Notre Dame guard Colin Falls (15) gets ready to throw a pass as DePaul guard Draelon Burns (3) defends during the first half of a college basketball game Saturday, March 4, 2006, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

Notre Dame Clinches Spot in Big East Tournament With 66-61 Win Over DePaul

March 4, 2006

Notre Dame DePaul Box Score

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Russell Carter scored 22 points to lead Notre Dame to a 66-61 win against DePaul on Saturday as the Irish clinched a spot in the Big East Tournament.

DePaul (12-15, 5-10 Big East) had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Draelon Burns’ 3-pointer with less than five seconds remaining rattled in and out.

Chris Quinn had 11 points and 10 assists for the Irish (15-12, 6-10). Torin Francis had 10 points.

DePaul’s Sammy Mejia scored a game-high 23 and teammate Wilson Chandler had 10.

The finish was set up when Colin Falls’ 3-pointer, his only field goal of the game, gave the Irish a 62-57 lead with 55.9 seconds remaining. Mejia hit two free throws to pull the Blue Demons within three.

A Marlon Brumfield shot got DePaul within one with 23.5 seconds left. Falls’ two free throws with 14.9 seconds left stretched the Irish lead to three and Carter hit two free throws after Burns’ miss to clinch the victory.

Mejia had 16 of DePaul’s points before the break, when Notre Dame led 35-27.

It was the first time in conference play that the Irish won a game by fewer than five points.