Men's Basketball

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Irish Sneak Past Mountaineers 61-58
Russell Carter puts up a shot during first half.
 
Russell Carter puts up a shot during first half.

Jan. 9, 2007

Final Stats  | Final Stats (PDF) | Quotes

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -Notre Dame coach Mike Brey was feeling confident with a three-point lead and Rob Kurz, an 87 percent free throw shooter, on the line for a 1-and-1.

Just in case, though, he quietly called the other four Irish players over.

"I told them if that thing comes off, be ready, and even double the ball. Make them make one pass, because if you make them make a pass by then it's going to be out of position," Brey said.

West Virginia's Frank Young didn't make a pass, but he didn't get off a shot, either, as Russell Carter ran beside him down the right side of the floor and the 22nd-ranked Fighting Irish held on for a 61-58 victory the 21st-ranked Mountaineers on Tuesday night.

"It's a three-dribble play and he's got to let it go, but he hasn't been in many situations like that," West Virginia coach John Beilein said. "He's got to get it off before then, but he just misjudged the clock."

Carter led the Irish (14-2, 2-1 Big East) with 19 points, with all but two of his baskets coming on an array of dunks.

"I was surprised I got that many dunks. There for a second I thought I was Shaq," he said.

But Brey said Carter was smart to go inside when his outside shots weren't falling.

Colin Falls hit a 3-pointer with 5 minutes to go to give the Irish a 55-45 lead. But two air balls by Carter, a bad pass by Zach Hillesland and another Irish turnover allowed the Mountaineers to cut the lead to 55-53 on a 3-pointer by Darris Nichols.

The Irish, who regularly folded late in games last season, didn't give up. Instead Luke Harangody made two free throws and Carter hit a baseline jumper as the Irish extended the lead to six points.

The Mountaineers cut it to 61-58 on a 3-pointer by Young with 5 seconds left.

 

 

Brey said the Irish showed they are tougher than last season.

"I think this group is more physically tough, but they're also more mentally tough," he said. "This is a more mentally tough group. I hate to compare teams, but they are."

Falls scored 14 points and Harangody added 11 for the Irish, who shot 53.5 percent, which matched a season-high against West Virginia.

Alex Ruoff led West Virginia (13-2, 3-1 Big East) with 14 points and Young added 13. The Mountaineers shot just 37.7 percent, their second-worst outing this season.

"I thought we had great shots and if we would have made a couple more shots, maybe we would have come out of here with a win," Beilein said.

The Mountaineers, who had trailed for only four minutes in their first three Big East games, trailed for all but 17 seconds in this one. Brey said he got on the Irish for hanging their heads in the locker room.

"I don't know if they thought they should have won by 15 or whatever," he said. "I know they have real high expectations, and that's a good thing. But I tried to tell them, 'We're in league play now. We'll take them any way we can get them."'

Event Calendar

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November 1
7:00 PM
Mercy
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 7
7:00 PM
Catholic
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 12
12:00 PM
Bryant University
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 16
7:00 PM
Seattle University
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 18
TBA
Loyola Maryland
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 21
TBA
Colorado
Brooklyn, N.Y. (Barclays Center)

ESPN 2
November 22
TBA
Texas or Northwestern
Brooklyn, N.Y. (Barclays Center)

ESPN 2/ESPNU
November 26
2:00 PM
Chicago State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 29
9:00 PM
Iowa
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN 2
December 4
TBA
North Carolina A&T
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
December 6
9:00 PM
IPFW
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPNU
December 10
12:00 PM
Villanova
Newark, N.J. (Prudential Center)

CBS
December 17
2:00 PM
Purdue
Indianapolis, Ind. (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)

ESPN 2
December 19
7:00 PM
Colgate
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
December 28
7:00 PM
Saint Peters
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
December 31
TBA
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pa. (Petersen Events Center)

ACC Network
January 4
9:00 PM
Louisville
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network
January 7
3:00 PM
Clemson
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network
January 12
7:00 PM
Miami
Miami, Fla. (BankUnited Center)

ESPN/ESPN 2
January 14
2:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va. (Cassell Coliseum)

ACC Network
January 18
7:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (Tucker Center)

RSN
January 21
12:00 PM
Syracuse
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN/ESPN 2
January 24
8:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network
January 28
12:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (McCamish Pavillion)

ESPNU
January 30
7:00 PM
Duke
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN
February 4
TBA
North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Smith Center)

ESPN/ESPN 2
February 7
TBA
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPNEWS
February 11
2:00 PM
Florida State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN/ESPN 2
February 14
7:00 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Conte Forum)

ESPNU
February 18
12:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C. (PNC Arena)

ESPN/ESPN 2
February 26
6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPNU
March 1
8:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network
March 4
2:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (KFC Yum! Center)

CBS

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