SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame didn't give
Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne a chance.
The 21st-ranked Irish jumped to a 12-0 lead on Tuesday night,
holding the Mastodons scoreless on their first nine trips down the
court, en route to a 73-45 victory Tuesday night. "I don't know if we've ever had that happen before," Irish
coach Mike Brey said. The Irish (2-0) played tight defense, but the Mastodons (2-2) --
in just their third season in Division I -- were clearly intimidated
by Notre Dame. "When you play a team like this there are two ways to look at
it: as an opportunity or an obstacle," IPFW coach Doug Noll said.
"I think we tended to look at it as an obstacle tonight, not an
opportunity." The Irish made the most of their opportunities, continuing to
pull away from IPFW through most of the game. "We wanted to come out here and play hard. You never want to
take a game for granted," Dennis Latimore said. The Irish almost did that four nights earlier, squandering an
18-point before finally beating Harvard. But after IPFW used a
16-11 run to close to 30-18 at halftime, Notre Dame pulled away
after the break. Chris Quinn scored 15 points and Latimore had career highs of 12
points and 11 rebounds. Quinn finished 5-of-7 from the field,
including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. The Irish shot 50 percent from
the field. Latimore, playing his second game for Notre Dame after
transferring from Arizona in 2003, bettered his previous high
scoring night of 12 points against California and his previous high
of nine rebounds against Duke. Latimore said it was probably his best game since high school. "I feel like every game, every practice, I am getting better,"
he said. He also showed off his athletic ability by repeatedly outjumping
the smaller Mastodons, and with a highlight-reel backward slam on a
fast-break basket five minutes into the second half. Chris Thomas
sent Latimore on the fast break with a steal and an assist, and
finished with 10 points and 11 assists. Thomas said he focused Tuesday on spreading the ball around.
"I'm as good a shooter as anybody else on the team, but getting
them in the game will help us in the long run," he said. Beau Bauer led IPFW with 12 points, the only Mastodons player in
double figures. IPFW shot 35 percent and was outrebounded 39-26. "They're bigger, stronger and more physical, but you can still
match that in the toughness department, and we didn't do that,"