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    Notre Dame Outlasts Villanova, 78-72

    FIGHTING IRISH Christ Thomas led the way for the Irish with 25 points (file photo).
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Christ Thomas led the way for the Irish with 25 points (file photo).
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Jan. 8, 2005

    Box Score |  Quotes

    By TOM COYNE
    AP Sports Writer

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Chris Thomas scored eight of his 25 points in the final 3:35 and was 8-for-8 from the free-throw line as Notre Dame made all 19 of its free throws to beat Villanova 78-72 Saturday.

    Randy Foye tied the score at 70 with a free throw with 2:53 left. But the Irish ended the game on an 8-2 run, with Thomas clinching the game with a 17-foot fallaway jumper from the baseline with 57 seconds left to give the Irish (10-2, 2-0 Big East) a 74-70 lead.

    Villanova (8-2, 1-1) was without leading-scorer Curtis Sumpter because he sprained his right knee in practice on Friday. Foye stepped up with a career-high 26 points and added six rebounds.

    Colin Falls and Chris Quinn added 16 points each for the Irish, who matched their season-high with 11 3-pointers on 20 attempts. Dennis Latimore added 12 points for the Irish.

    Allan Ray added 13 points for the Wildcats, Mike Nardi had 11 and Will Sheridan had nine points and 10 rebounds as Villanova outrebounded the Irish 42-33.

    Notre Dame, which led 41-34 at halftime, led by five points or more through most of the second half, but Foye scored four points to lead the Wildcats on a 6-0 run. The Wildcats took a 67-66 lead with 4:02 left when Jason Fraser blocked a shot inside by Quinn, Sheridan got the rebound and threw a long pass to Nardi for a fastbreak layup.

    The lead changed hands three times as Foye and Thomas exchanged free throws, until Foye made just one free throw with 2:53 left.

    Latimore then made a pair of free throws for the Irish, Thomas hit his fallaway shot and Falls and Thomas made two free throws each in the final 39 seconds to put the game away.


     

     

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