Last-second 3-pointer lifts Chippewas over No. 23 Fighting Irish
By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The smallest player on the court made the biggest shot of the night to give Central Michigan a 69-68 upset of No. 23 Notre Dame Saturday night at the Joyce Center.
Central Michigan guard Joe Carr, who stands 5-6, dribbled up the court and made a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to erase a two-point deficit and give the Chippewas their second win of the season.
Central Michigan (2-4) took its first lead on a free throw by Niles High School graduate Gerrit Brigitha just 1:07 into the contest.
The Chippewas led until Notre Dame's Chris Thomas made a jump shot with 2:05 left in the game.
The Irish (2-2) took a five-point lead, at 64-59, with 27 seconds left in the game, but Central's Kevin Nelson made a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left on the clock.
Chris Quinn missed the first of two free throws with 15 seconds to go, Thomas made a pair with eight seconds left and Jordan Cornette missed the first of two with four seconds left on the clock.
For Central, Tony Bowne made 2-of-3 free throws with nine seconds left and Carr made a pair with five seconds to go before hitting the game-winner.
Kevin Nelson paced the Chippewas with 17 points while Brandon Voorhees scored 13. Brigitha finished with nine points and eight rebounds. All of his points came in the first 10 minutes of the game.
The Irish, who were without the services of starting senior guard Torrian Jones and senior center Tom Timmermans, were led by Thomas with 24 points. Quinn scored 13, Colin Falls scored 11 and Torin Francis registered a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Central Michigan's last win over a Top 25 opponent was a win over No. 15 Creighton in the first round of last year's NCAA Tournament.
Notre Dame hosts Indiana Wednesday night at 9 p.m. while Central Michigan returns to action Saturday against No. 20 Purdue in the Boilermaker Blockbuster at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.
CMU: Brandon Voorhees 4 2-2 13, Tony Bowne 1 2-3 4, Gerrit Brigitha 4 1-1 9, T.J. Meerman 1 0-0 3, Kevin Nelson 6 2-2 17, Sefton Barrett 0 0-0 0, Robert Sevalia 3 0-0 6, Tom Pantlind 0 0-0 0, Steve Harris 0 0-0 0, Joe Carr 2 2-2 7, David Hoskins 2 2-4 6, Adam Dentlinger 2 0-0 4. Totals: 25 11-14 69
Notre Dame: Jordan Cornette 2 2-4 6, Torin Francis 1 8-10 10, Chris Thomas 8 7-9 24, Chris Quinn 3 5-6 13, Colin Falls 4 0-0 11, Rick Cornett 1 2-2 4, Russell Carter 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 24-31 68
Halftime score: CMU 37, Notre Dame 31
3-point shooting: CMU 8 (Voorhees 3, Nelson 3, Meerman, Carr), Notre Dame 6 (Falls 3, Quinn 2, Thomas). Team fouls (fouled out): CMU 26 (Meerman), Notre Dame 13 (none). Team records: CMU 2-4, Notre Dame 2-2