March 2, 2005
By TOM COYNE
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Colin Falls scored 18 points, Chris Quinn added 14 and Notre Dame shot a season-high 53 percent to beat Rutgers 66-56 Wednesday night, ending a two-game losing streak for the Irish.
Chris Thomas added 10 points and 12 assists for the Irish (17-9, 9-6 Big East), ensuring a fifth straight winning record in the conference. The only other team to accomplish that feat the past five seasons is Syracuse. Rutgers (9-17, 2-13), which has won just three of its last 17 games, finished its Big East road season without a victory.
The Irish held Rutgers to 29.5 percent shooting, but couldn't shake the Scarlet Knights until they used an 11-6 spurt to open a 62-53 lead when Thomas hit a pair of free throws with 51 seconds left.
The Scarlet Knights stayed in the game through second-chance points, outscoring the Irish 18-8 in that category. Rutgers outrebounded the Irish 37-30, just the eighth time this season the Scarlet Knights have outrebounded an opponent.
Quincy Douby led Rutgers with 19 points, including 13 points in the first half, Jimmie Inglis had 12 points and Marquis Webb had 10 points. Byron Joynes had 15 rebounds.
After Douby scored the first basket of the second half to give the Scarlet Knights a 31-30 lead, the Irish answered with an 8-0 run during which Quinn scored six points. The Irish led the rest of the way.
Despite outshooting the Scarlet Knights 52 percent to 28 percent in the first half, the Irish led only 30-29 at halftime. Rutgers stayed close by outrebounding the Irish 19-14 and by shooting 10-of-13 from the free-throw line while the Irish shot just 5-of-7. It marked the ninth straight Big East game where Rutgers failed to score more than 30 points in a half.