Feb. 4, 2009
CINCINNATI (AP)–Sophomore guard Larry Davis scored a career-high 21 points Wednesday night and led a second-half surge that swept Cincinnati to a 93-83 victory over Notre Dame.
Notre Dame (14-9, 4-6 Big East) is amidst the toughest regular-season stretch in school history. Their previous five losses came against Top 25 teams– the Fighting Irish had never played five straight games against ranked teams in the regular season.
Instead of giving them a respite, the Bearcats (15-8, 5-5) gave them more than they could handle, pulling away with a 27-9 run led by Davis early in the second half.
Luke Harangody had 28 points and 14 rebounds–his 11th consecutive double-double–for Notre Dame.
Deonta Vaughn steadied Cincinnati with a season-high 34 points, repeatedly finding open shots against a defense that applied very little pressure and ended up fouling to try to catch up. Vaughn went 19-of-22 on free throws, and Cincinnati scored 31 from the line overall as it racked up a season high in points.
Cincinnati is in the midst of a modest revival, winning five of its last seven games.
Vaughn scored 16 points in a tempestuous first half that ended in a 37-all tie.
The lead changed hands on nine consecutive baskets or sets of free throws. There were three ties and a dozen lead changes in the half, with neither team up by more than five points.
Notre Dame is the conference’s top 3-point shooting team, but missed its first four attempts from behind the arc against an extended man-to-man defense. Harangody also missed several point-blank shots, watching them roll off the rim.
Davis scored 13 points in the first nine minutes of the second half, helping Cincinnati pull out to a 66-52 lead. Davis, who had never scored more than 16 in a game, made three 3s, a pull-up jumper and a driving layup during the decisive spurt.
The Irish never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way. They finished 3-of-13 from behind the arc, their season low for 3-pointers made in a game.
The game was played at a downtown arena instead of Cincinnati’s campus. The Bearcats occasionally play at U.S. Bank Arena, where they also beat Mississippi State 75-63 on Dec. 18.