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Irish struggle to score, still come away with win

Pat Leonard | Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Mike Brey was disappointed after his team scored only 66 points against Harvard. He said if the Irish were going to average 65 points a game this season, they would be in serious trouble.

After three games, Notre Dame is averaging 64.3 points.

But despite offensive problems in the first half against Charleston Southern Friday, No. 19 Notre Dame held the Buccaneers to the second-lowest opponent point output in Joyce Center history and won, 54-38, to improve to 3-0.

“I’m just glad we held them to 38 points,” guard Chris Thomas told the South Bend Tribune Friday. “We had to play good defense. I felt like we did that.”

The record low point total for an opposing team in the Joyce Center was a 35-point outing from Rice in a 50-35 defeat at the hands of Notre Dame on Jan. 23, 1984.

On Friday, the Irish shot just 26.9 percent from the field in the first half. But Notre Dame held its opponent to the same shooting percentage in the second half and limited Charleston Southern – with no free-throw attempts in the game – to 16 points in the final 20 minutes of play.

The Buccaneers’ Thomas Harrison tied the score at 29 with a 3-pointer at the 13:30 mark. But Irish forward Jordan Cornette scored on a put-back off a Thomas miss and ignited a 14-0 run from which Charleston Southern would never recover.

Chris Quinn, who has led Notre Dame in scoring in all three games thus far, scored 14 of his team-high 17 points in the second half. Thomas added 15 points. The senior point guard also had four steals, six assists and no turnovers.

The Irish did not shoot well from 3-point range (5-for-20) or from the field overall (18-for-48). But the guard play was the difference. Notre Dame got just 10 points and 11 rebounds from the frontcourt of Rick Cornett, Torin Francis and Dennis Latimore. Francis, who committed four turnovers to match his four points, sat the bench in the second half and played just 14 total minutes.

“I wasn’t active on the defensive end so coach took me out, put in a smaller lineup and they were effective,” Francis told the South Bend Tribune.

But Francis and Latimore had their day in Notre Dame’s second win Nov. 23. Unlike Friday’s game – when Quinn and Thomas were the only two Irish players in double figures – Tuesday’s 73-45 win over Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne (IPFW) saw four players score in double figures.

While Quinn led Notre Dame with 15 points, Francis scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Latimore had career highs of 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Thomas had his best game of the season so far, scoring 10 points along with 11 assists and only one turnover.

Notre Dame shot 50 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from 3-point range.

NOTRE DAME 73, IPFW 45

at the JOYCE CENTER

NOTRE DAME (2-0, 0-0)

Cornette 1-4 1-2 4, Francis 4-9 3-5 11, Latimore 6-11 0-0 12, Thomas 3-8 4-4 10, Quinn 5-7,2-3 15, Israel 1-2 0-0 2, Cornett 1-3 4-6 6, Falls 3-4 0-0 9, Nickol 0-1 0-0 0, Kurz 1-1 0-0 2, Carter 1-2 0-0 2.

IPFW (2-2, 0-0)

Hawkins 2-4 0-0 4, Butler 2-6 0-0 4, Malone, B. 3-9 0-0 9, Carouthers 0-6 0-2 0, Bauer 4-12 2-2 12, Mutzfeld 0-0 0-0 0, Bourne 0-0 0-0 0, Malone, J. 1-3 0-2 3, Campbell, P. 4-7 0-0 9, Campbell, C. 2-4 0-1 4, Egeric 0-0 0-0 0.

1st 2nd Total

NOTRE DAME 30 43 73

IPFW 18 27 45

3-point goals: Notre Dame 7-16 (Quinn 3-4, Falls 3-4, Cornette 1-4, Thomas 0-2, Carter 0-1, Nickol 0-1), IPFW 7-21 (B. Malone 3-5, Bauer 2-7, P. Campbell 1-4, J. Malone 1-2, Carouthers 0-2, Hawkins 0-1). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Notre Dame 39 (Latimore 11), IPFW 26 (C. Campbell, Butler 5). Assists: Notre Dame 19 (Thomas 11), IPFW 11 (Bauer 5). Total fouls: Notre Dame 12, IPFW 16.

NOTRE DAME 54, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 38

at the JOYCE CENTER

NOTRE DAME (3-0, 0-0)

Cornette 1-5 0-0 2, Francis 1-1 2-2 4, Latimore 2-8 2-2 6, Thomas 5-14 4-7 15, Quinn 7-13 0-0 17, Israel 1-2 2-2 4, Cornett 0-2 0-0 0, Falls 1-3 2-2 5, Nickol 0-0 0-0 0, Kurz 0-0 1-2 1, Carter 0-0 0-0 0.

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN (1-2, 0-0)

Cain 1-1 0-0 2, Rice 5-13 0-0 10, Ball 2-12 0-0 4, Moore 1-3 0-0 2, Harrison 3-9 0-0 9, Lane 0-4. 0-0 0, Williams 3-4 0-0 7, Covington 0-2 0-0 0, Stiglbauer 0-0 0-0 0, Fails 0-0 0-0 0, Jegdic 2-4 0-0 4.

1st 2nd Total

NOTRE DAME 22 32 54

Charleston Southern 22 16 38

3-point goals: Notre Dame 5-20 (Quinn 3-8, Thomas 1-6, Falls 1-3, Cornette 0-3), Charleston Southern 4-14 (Harrison 3-6, Williams 1-1, Rice 0-2, Lane 0-2, Covington 0-1). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Notre Dame 32 (Latimore 7), Charleston Southern 34 (Rice 11). Assists: Notre Dame 9 (Thomas 6), Charleston Southern 7 (Rice 2). Total fouls: Notre Dame 11, Charleston Southern 17.