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Tough Defense Leads Irish To Win

Nov 22, 2002

Notre Dame Bucknell Box Score

AP Sports Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Chris Thomas scored 20 points as Torin Francis had 11 points and 20 rebounds as Notre Dame shut down Bucknell, holding the Bison to 21 percent shooting as the Irish won 73-42 Friday night.

The 42 points were the fewest allowed by the Irish (3-0) in a 95-game span dating to a 65-42 win over Valparaiso on Dec. 3, 1999.

The Irish were in control from the outset, jumping to a 16-3 lead as Bucknell, playing its first game, missed its first six shots. Boakai Lalugba, Bucknell’s leading returning scorer, scored five points as the Bison responded with a 7-0 run to close to 16-10.

But after trading baskets for a moment, the Irish man-to-man defense stiffened and the Irish offense got going again, using a 12-3 spurt to move ahead 30-16 and led 40-21 at halftime. They continued to pull away throughout the second half.

The Irish have given up 135 points through their first three games – the fewest they’ve allowed to open a season since giving up 129 points to open the 1946-47 season.

Torian Jones and Matt Carroll added 13 points each, Dan Miller had 12 points and eight rebounds as the Irish shot 47.5 percent. The Irish also had a 47-37 rebounding advantage and forced 20 turnovers

Lalugba led the Bison with 12 points and seven rebounds and Dan Blankenship had 10 points.