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    Notre Dame Falls To Rutgers In Big East Opening Round, 72-65

    FIGHTING IRISH Chris Thomas passes the ball off against Rutgers' Ollie Bailey during the first half.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Chris Thomas passes the ball off against Rutgers' Ollie Bailey during the first half.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    March 9, 2005

    Box Score

    By JIM O'CONNELL
    AP Basketball Writer

    NEW YORK (AP) - Ricky Shields scored 21 points, including the first four of Rutgers' game-closing 8-0 run, and the Scarlet Knights beat Notre Dame 72-65 on Wednesday night in the opening round of the Big East tournament.

    The win advanced 11th-seeded Rutgers (10-18) to a matchup with third-seeded and 16th-ranked Syracuse (24-6) in the quarterfinals on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

    The loss may have ended the NCAA tournament at-large hopes for Notre Dame (17-11), which has lost four of five.

    Shields scored on a drive with 1:15 left to give the Scarlet Knights the lead for good at 66-65. He then stole the ball from Colin Falls and went the length of the court for a layup with 57 seconds left.

    Notre Dame, which took its last lead at 65-64 on a 3-pointer by Russell Carter with 1:37 to play, missed its last seven shots and had the turnover by Falls.

    Rutgers closed the game by going 4-for-5 from the free throw line over the final 32 seconds.

    Quincy Douby added 15 points for Rutgers, who had lost three straight and six of seven, including a 66-56 loss at Notre Dame on March 2.

    Torin Francis had a season-high 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Irish, while Chris Thomas had 17 points and Carter added a season-high 12.

    Carter, who didn't play in two of the last five games, played a season-high 22 minutes. Chris Quinn, the team's second-leading scorer with a 13.1 average, injured his right shoulder with 9 minutes left in the first half and didn't return. He didn't score in the game.

    The win snapped a four-game losing streak in the Big East tournament for Rutgers, which last won a game in 1999.


     

     

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