Jan. 28, 2004
By TOM COYNE
The Irish (10-6, 4-2 Big East) took control with a 9-1 run to open the second half and Miami (13-7, 3-3) never got any closer than five points, as Notre Dame held them to 37.5 percent shooting. The Irish shot 48 percent.
Darius Rice scored 26 points, including going 4-of-10 from 3-point range. He had been just 5-of-33 from 3-point range in his first five Big East games. Robert Hite added 11 points for the Hurricanes.
The Irish managed to win even though Chris Thomas, their leading scorer at 19.3 points a game, didn't score in the first half and finished with just seven points, matching his season-low.
Miami used a 9-3 run to close to 49-44 when Hite hit an 18-footer. But Francis scored six points during a 10-2 run to put the Irish ahead 59-46. The Irish extended the lead to 65-50 when Francis scored with a powerful two-handed dunk with 4:50 left.
Miami never got closer than nine points.
In the first half, Rice hit a 3-pointer to spark an 11-0 run that gave Miami a 22-16 lead. But the Irish responded with a 13-2 run to move back ahead, 29-24. The Irish led 33-32 at halftime.