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Cornett scores career-high 16

3/17/2004

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame coach Mike Brey met with
Chris Quinn before the game against Purdue on Wednesday night and
showed him a highlight film of how he played when he started games
aggressively.

"I told him, 'I need you to be aggressive right from the tap.
You need to go after it right away," Brey said.

Quinn got the message.

He scored the first 11 points for Notre Dame, making 5-of-7
shots while the rest of the Irish were 0-of-7. He finished with a
game-high 21 points as the Irish beat the Boilermakers 71-59 to
advance to the second round of the NIT.

"Luckily I was able to knock down some shots to keep our team
in it in the beginning," Quinn said. "I think they were really
concentrating on Chris Thomas. I think that was a lot of their game
plan. And since they were concentrating on him, I was able to get
some shots."

Purdue coach Gene Keady said his team's fifth straight loss
capped a frustrating season.

"When you start losing one- and two-point games it becomes a
mental thing," he said. "You lose confidence in yourself and you
can't let that happen. There are too many 'what ifs,' and those
things start to be a negative reaction."

Keady was asked whether it may have been his last game after 24
years at Purdue, but said he wasn't going to talk about that
Wednesday night.

The Boilermakers (17-14) trailed 39-30 at halftime but made 50
percent of their shots to start the second half to go on a 22-12
run, taking a 52-51 lead. Brett Buscher scored six of his 12 points
during the run and David Teague scored seven of his 10.

Notre Dame (18-12), which shot 50 percent in the first half,
missed its first 10 shots after halftime. But the Irish made four
of five shots down the stretch and ended the game with a 20-7 run.
Quinn started the spurt with a basket inside while center Tom
Timmermans and Thomas made key 3-pointers.

Brey said Timmermans' 3-pointer, which gave the Irish a 58-54
lead, was key.

"He wasn't in a great rhythm tonight. He fumbled a couple, he
got in foul trouble. To have the resiliency to flush all that and
knock down a big one. That was huge," Brey said.

With Timmermans in foul trouble, Rick Cornett played a
season-high 26 minutes and finished with a career-high 16 points.

"That's one of the reasons I don't want to quit playing.
Because he just keeps getting better," Brey said. "I don't want
to put the balls away because I want this young man to keep
blossoming."

The Fighting Irish, winners of eight of their last 11, will play
at Saint Louis in the next round. Purdue finished the season 4-8 on
the road.

The Irish went 7-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 98
seconds to hold on.

It was the first game between the schools, which are separated
by just 100 miles, in 38 years.

"I thought it was a super atmosphere," Keady said. "I think
it would be a great home-and-home series for Purdue and Notre
Dame."