February 6, 1999
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Freshman Troy Murphy had 22 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in his return home to New Jersey and Notre Dame handed undermanned Seton Hall its sixth straight loss, 76-60, on Saturday.
The Irish (12-11, 6-6) never trailed after the opening four minutes in winning their second straight and sweeping the season series.
Any chance Seton Hall (11-11, 5-8) had of coming back ended early in the second half when point guard Shaheen Holloway sustained a strained neck by running into a screen by Notre Dame center Phil Hickey at midcourt. The junior lay on the court for about three or four minutes, and he spent the rest of the game sitting at the end of the Pirates’ bench. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays after the game.
Antoni Wyche added 13 points, Harold Swanagan had 11 and Hickey 10 for the Irish, who shot 61.5 percent from the field (32 of 52). Murphy, who played at Delbarton in Morristown, hit 10 of 15 from the field.
Gary Saunders had 15 points for Seton Hall, which was limited to 31.3 percent shooting, including 2 of 21 from 3-point range. Rimas Kaukenas and Holloway each added 10.
The Pirates dressed only nine players for the game. Sophomore forward Ramon Cespedes was dismissed from the team to concentrate on his studies, coach Tommy Amaker announced before the game.
Notre Dame never trailed after David Graves hit a 3-pointer for a 9-7 lead. Murphy had 12 pounds and 10 rebounds as the Irish built a 38-27 halftime lead.
Holloway seemed to give the Pirates some energy in the opening minutes of the second half hitting two straight layups to cut deficit to 38-31. However, he ran into the pick while guarding his man going upcourt and was hurt. No foul was called on the play.
Holloway held the back of his head and appeared to curse as he lay on the court while attended by the team trainer and doctor.
A dunk by Murphy ignited a 14-3 spurt that gave the Irish a 61-45 lead midway through the second half.
By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer