February 21, 1999
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Senior Paul Rainey hit two free throws with 20 seconds remaining to lift Notre Dame to a 71-69 win over West Virginia in Big East action Sunday afternoon.
With the win, Notre Dame (13-14,7-9) broke a three-game losing streak and still has hope for an NIT berth.
The loss established a new school record for losses by West Virginia (10-17, 4-13), which lost 16 games in 1977-78. It is also the most games ever lost by a Gale Catlett coached squad.
Five Mountaineers scored in double figures, led by Marcus Goree’s 14. Notre Dame was led by David Graves’ 18 and Troy Murphy added 17, including five crucial free throws late in the game. Notre Dame broke out to an early 11-2 edge on the strength of five early points by Murphy. West Virginia closed to within two, 16-14, on two free throws by sophomore guard Jarett Kearse. Notre Dame then ran off 14 straight points, capped off by a Martin Inglesby 3-pointer with just over six minutes to go in the half. The Irish then held off West Virginia for a 38-30 halftime edge. The Mountaineers turned up the defensive pressure to start the second half and two straight 3-pointers by Lionel Armstead gave them their first lead at 50-48 with 10:50 to go in the game. West Virginia outscored Notre Dame 19-4 in a streak that would establish a 57-48 lead with eight minutes to go. Notre Dame countered with a 9-2 run and scored the last six points of the game for the win.