Oct. 22, 2003
Rockley, Christ Church, Barbados – The Notre Dame men’s basketball team rallied from an eight-point deficit in the third quarter, but its attempt fell short as the Irish dropped a 77-74 decision to the Milton Keynes Lions in its final exhibtion test in Barbados. Coach Mike Brey’s squad finishes its four with a 2-1 record. Just three days prior, Notre Dame had beaten this same Milton Keynes team 93-67 on Sunday night.
The Irish seemd to fight the affects of playing on consecutive nights and the heat and humidity of the gym. Chris Thomas led the Irish with 23 points and six assists, while Torin Francis finished with 17 points and four rebounds. Jordan Cornette was the only other Notre Dame player in double figures as he ended the game with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Notre Dame trailed by one at after the first quarter (25-24), but rallied in the second quarter to take a 41-38 lead into the break. Cornette finished the half by scoring the Irish’s final seven points on a three-pointer and two baskets.
The Irish came out flat at the start of the third quarter and fell behind by eight (61-53) with 3:40 remaining in the third quarter. Notre Dame trailed 61-55 at the end of three quarters, but came back to pul within one on two occasions before Thomas put the Irish ahead 71-70 with 1:40 remaining. Joel Burns’ three-point play gave Milton Keynes a 73-71 lead, before Francis’ dunk off a Thomas assist tied the game at 73-73 with 1:02 left.
Victor Payne scored scored the go-ahead goal on a 10-foot jumper with 41 seconds remaining and then added two free throws with 10 seconds left to seal the victory.