Feb. 8, 2007
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) – Wilson Chandler scored a season-high 25 points and blocked the potential game-winning shot in the closing seconds as DePaul beat Notre Dame 67-66 Thursday night.
Chandler’s block came after he put the Blue Demons ahead with a breakaway dunk.
Draelon Burns set that up when he stripped the Fighting Irish’s Colin Falls near midcourt. He retrieved the ball near the sideline and found an open Chandler, who made it 67-66 with 18 seconds left.
After a timeout, Notre Dame’s Tory Jackson got cut off in the lane and dribbled to the right corner. Luke Zeller put up an off-balance 3-pointer from the wing with about four seconds left, and Chandler blocked Rob Kurz’s put-back to preserve the victory.
It was another difficult loss for the Irish, who dropped out of the top 25 after falling 69-66 at South Florida on Saturday.
Chandler was 10-of-19 from the field, grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds and blocked three shots. Burns scored 11, and Marcus Heard added 10 for DePaul (14-11, 5-6 Big East).
Falls scored 20 for Notre Dame (18-6, 6-5), while Kurz added 15 points and nine rebounds.
Eighth in the nation at 82.5 points per game, the Fighting Irish struggled from the floor, hitting 26 of 64.
Down 54-49, the Irish outscored DePaul 12-2 over a nearly six-minute stretch to take a 61-56 lead. They scored eight straight, with Falls hitting a 3-pointer between two dunks by Kurz that made it 57-54. After Chandler scored in the lane, Falls hit a short jumper and layup to make it 61-56 with 4:21 left.
But Burns quickly responded, hitting a 3-pointer to pull DePaul within two.
In the lane with his back to the basket, Chandler delivered a bounce pass to Heard for a dunk that tied it at 63 with 2:42 left. Jackson answered with a 3-pointer for Notre Dame, but Heard’s layup with 1:39 left pulled the Blue Demons within 66-65.
While Notre Dame would like a first-round bye in the conference tournament, DePaul is trying to get there after missing it last season. This helped the Blue Demons’ cause.
Bogged by inconsistency throughout the season, they got back into the game after Notre Dame scored the first 11 points.