Notre Dame struggled to get its offense on track in its last game, putting up its lowest point total of the season and losing to a team that was unranked at the time.
The 12th-ranked Fighting Irish seem unlikely to encounter a similar problem anytime soon.
A healthy Luke Harangody and the rest of the Irish will try to rebound against Boston University on Saturday, the first of three straight games against seemingly overmatched opponents at the Joyce Center, where they’ve won 40 straight games.
Notre Dame (6-2) had averaged more than 87 points in its first seven games, but the Irish were stymied by a tough Ohio State defense in a 67-62 loss to the Buckeyes at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium last Saturday. Ohio State entered the AP Top 25 at No. 21 this week.
Harangody had missed the previous two games with pneumonia, but he didn’t appear weakened by the illness, scoring 25 points and grabbing 16 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.
“I felt good in practice,” said Harangody, the reigning Big East player of the year, who averages 23.0 points and 12.0 rebounds. “Once I got out there, it was easy to forget about everything else. Toward the end of the game (I felt tired), but overall I felt pretty good out there.”
Still, the rest of the Irish shot just 14-of-38 (36.8 percent) from the field against Ohio State, and high-scoring guard Kyle McAlarney managed just six points. McAlarney, who was 0-of-6 from 3-point range, had averaged 32.7 points in his previous three games.
“They got us out of our offensive rhythm,” McAlarney said. “We weren’t in a good flow, weren’t scoring well.”
They’ve rarely had such problems lately at home, where they’ve won a school-record 40 consecutive games since an 80-72 loss to Marquette on Feb. 25, 2006. Over the course of the winning streak—the second-longest active run in the country—Notre Dame has averaged 84.8 points and shot 48.4 percent.
Boston University (5-3) was picked to win the America East this season and is 3-1 on the road, but has not beaten a ranked opponent since 1959.
They lost 80-53 at then-No. 14 Pittsburgh on Nov. 27, 2007. The program’s other recent Big East opponent was St. John’s, which beat Boston University 45-44 in overtime on Dec. 28, 2006. The Terriers have lost both their games against Notre Dame, most recently during the 1987-88 season.
Led by 13 points from freshman forward Jake O’Brien, the Terriers beat Yale 55-43 on Wednesday, holding the Bulldogs to 15 second-half points.
Typically a defensive-minded team under longtime coach Dennis Wolff, Boston University has been inconsistent at that end of the floor this season. The Terriers allowed Marshall to shoot 50.0 percent in an 84-80 loss last Saturday.
Offensively, the Terriers are led by junior Corey Lowe (19.3 points per game) and sophomore John Holland (16.5 ppg). Along with O’Brien, all three players shoot better than 40 percent from 3-point range, and as a result Boston University ranks 10th in the nation in 3-point attempts per game with 26.5.
Behind McAlarney and senior Ryan Ayers, who both shoot at least 46.0 percent from long range, Notre Dame is 11th in that category.
After facing the Terriers, the Irish host Delaware State and Savannah State before opening Big East play after Christmas.