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Miami holds on to defeat Notre Dame, 55-52

Feb. 28, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame watched the road game woes continue on Saturday night.

The Irish could not get the shots to fall in the 55-52 loss. The loss puts Notre Dame’s record at 7-7 in the conference and 16-12 in the Big East. The team ranks seventh in the conference.

“We didn’t execute well down the stretch,” Irish coach Matt Doherty said. “It’s disappointing since we talk about that a lot and work hard to improve. It was a lack of concentration on our part but credit their defense.”

With 19.3 seconds to play, the Irish found themselves with a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer. Doherty opted to let his team play without taking a timeout to setup a play. He called for sophomore Troy Murphy to take the final shot. Murphy took a shot from the top of the key but it failed. The ball got kicked out for another chance from sophomore Matt Carroll but his shot did not connect as time expired.

Notre Dame opened the second half by compiling a 12-point lead, which the team quickly squandered. Miami pushed right back with a 14-3 run despite not having their leading scorer, Johnny Hemsley.

Hemsley sat out the entire contest for reason Miami head coach Leonard Hamilton would not disclose.

Sophomore David Graves led the Irish in the loss. He had 16 points and five rebounds for the night. Murphy finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Notre Dame shot 36 percent for the evening but turned the ball over 22 times.

With the two losses, Notre Dame’s RPI ranking slipped to 60. It is down 17 spots from 43 in the previous week.

“Our kids hurt and that’s good because it shows we care,” Doherty said. “We’re going to get better and come out fighting on Wednesday.”

The Irish face the Orangemen on Wednesday night. Syracuse is currently ranked ninth in the country. The game will be telecast live from the Joyce Center on ESPN.