Feb. 15, 2006
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Russell Carter scored 13 points, Chris Quinn added 12 and Rob Kurz had 10 points and 11 rebounds as Notre Dame opened a 14-point lead and held on for a 62-55 win over South Florida on Wednesday, handing the Bulls their school-record 13th straight loss.
The Irish (12-10, 3-8 Big East) won for the second time after losing five straight. The Bulls (6-18, 0-11) are still looking for their first conference victory.
Both the Irish and the Bulls have been hard-luck teams this year, repeatedly losing close games. The game Wednesday night, though, wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. The Irish led by 14 several times, the last time 50-36 with 8 minutes left when Rick Cornett scored inside.
The Bulls used a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 50-42 on a slam dunk by James Holmes on an inbounds pass. South Florida closed to 61-55 with 13 seconds left, but couldn’t get any closer.
Holmes led South Florida with 18 points, Solomon Jones had 13 points and 12 rebounds and McHugh Mattis had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Notre Dame’s bench outscored South Florida’s 16-5.
The Irish started the game cold, missing their first 11 shots, while the Bulls shot 5-of-8, to open a quick 11-6 lead. But after missing their first seven 3-pointers, the Irish started hitting from outside. Kurz and Carter hit back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite a 19-2 run.
The Irish forced six turnovers by the Bulls during the run, repeatedly leading to easy baskets. For the half, the Irish had 18 points off 11 turnovers by the Bulls while South Florida didn’t score any points off Notre Dame’s six turnovers.
The Bulls, who shot just 3-of-18 (16.6 percent) over the final 14 minutes of the first half, trailed 31-19 at intermission.