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February 21, 2008

Notre Dame fights back to beat Pitt

Box score

SOUTH BEND, Ind. Luke Harangody had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Tory Jackson added 16 points and 13 rebounds and No. 21 Notre Dame overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half to beat Pittsburgh 82-70 on Thursday night.

The Fighting Irish trailed 51-40 when Sam Young hit a 14-foot jumper with just under 14 minutes left. But Notre Dame responded with a 21-10 run, tying the game at 61 on a 3-pointer by Kyle McAlarney with 5:49 left. Harangody then scored six points, Ryan Ayers had five and Jackson three as the Irish took control with a 14-3 run, taking a 75-64 lead.

Notre Dame (20-5, 10-3 Big East) ran its streak of consecutive home wins in league play to 16 games, tying Georgetown (1987-90) for the second longest such streak in the conference. Pittsburgh won 20 straight at home from 2001-2004.

The Irish have won 35 straight overall at home, three shy of tying the school record.

The Panthers (19-7, 7-6), who fell out of the rankings for the first time in two years after a 72-54 loss at Marquette last Friday, lost two straight for the first time since December 2006.

After McAlarney tied the score with a 3, Harangody stole the ball from Tyrell Biggs at midcourt and drove for a dunk that brought the crowd of 11,418 to its feet. Jackson then hit a 3, and Ayers followed with another 3 as the Irish ended a five-game losing streak to the Panthers.

Pittsburgh didn't make a field goal over the final 6:30.

McAlarney scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and Rob Kurz added 14 points.

Young led Pittsburgh with 20 points, Keith Benjamin added 15, DeJuan Blair had 14 points and 13 rebounds and Levance Fields, playing his second game after missing 12 games with a broken bone in his foot, added 10 points.

For more coverage of Notre Dame, visit IrishIllustrated.com; for more on Pittsburgh, visit PantherLair.com.

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