INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Evan Turner scored a career-high 28 points Saturday and Ohio State spoiled Luke Harangody’s return to the lineup with a 67-62 victory over No. 7 Notre Dame, the unbeaten Buckeyes’ second straight upset of a ranked opponent.
Harangody, the Big East player of the year last season, missed the past two games with pneumonia. He led Notre Dame (6-2) with 25 points and 16 rebounds, but Ohio State (5-0) took a 30-28 lead at halftime and built the margin to as many as 10 points in the second half.
A 3-pointer by Tory Jackson pulled Notre Dame within 63-62 with 26 seconds to go, but Turner and Jeremie Simmons hit two free throws each in the closing seconds.
Freshman B.J. Mullens added a season-high 11 points for the Buckeyes, who were coming off a 73-68 upset at No. 21 Miami. Jackson added 13 points for the Irish.
Harangody, a preseason All-America this year, lost 12 pounds during his illness and returned home to Schererville, Ind., during his recovery last week. He rejoined the Irish for practice on Thursday and was back in his familiar spot in the lineup for tip-off on Saturday in the second game of the Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase doubleheader at the new Lucas Oil Stadium.
Following No. 5 Gonzaga’s 70-54 victory over Indiana in the first game, Harangody got the Irish off to a quick start against the unranked Buckeyes.
Harangody had two baskets, two free throws and four rebounds during an 8-2 start for Notre Dame, but the Irish couldn’t hold the lead. A basket by Mullens, a 3-pointer by David Lighty and a steal and layup by Turner gave Ohio State its first lead at 17-15.
There were two more lead changes and three more ties before a basket by William Buford and a fast-break layup by Mullens gave Ohio State its biggest lead of the half, 30-26. The Buckeyes had a chance to widen the lead in the closing seconds of the period, but Harangody stole the ball and hit a layup to cut the halftime lead to two.
Kyle McAlarney, who averaged 32.7 points over the past three games, was 1-of-6 from the field and had two points and only Harangody had more than three points for the Irish in the first half.
A basket by McAlarney pulled the Irish within 38-37 early in the second half, but Ohio State steadily pulled away and took a a 58-48 lead after two free throws by Turner and a blocked shot and fast-break layup by Lighty.
A 3-pointer by Jackson brought Notre Dame within 61-59, and the Irish had a chance to tie, but Harangody missed three shots over the next two minutes and the Buckeyes held on for the win.