Men's Basketball

@NDmbb
Irish Climb Over Mountaineers In First Round
Chris Thomas celebrates Notre Dame's first round victory over West Virginia.
 
Chris Thomas celebrates Notre Dame's first round victory over West Virginia.

March 10, 2004

Box Score?|? Photo Gallery

Get Your Irish Gear Here!

By HAL BOCK
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK - Colin Falls has made himself right at home behind the 3-point line in his freshman season at Notre Dame.

So with the Irish's NCAA tournament hopes hanging precariously in the balance Wednesday night, Falls located his favorite spot on the floor and calmly nailed the long-range basket that wiped out a West Virginia comeback and gave Notre Dame a 65-64 victory in the first round of the Big East tournament.

The victory moved the Irish (17-11) into Thursday night's quarterfinals against second-seeded Connecticut.

Coach Mike Brey never blinked when Falls lined up for the shot with 15 seconds left and Notre Dame trailing by a point.

"Early in the season, I missed a game-tying shot against Indiana," Falls said. "He told me not to worry about it. He has full confidence in me to shoot the ball."

And why not? Falls has 41 field goals this season and 33 of them have come from beyond the 3-point line. He came off the bench when Chris Thomas picked up his fourth personal foul with 8:54 top play and immediately nailed a 3-pointer. It was his only other basket of the night and interrupted a spirited West Virginia comeback that wiped out a 16-point Notre Dame lead.

Kevin Pittsnogle scored eight points, and Patrick Beilein, son of Mountaineers coach John Beilein, connected on consecutive 3-pointers as West Virginia nudged ahead 62-60.





We were pretty darn confident coming out to play the last 11 seconds.



 

 

Two foul shots by Chris Quinn tied it at 62 but Tyrone Sally's shot rolled around and in to put West Virginia back on top with 45 seconds left. That's when Falls decided the issue with his 3-pointer.

West Virginia had the last shot but Joe Herber, who led the Mountaineers with a career-high 17 points, missed.

"We were pretty darn confident coming out to play the last 11 seconds," Brey said. "Herber tried to create something. Torrian Jones is the guy we wanted defending."

Jones denied Herber a good look and Notre Dame escaped.

Notre Dame came in figuring it needed two wins for an invitation to the NCAA tournament. The next one will be more complicated with UConn waiting.

"Right now, its a flip of the coin," Brey said. "Win tomorrow night and we'll be in total control, I believe."

Thomas led Notre Dame with 19, while Quinn had 12. Pittsnogle had 13, and J.D. Collins 10 for West Virginia (15-13).

Event Calendar

Delta

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
7:00 PM
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

Shop Now

Nissan

Auctions

Official ND Online Auctions // Bid Now »

Gear Store

Get your Official ND Gear // Shop Now »

Photo Galleries

Canon

St. Joseph Health System Nissan Delta Canon Visit South Bend Mishawaka