Harvard 59

(0-1, 0-1 away)

(20) Notre Dame 66

(1-0, 1-0 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 19, 2004

    Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, South Bend, Indiana

    1 2 T
    HARV 27 3259
    #20ND 43 2366

    Top Performers

    Harvard: B. Cusworth 15 Pts, 13 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

    Notre Dame: C. Quinn 20 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Stl

    Irish prevail despite blowing 18-point lead

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame nearly let Harvard hang around too long.

    After taking an 18-point lead 18 seconds into the second half, the Fighting Irish (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today; No. 20 AP) made just five more shots from the field and held on to beat Harvard 66-59 on Friday.

    "Thank God we made some plays to win the game when we weren't doing much offensively," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.

    The Crimson, who won just four games last year, tied the score at 57 when Kevin Rogus hit a 3-pointer with 6:06 left. The teams made just one more shot from the field each, but the Irish were 7-for-10 from the free-throw line -- including Chris Quinn going 4-for-4.

    Quinn led the Irish with 20 points, and Chris Thomas added 17. Brian Cusworth led Harvard with 15 points and 13 rebounds; Matt Stehle had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Rogus added 10 points.

    Notre Dame appeared on the verge of a blowout when Torin Francis scored 18 seconds into the second half to put the Irish ahead by 18. But Stehle scored six points to spark a 12-0 run, and the Crimson pulled within six points.

    "I didn't want to call a timeout," Brey said. "I wanted to see if the guys could get out of it, and it was a mistake on my part. I should have shut it down like I would have in a Big East game."

    The Irish went up by nine, but several minutes later Cusworth had a three-point play. David Giovacchini drove inside for a basket to cut the lead to 55-52. Rogus then made a 15-foot jumper to cut the lead to 55-54. After Jordan Cornette made a pair of free throws for the Irish, Rogus made his 3-pointer to it.

    "I think we proved something," guard David Giovacchini said.

    The Irish shot 45 percent in the first half, but just 21 percent in the second. After outscoring Harvard 11-0 on fastbreak points in the first half, the Irish were outscored 6-0 in the second half.

    Harvard shot 46 percent -- including five airballs. The Crimson outrebounded Notre Dame 41-35, 25-16 in the second half.

    Thomas wasn't surprised by Harvard's ability.

    "Every team has good players. You give a team a chance to get back in the game and they're going to take it," he said.

    Harvard coach Frank Sullivan was pleased with his team's defensive play, but disappointed that the Crimson had 19 turnovers, 13 times in the first half.

    "We shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers," he said.

    Brey said the Irish need to play better offensively.

    "If we average 65 points a game, we're dead," he said. "We've got to score more."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 59 66
    FG Made-Attempted 22-48 (.458) 23-66 (.348)
    3P Made-Attempted 3-14 (.214) 5-20 (.250)
    FT Made-Attempted 12-19 (.632) 15-21 (.714)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 18

    2004-05 Season

    » Nov 19, 2004 @ND 66, HARV 59Recap