Notre Dame forward Torin Francis drives the lane as Syracuse center Darryl Watkins defends during the first half. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

Notre Dame Falls To Syracuse, 88-82

Jan. 11, 2006

Notre Dame Syracuse Box Score

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Gerry McNamara scored 25, making seven 3-pointers, and Eric Devendorf added 22 points to lead Syracuse to its 11th straight victory, an 88-82 win over Notre Dame on Wednesday night.

The Orange (14-2, 2-0 Big East) won at the Joyce Center for the fifth straight time and beat the Irish for the 13th time in their last 15 meetings. The Irish (9-5, 0-3) are off to their worst start in the Big East since their first season in the league in 1995-96, when they lost their first six.

McNamara and Devendorf continually were quicker than the Irish, and kept driving the lane. Notre Dame managed to cut the lead to 60-57 on a three-point play by Torin Francis midway through the second half. The Orange responded with a 10-2 run, with the Orange alternating with inside and outside shots.

The Irish managed to close to two points when Colin Falls hit a 3-pointer with 6 minutes left and Rob Kurz made a free throw to make it 73-71. But Demetris Nichols answered with a 14-foot jumper and Syracuse made four free throws. Darryl Watkins made it 81-73 when he grabbed a rebound and slammed it in.

Notre Dame closed to three one last time on a 3-pointer by Chris Quinn with 46 seconds left, but the Irish didn’t score again.

Nichols added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Orange and Watkins had 10 points and 14 rebounds. The Orange were 12-of-31 from 3-point range. The 12 3-pointers were two off their season-high and the 31 attempts were a season high.

Falls led the Irish with 18 points, Rob Kurz and Russell Carter had 15 points each, Torin Francis 13 and Quinn 12.

Syracuse led through much of the first half, shooting 9-of-19 from 3-point range, and led 46-41 at intermission.