Rob Kurz (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.)

Notre Dame Tops St. Ambrose, 109-53, In Exhibition Opener

Nov. 3, 2007

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Forwards Rob Kurz (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) and Zach Hillesland (Toledo, Ohio) both notched double-doubles to lead Notre Dame past St. Ambrose, 109-53, in exhibition men’s basketball action at the Joyce Center on Friday night. Kurz posted a game-high 23 points to go along with 11 rebounds, while Hillesland chipped in 12 points and a game-best 14 boards. The game was the first of two exhibition contests for the Irish this season.

Notre Dame opened up a 20-point lead (25-5) with 11:12 left in the first half as sophomore Jonathan Peoples (Bellwood, Ill.) put in two of his 11 points on the night. The margin would grow to 34 (46-12) after Kyle McAlarney (Staten Island, N.Y.) knocked down one of his game-high three three-pointers with 3:38 remaining in the opening stanza. McAlarney, a junior guard, finished with 11 points. Notre Dame matched its largest lead of the half with a 51-17 advantage at the intermission.

Six Fighting Irish players reached double-figures in scoring on the night. Sophomore guard Tory Jackson (Saginaw, Mich.) notched 12, while junior forward/center Luke Zeller (Washington, Ind.) had 11. Jackson and McAlarney each dished out a game-high five assists.

A steal and lay-up by Jackson with 6:54 remaining in the contest gave the Irish a 52-point margin at 92-40. Jackson and Kurz both had four steals, while Kurz, a senior captain, had three blocked shots. Notre Dame forced 24 turnovers, while holding the Fighting Bees to 29-percent shooting from the floor. Dean Ramoino paced St. Ambrose with 11 points. Three Fighting Bees shared team-high honors with eight rebounds.

The final margin of 109-53 would match the largest lead of the night for Notre Dame. The Irish shot 51-percent from the field and went 8-for-28 from three-point range. Notre Dame held a 54-47 advantage on the boards.

The Fighting Irish will conclude their exhibition slate with a game against St. Edward’s (Texas) on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (EST) at the Joyce Center.