Notre Dame survives scare

Published: Sunday, January 5, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 5, 2003 at 12:26 a.m.

CHICAGO - Matt Carroll had 14 points, and Dan Miller and Torin Francis each added 12 Saturday as No. 6 Notre Dame escaped with a 55-53 victory over pesky Valparaiso.

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Notre Dame's Matt Carroll(13) drives to the basket against Valparaiso's Roberto Nieves during the first half Saturday.

(AP Photo)

The Crusaders, who trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half, missed two 3-point attempts in the last two minutes - including a long one by Greg Tonagel with 2.4 seconds left.

It was Notre Dame's eighth straight win. At 12-1, the Irish are off to their best start in 24 years. The 1978-79 squad also opened 12-1.

But the Irish are going to have to play a lot better Monday night, when they open the Big East season at No. 2 Pittsburgh. The 55 points were their fewest of the season and almost 30 points below their average. They turned the ball over 13 times - 10 in the second half alone.

And they were just 6-of-21 in the second half, shooting less than 44 percent for the game. If the Crusaders hadn't shot so poorly - 34 percent - the final score might have been a little different.

Joaquim Gomes led the Crusaders with 17 points. Roberto Nieves also had a career high, scoring 11 - all but three in the second half.

  • NO. 2 PITTSBURGH 85, ROBERT MORRIS 49: Chevy Troutman repeatedly powered through undersized Robert Morris for easy baskets to score 24 points and No. 2 Pittsburgh bounced back from its first loss with a victory.

    Pitt, barely getting a workout before Monday night's Big East opener against No. 6 Notre Dame, is 22-0 against Robert Morris and 55-0 against Northeast Conference schools.

  • NO. 11 ILLINOIS 88, OAKLAND 53: Brian Cook had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Sean Harrington added 20 points as Illinois beat Oakland.

    The Illini (10-1) opened the second half with a 14-2 run, including six points from Cook, to extend their lead from 12 to 24 with under 15 minutes to play. Freshman guard Dee Brown then scored nine points in a three-minute span.

  • DAYTON 92, NO. 13 MARQUETTE 85: Ramod Marshall scored 23 points and Keith Waleskowski hit a clutch 3-pointer in overtime to lead Dayton to a victory over No. 13 Marquette.

    With Dayton (8-3) leading 83-80 and one minute left in overtime, the 6-foot-9 Waleskowski, who had tied the game at the end of regulation, hit the 3 that gave the Flyers a six-point lead.

  • NO. 16 MISSOURI 88, IOWA 82: Ricky Clemons banked in a rally-stopping 3-pointer with 1:18 left and finished with a season-high 27 points, leading No. 16 Missouri to a victory over Iowa.

    Missouri (8-1) was clinging to an 80-78 lead and only four seconds remained on the shot clock when Clemons fired from the left wing, two steps behind the 3-point arc. The ball banked in, drawing an exasperated sigh from the crowd of 14,582.

  • NO. 17 INDIANA 70, CHARLOTTE 60: Bracey Wright scored 17 points and Tom Coverdale added 13 as No 17 Indiana beat Charlotte in Hoosiers coach Mike Davis' first game since serving a one-game suspension.

    Davis missed this week's victory over Ball State for his on-court outburst at a referee during a loss to Kentucky.

    The Hoosiers (10-2) needed a late 11-4 run to put Charlotte (5-6) away.

  • NO. 18 KANSAS 100, MISSOURI KANSAS CITY 46: Kirk Hinrich scored a career-high 29 points to lead No. 18 Kansas to what could be a costly victory over Missouri Kansas City.

    Wayne Simien, the Jayhawks' 6-foot-9 sophomore forward, dislocated his shoulder in the first half and left the court in obvious pain.

  • NO. 20 KENTUCKY 83, OHIO 75: Keith Bogans scored 21 points and Erik Daniels made clutch baskets down the stretch as No. 20 Kentucky wasted most of a 19-point lead before beating Ohio.

    Daniels, who grew up in Cincinnati, had two dunks, a layup and a putback that helped Kentucky (9-3) hold off a late charge.

  • NO. 22 MARYLAND 79, WAGNER 57: Ryan Randle tied a school record by making all 10 of his field goal attempts, and Steve Blake had 12 assists to move into 20th place on the NCAA career list as No. 22 Maryland beat Wagner.

    Randle's 21 points matched his career high, and his perfect shooting performance tied the Maryland record set on Dec. 23, 1998, by Lonny Baxter.

  • NO. 23 WAKE FOREST 68, RICHMOND 62: Josh Howard scored 21 points and No. 23 Wake Forest rallied after a sloppy first half to beat Richmond.

    The Demon Deacons (9-0), who came into the game as one of only four unbeaten teams in Division I, opened the second half on a 20-5 run,

  • NO. 24 LOUISVILLE 72, OHIO ST. 64: Bryant Northern and Reece Gaines scored all 32 of their points in the second half and overtime as No. 24 Louisville rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to beat Ohio State.

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