Kyle McAlarney drives the lane against Columbia guard Kashif Sweet during the first half.  (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

Notre Dame Hangs on to Top Columbia 75-68

Dec. 23, 2005

Notre Dame Columbia Box Score

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Chris Quinn scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half, Kyle McAlarney added 14 and Notre Dame outscored Columbia 28-6 from the free-throw line en route to a 75-68 victory Friday night.

The Lions (6-3) outscored the Fighting Irish (7-2) 44-16 in the paint, but couldn’t overcome the 45 free-throw attempts by the Irish. The Lions had just 10 free-throw attempts.

Columbia, which outrebounded the Irish 39-37, fell to 0-16 against Big East teams since beating Seton Hall in 1985. The Irish won their fifth straight.

Colin Falls added 10 points for the Irish, who shot 38 percent, and Torin Francis had eight points and 10 rebounds. Justin Armstrong led the Lions with 17 points, Ben Nwachukwu added 15 points and seven rebounds and John Baumann added 11 points, all in the second half. Columbia shot 48 percent.

The Lions moved ahead 47-46 on a 16-foot jumper by Daniel Trepanier midway through the second half. The Irish then took control with a 12-2 run, with half the points coming from the free-throw line. Quinn scored six points during the run and McAlarney had five, including a three-point play.

The Irish extended the lead to 63-51 on a basket by Quinn. After Luke Zeller hit a 3, the Irish were 8 of 12 from the free-throw line.

Notre Dame trailed much of the first half, shooting just 31 percent and 10-of-17 from the free-throw line, but never by more than four points. They finished the half on a 6-2 spurt and left 34-33 at intermission.