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Notre Dame stays alive with win over Rutgers

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

By JIM O'CONNELL

AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK -- Tory Jackson scored all 12 of his points in the second half to lead Notre Dame to a 61-50 victory over Rutgers on Tuesday night in the opening round of the Big East tournament.

Kyle McAlarney added 11 points for the 10th-seeded Fighting Irish (18-13), who will play seventh-seeded West Virginia in the second round on Wednesday.

Hamady Ndiaye had 14 points for the 15th-seeded Scarlet Knights (11-21), who lost 18 of their last 20 games.

Notre Dame managed a 28-19 lead after a sluggish first half that saw the Irish shoot 33 percent (9-for-27), while Rutgers hit just 25 percent (8-for-32).

Jackson accounted for the last six points of a 12-0 run that gave Notre Dame a 45-32 lead with 11:32 to play. The Scarlet Knights went 5:01 without scoring, missing seven shots and committing two turnovers during the drought.

Rutgers went on an 8-0 run to get within 45-40 on a drive by Corey Chandler with 8:11 left. But Jackson then hit his only 3-pointer of the game.

The Scarlet Knights managed to get within 55-50 on another drive by Chandler with 1:11 left, but free throws by Tyrone Nash and Ryan Ayers sandwiched a breakaway layup by Chandler for the final margin.

Luke Harangody had seven points and 11 rebounds for the Irish, who were outrebounded 46-38.

Notre Dame, which entered the game leading the Big East in 3-point shooting at 40.1 percent, finished 8-for-18 from behind the arc with McAlarney going 3-for-6.

The win was the fifth straight over Rutgers for the Irish, who were ranked as high as No. 7 this season until losing six straight games.

Rutgers finished 21-for-63 from the field (33 percent), while Notre Dame was 20-for-57 (35.1 percent).



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