Irish keep NCAA tournament hopes alive

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Chris Thomas, Chris Quinn and Tom
Timmermans each hit 3-pointers in a span of less than three minutes
late in the second half to break open a tight game and lead Notre
Dame to an 84-72 victory over Syracuse (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today) on Monday night.

It was the third big win in eight days for the Irish (13-9, 7-5
Big East) and their first win in the Carrier Dome in seven years.
Syracuse (16-6, 6-5) lost for the third time at home, where they
were unbeaten in 17 games last season.

Thomas finished with 25 points and has scored 23 or more points
in each of the last four games, the best streak of his career.
Quinn had 22 points, Timmermans had 12, and Torrian Jones had 12
points and 12 rebounds.

Hakim Warrick had 28 points and 16 rebounds to lead Syracuse and
Gerry McNamara had 20 points.

The Irish seem to be peaking at the right time, having posted
wins over Connecticut and Seton Hall before vanquishing Syracuse by
hitting 11-of-23 3-pointers. The decisive barrage that sank the
Orangemen came after they had taken a 53-52 lead on a layup by
McNamara with 11:09 left.

Jones hit a follow shot off a missed 3 by Thomas to give Notre
Dame the lead, and Thomas followed by hitting a 3 from well behind
the line after a miss in close by Syracuse's Josh Pace.

Timmermans then stunned the Orangemen with his first 3-pointer
of the season -- on only his fifth attempt -- and Quinn capped a 16-4
spurt with a 3 from the top of the key and a jumper in the lane to
put the Irish ahead 66-55 with 4:44 left.

The Irish hit 13 straight free throws in the final 2:35 to
thwart any comeback.

Notre Dame used its perimeter game -- and Syracuse's lack of one
-- to take a 38-29 halftime lead. After going 1-for-7 on 3-pointers
in the first nine minutes, the Irish hit five in a row -- three by
Thomas and one each by Quinn and Colin Falls. McNamara, who hit a
long jumper from the left wing and three foul shots in the first 65
seconds of play to give the Orangemen a 5-0 lead, did not score
again in the half. He missed eight straight shots, including five
3-pointers before the break and finished 7-for-23 from the field.

Warrick and McNamara led Syracuse back early in the second half.
McNamara hit a 3-pointer and Warrick hit three straight baskets to
key an 11-3 run.


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