Irish fight off Miami Hurricanes

Published 3:57 am Thursday, January 29, 2004

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Despite what may have been one of the worst games of Chris Thomas' Notre Dame career, the Irish men's basketball team turned in a dominant performance and dismissed Miami, 72-62 Wednesday night in Big East Conference play.
The win left Notre Dame with an overall record of 10-6 and a Big East mark of 4-2. Miami dropped to 13-7 and 3-3.
One of the only bright spots for Thomas, a pre-season First Team All-Big East pick, was his early assists to sophomore forward Torin Francis, who scored Notre Dame's first six points.
Thomas finished with just seven points to go along with four assists, three turnovers, two rebounds and one steal.
To his credit, Thomas found himself battling full-court pressure most of the first half and being trapped by two defenders as soon as he crossed the half-court line.
Thomas' night reached a low point in the second half when he had a breakaway with one Miami defender to beat and teammate Torrian Jones trailing the play. Instead of taking the ball hard to the basket or drawing the defense and dishing to Jones, Thomas lobbed the ball off the backboard as an alley-oop pass to Jones, but the play never materialized.
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey responded by yanking Thomas off the floor and letting sophomore guard Chris Quinn run the show.
Quinn responded with a game-high eight assists to go along with 15 points, two steals and just one turnover.
Jones also picked up the slack with a solid effort of 12 points, five rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal.
The player that stole the show for Notre Dame, however, was junior forward Jordan Cornette. Starting for the first time in a long time, Cornette responded with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, as well as four blocks, three assists and one steal.
Rice was one of the only bright spots for the Hurricanes with a game-high 26 points, including four 3-pointers, and nine rebounds.
The Irish held Miami to just 37 percent (24-of-64) shooting from the floor and allowed only two Hurricane players reach double figures.
Notre Dame returns to action Saturday in New Jersey against Rutgers in another Big East game at noon.
Notre Dame….72
Notre Dame: Jordan Cornette 3 4-4 12, Torin Francis 8 1-2 17, Chris Thomas 2 3-5 7, Chris Quinn 5 3-4 15, Torrian Jones 5 2-4 12, Colin Falls 0 2-3 2, Tom Timmermans 3 1-2 7. Totals: 26 16-24 72
Miami: Rodrique Djahue 2 1-2 5, Darius Rice 9 4-5 26, Armondo Surratt 3 0-0 6, Guillermo Diaz 4 1-1 9, Robert Hite 5 0-0 11, Karron Clarke 0 0-0 0, Gary Hamilton 0 1-2 1, Eric Wilkins 0 0-2 0, William Frisby 1 2-2 4. Totals: 24 9-14 62
Halftime score: Notre Dame 33, Miami 32
3-point shooting: Notre Dame 4 (Cornette 2, Quinn 2), Miami 5 (Rice 4, Hite). Team fouls (fouled out): Notre Dame 11 (none), Miami 20 (none). Team records: Notre Dame 10-6 (4-2 Big East), Miami 13-7 (3-3)