The January 4, 2006 contest between the Irish and Panthers will be the BIG EAST opener for both teams.

Notre Dame Cruises Past Florida International, 81-47

Dec. 10, 2005

Notre Dame Florida International Box Score

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Torin Francis and Chris Quinn scored 16 points each as Notre Dame took control from the start and cruised to an 81-47 victory over Florida International on Saturday night.

Colin Falls added 13 points, including a rare basket inside, and Notre Dame (4-2) led 66-35 when Kyle McAlarney hit a 3-pointer with 8:40 left. The Golden Panthers (3-4) couldn’t cut into the lead much even after the Irish played most of the rest of the game with a lineup of four freshmen and a sophomore. Rob Kurz scored with 43 seconds left to give the Irish the final 34-point margin of victory.

Russell Carter added 11 points for the Irish. Falls, who hadn’t made a 2-point basket in Notre Dame’s first five games and had just 18 the past two seasons while making 130 3-pointers, had two 2-point baskets in the game. Nine players scored for the Irish, which shot 41 percent.

Ivan Almonte led Florida International with 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Ismael N’Diaye added 10 points for the Panthers, who shot 33 percent.

The Irish took control from the beginning with Francis scoring the team’s first seven points, Quinn hitting a pair of 15-foot jumpers and Francis scoring again inside to make it 13-5. The Panthers made just 3 of their first 13 shots and fell behind 23-8 on a 3-pointer by Carter.

Florida International had 12 turnovers in the half, leading to 17 points by Notre Dame.

Quinn made 10 straight free throws in the span of 2:20, four of them following technicals against Florida International, to give the Irish a 34-18 lead. Notre Dame, which led 38-20 at the half, used a 12-2 run early in the second half to extend the lead to 56-28 and the Panthers were never able to make a run.