Jan 14, 2002
By JOHN KEKIS
AP Sports Writer
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Preston Shumpert, held in check for the first 30 minutes, scored seven points to key a decisive 13-1 run in the second half Monday night as No. 8 Syracuse beat Notre Dame 56-51.
It was the seventh straight win for the Orangemen (16-2), who lead the Big East West Division at 5-0. Notre Dame (12-4, 2-2), which had rallied to win its previous two road games, couldn’t pull off another comeback inside the raucous Carrier Dome.
Shumpert, 1-for-7 in the first half, finished with 15 points, Kueth Duany had 19 and DeShaun Williams 10 points and nine assists.
Ryan Humphrey kept the Irish in the game with 28 points. But the Irish never got their 3-point game untracked, going 5-for-24 on 3s – all by their long-range trio of David Graves, Chris Thomas and Matt Carroll. The Irish entered the game hitting 40.6 percent from long range.
Graves, 2-for-10 from 3-point range, finished with six points, Thomas had eight and Carroll, who missed three 3s in the final seconds, had five points. Together, they were averaging over 43 points a game.
Syracuse led by as many as nine in the first half, but Humphrey hit consecutive baskets with just over 12 minutes to go to pull the Irish within 39-38.
That’s when Shumpert took charge. He converted a layup off an in-bounds pass from Duany, hit a 3 from the left corner off a steal by James Thues, and made a tough shot in the lane for a 48-39 edge.
Williams hit a driving layup off the glass and Craig Forth converted a reverse layup to make it 52-39.
The Irish rallied in the closing minutes and pulled within 54-51 on a two-handed slam by Humphrey with 36.5 seconds left. But Williams sank two free throws to seal it for Syracuse.
Both teams struggled early in the first half. Midway through, each was 4-for-17 with the Irish ahead 11-9 behind 3-pointers by Carroll, Thomas and Graves. Still, in a span of less than three minutes, the teams combined to miss seven straight 3s.
Duany, who had seven points to key a 9-2 Syracuse spurt, hit a 3-pointer to give the Orangemen a 22-15 lead with just over five minutes to go. And when Shumpert and Williams converted consecutive baskets for a 26-17 edge, the Irish were reeling a bit.
But Humphrey led Notre Dame back with three straight baskets – two in a four-second span after he missed a chance at a three-point play and got his own rebound.
Notre Dame struck twice again in the final minute. Humphrey scored in the lane and Thomas stole the in-bounds pass and hit an easy layup to make it 29-25 at halftime.