Notre Dame falls to 0-3 in Big East after Syracuse loss

Published 2:47 pm Thursday, January 12, 2006

By By JEFF FISHER / Niles Daily Star
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Junior guard Gerry McNamara scored 25 points, drained seven 3-pointers, and freshman guard Eric Devendorf added 22 points to lead the 24th ranked Syracuse to a 88-82 win over the Fighting Irish on Wednesday night.
The Irish (9-5, 0-3), did a good job of passing the ball to the open man in the first half. Fourteen of their made shots were assisted. One assist went to freshman guard Kyle McAlarney whose 3-pointer capped an 9-0 Irish run to put them up 26-20 early.
Syracuse would go on an 11-0 run when McNamara drained two shots from behind the arc to put it up 31-26.
Both teams nailed 16 3-pointers in the first half. The Irish shot 47 percent, while Syracuse was 50 percent.
Syracuse led through much of the first half while shooting 9-19 from 3-point land and led 46-41 at intermission.
Gerry McNamara led all scorers at halftime with 15 points all from five made 3-pointers.
Colin Falls of Notre Dame led the Irish with 12 points and was 4-6 from behind the arc.
Devendorf and McNamara proved to be much quicker than the Irish, and kept driving the lane.
Notre Dame would manage to cut the Syracuse lead to 60-57 on a three point play from senior forward Torin Francis midway thru the second half.
Syracuse responded with a 10-2 run by alternating with outside and inside shots.
The Irish would cut the lead to two points when Falls drained a 3-pointer with under six minutes to play in regulation 73-71.
But Syracuse answered on jump shot and four free throws followed by a dunk by Darryl Watkins to put the visitors up 81-73.
The Irish would not quit.
They narrowed the lead down to three points on a 3-pointer by Chris Quinn with 46 seconds remaining, but they would not score again.
The loss sends Notre Dame to its worst start in the Big East since the inuagural season in the conference.
Falls led the Irish with 18 points, Rob Kurz and Russell Carter had 15 points each, Francis with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Irish will hope to rebound this Saturday when they host Providence. Tip off is set for 6 p.m.