

I turned back at the end of the Army game to catch the final score. Notre Dame 41, Army 9. That was the score. That was what the Irish were doing to get ready for their biggest game of the year. I’m still a little worried.

Notre Dame will ride a good winning streak into California next Saturday. But USC will bring much more big game experience, and much more momentum. That’s provided they manage to beat California tonight. I know it’s too early to tell. I know that USC still has to play a very good Cal team. I even know that Charlie Weiss is a great coach who hasn’t lost on the road yet.

But, I also know that teams are only as good as the teams they’ve beaten. So far, Notre Dame hasn’t defeated many good teams. That will change next week, though. It will be a huge national stage where Brady Quinn will show the college football world what he and his receivers can do.

It will be where Weiss reminds people that he can game plan. Or, it will be another big game lost. I can’t wait. Go Irish.

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Irish Rebound With Dominating Performance

Mark Allen

Irish Blue And Gold ( 

ND Men’s Basketball  

Russell Carter scored 20 points and Luke Harangody 18 as Notre Dame won handily over Lafayette College, 92-60 on Tuesday night.  The game was the consolation game in the Indianapolis Region of the preseason NIT.  The Irish bounced back from Monday night’s loss to Butler. 

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey had the Irish practicing in a full scrimmage earlier in the day, before the Lafayette game.  The ploy seemed to pay off as the Irish came out smoking and never let up in the dominating win.

 Two stats stand out as far as the dominance.  Notre Dame’s goal coming in was to use a height advantage and go inside.  They succeeded on a grand scale.  The Irish out scored the Leopards, 44-16 on points in the paint.  They also turned Lafayatte turnovers into points, outscoring them, 31-5, in that category.

 Russell Carter started out the game on fire.  He hit for 3 three-pointers in the first ten minutes.  Notre Dame raced to a 25-14 lead.  They led at the half, 46-30.

The Irish big men came to play on this night.  Rob Kurz scored 16 points and rebounded the ball very well.  Once again, Irish star-in-the-making, Luke Harangody was “Mr Energy”.  The freshman scored 18 and was dominant under the basket with his jump hook.

 Also in double figures was freshman Tory JacksonJackson had 10 points.  He was 4-of-11 from the free throw line.  There is no need to panic, though.  Once he gets into more games and learns to bend his knees during the shots, his percentage will rise dramatically. 

Notre Dame put the Butler loss behind them in one night.  Lafayette is a better team than IPFW. a team the Irish blew out in their season opener.

The Irish are next in action on Sunday when they take on The Citadel.

Box Score

Lafayette (1-2)

Schmidt 0-2 5-6 5, Betley 4-7 1-1 10, Abdullah 2-5 0-0 8, Hilliard 0-3 2-2 2, Brown 3-7 0-1 8, Detmer 2-3 4-4 9, Hines 3-5 2-3 8, Harley 1-4 0-0 3, Cummins 0-1 0-0 0, Andersson 1-2 0-0 3, Kenny 1-1 0-0 2, Koltun 0-0 2-4 2, Gruner 1-1 1-1 3, Totals 18-43 17-22 60

Notre Dame (2-1)

Kurz 7-10 0-0 16, Zeller 4-6 0-0 8, Falls 3-7 0-0 8, Carter 8-12 1-1 20, McAlarney 1-3 0-0 3, Harangody 7-12 4-5 18, Jackson 3-4 4-11 10, Ayers 0-4 1-2 1, Hillesland 2-2 1-2 5, Harden 0-0 0-0 0, Peoples 0-0 3-4 3, Totals 35-60 14-25 92

Half: Notre Dame 46, Lafayette 30.  Shooting: Notre Dame: 35-60 (58.3 percent), Lafayette: 18-43 (41.9 percent)3-point shooting: Notre Dame: 8-17 (47.1 percent; Falls 2-5, Kurz 2-2, Carter 3-5, McAlarney 1-3, Ayers 0-2, Lafayette: 6-18 (33.3 percent; Brown 2-4, Betley 1-3, Abdullah 1-3, Harley 1-3, Andersson 1-2, Detmer 0-1, Hilliard 0-1, Cummins 0-1).  Rebounds: Notre Dame: 35 (Kurz 8), Lafayette 23 (Brown 4, Hines 4).  Assists: Notre Dame: 28 (McAlarney 12), Lafayette 15 (Brown 4).  Total Fouls: Notre Dame 23, Lafayette 23Attendance: N/A.

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Irish Defeat Bowling Green In OT Thriller

Mark Allen

Irish Blue And Gold (

ND Women’s Basketball

Notre Dame fought back from an eleven point second half deficit to defeat Bowling Green in overtime, 85-81.  Freshman Ashley Barlow scored six of Notre Dame’s seven overtime points to aid in the victory.  Tulyah Gaines and Charel Allen had career highs in points with 25 and 21, respectively. 

Make no mistake about it – this game was no gimme for the Irish.  Bowling Green is a good team and this game was a marquee one, even though it was only the second game of the season for the Irish.  The Falcons, last season, were an NCAA Tournament participant.  They were 28-3 and won the Mid American Conference.  As a matter of fact, Bowling Green has won the regular season as well as conference tournament for the last two seasons.  They are a favorite to win the MAC again this season.

The Falcons played like a champion from the start.  Behind the shooting of senior forward Carin Horne, they raced to a 13 point lead.  They led at the half by a score of 38-31.

The Irish trailed with about ten minutes to go in the game, 61-50, when junior guard Tulyah Gaines decided to take control.  At times she looked out of control, driving the lane.  But, the results can’t be argued with.  In the last ten minutes of regulation, Gaines scored 13 points.  She had a couple of baskets to go along with 8-of-9 from the line.

Speaking of the end of regulation…this one had a wild finish.  The Irish, trailing for most of the game, had finally caught the Falcons at 73.  Gaines was at the free throw line for her second shot and, if made, an Irish lead.  But, senior forward Crystal Erwin, who played a tenacious game on defense, stepped into the lane too soon to negate the attempt.  It almost came back to haunt Notre Dame.

Notre Dame managed to gain the lead at 78-75 in the final few seconds.  Bowling Green had possession with about fourteen seconds to go.  Most of the night, the Falcons were left alone for three point shot attempts.  As a matter of fact, for the night they were 11-of-23.  Senior forward Liz Honegger found herself alone at the bend in the arc and buried a buzzer-beating trey to knot it up and send it into overtime.

The crowd and Ashley Barlow would not allow the Irish to falter in the extra period.  Although listed at 5, 746 as far as attendance, the crowd looked fuller and was definitely boisterous.  Barlow was boisterous – and feisty.  The freshman had a lot of fight in her on this night.  If she missed her shot, she would not let up until she had it back and was either fouled or scored.  She totaled 19 points for the night. 

Charel Allen’s performance must be noted.  She scored 21 points for a career high.  But, her game on this night was much more than that.  She was the personification of cool.  When the Irish needed a comeback, she hit some clutch shots.  She also was key on a very good press that caused the Falcons problems.

The Irish were very good on the boards, outrebounding Bowling Green, 45-33.  Barlow led the way with 10.

Bowling Green placed all five starters in double figures.  They were led by Kate Achter, who had 20.

Notre Dame is in action at home next on Sunday, November 19.  The game is versus Western Michigan.  The next game is a road game at Penn State on Thursday, November 16.

Irish Blue And Gold Items

*Notre Dame defeated a very good team in Bowling Green.  The Falcons were receiving votes for the Top 25.  Will the Irish move into the Top 25 next week?

*Ashley Barlow has my vote for game mvp.  Although Allen (21) and Gaines (25) scored more, the freshman played like an upperclassman and refused to allow Notre Dame to lose.

*Both Allen and Gaines had career highs in points.  This was Gaines’ best game of her career.

*After the game, as the team was exiting, the players raised their hands and voices to get the crowd into it.  They were led by Crystal Erwin and Erica Williamson.  Too bad the men are led by a coah who discourages a show of emotion.

Box Score

Bowling Green (1-1)

Honegger 4-8 0-0 12, Horne 6-17 2-3 18, Mann 4-7, 6-10 14, Achter 4-10 12-14 20, Thorburn 6-8 0-1 17, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0, McCall 0-3 0-0 0, Flynn 1-4 0-0 2, Totals 25-57 20-28 81

Notre Dame (2-0)

Erwin 3-7 1-1 8, D’Amico 1-2 0-0 2, Allen 9-20 0-0 21, Gray 2-8 2-3 6, Gaines 8-15 9-11 25, Barlow 4-11 11-12 19, Williamson 2-3 0-1 4, Lechlitner 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 29-67 23-28 85

Half: Bowling Green 38, Notre Dame 31.  End of Regulation: Tied at 78.  Shooting: Bowling Green 43.9 percent, Notre Dame 43.3 percent.  3-point shooting: Bowling Green 11-23 for 47.8 percent (Thorburn 5-6, Honegger 4-6,  Horne 2-8,  Flynn 0-2, Achter 0-1); Notre Dame 4-14 for 28.6 percent (Allen 3-7, Erwin 1-1, Gray 0-3, Barlow 0-1, Lechlitner 0-1).  Rebounds: Notre Dame 45 (Barlow 10, Erwin 6, Allen 6, Gaines 6); Bowling Green 33 Horne 7).  Assists: Bowling Green 18 (Achter 9), Notre Dame 13 (Barlow 4).  Total Fouls: Notre Dame  22, Bowling Green 21.  Attendance: 5, 746.

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Mixed emotions

Louie Villalobos
 Blue and Gold

Obviously, this was a great game for Notre Dame. They just crushed Air Force, 39-17. The offense was able to score almost at will and the defene got quality run tackling practice. And that’s what bothers me.

Notre Dame will have played Navy, North Carolina and Army by the time the team heads to Los Angeles to face USC. That’s on top of the matches with Michigan State and Stanford.

That’s six teams that are horrible. I’m just worried that we, and the voters, don’t know how good the Irish are at a time of the year when there is a chance to move up the polls.

Auburn lost. Louisville lost. Florida stuggled. And either Tennesse or Arkansas will lose later today. It’s going to be hard for Notre Dame to move up given the teams weak schedule.

Don’t get me wrong. I love watching Notre Dame toss the football around the field. It’s pretty cool to see Brady Quinn ring up big numbers and Charlie Weiss gave entertaining post-game interviews about what the team needs to work on.

But the schedule will have to get tougher of the Irish plan on becoming a national powerhouse again. I can’t wait! Go Irish.

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