December 8, 2006


Irish get upset win against Alabama


Associated Press/Joe Raymond
Notre Dame forward Luke Zeller (40) passes around Alabama forwards Jermareo Davidson (33) and Mykal Riley (1) during first-half college basketball action Thursday in South Bend, Ind.

AP Sports Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Most coaches might not like the 18-foot baseline jumper Russell Carter quickly took when he was defended with two minutes left. However, it’s a shot Notre Dame’s Mike Brey wants Carter to take.
“In the old coach’s manual that’s not a good shot. But he’s got to take it,” Brey said. “Because he was rolling and you’ve got to cut him loose and let him go. That’s the way the night was going.”
Carter’s shot followed his career-high sixth 3-pointer, starting a 14-0 run en route to the Irish’s 99-85 victory over No. 4 Alabama on Thursday night.
Just like a year ago, when Notre Dame upset a then-No. 22 Alabama 78-71, 3-pointers were key. Last year, Colin Falls hit six in the first half to get the Irish going. On Thursday, Notre Dame (7-1) was 12-of-28 from beyond the arc.
“I really didn’t do anything different,” Carter said. “I just took it upon myself to be more aggressive.”
No opponent had shot better than 29 percent on 3s in the first seven games against Alabama (7-1).
Kyle McAlarney also had a career high 20 points, making four 3-pointers, and Falls also scored 20 for_the Irish.
“Their three perimeter guys, three starters, I thought were sensational,” Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. “That was the difference for them,_I thought they were really,_really good.”
Gottfried said he was disappointed in the Tide’s defense.
“We feel like, you score 85 points on the road, at Notre Dame, that should be enough points to win,” he said. “We didn’t guard them as well as we’d like to and we turned the ball over too many times.”
The Irish showed signs of letting the game slip away, turning the ball over on three straight possessions. But Carter hit his two shots and Luke Harangody converted on a three-point play and it was the Crimson Tide players who lost their composure, turning the ball over on three straight possessions.
The 99 points were the most scored by Notre Dame against a ranked opponent since a 101-98 win over No. 10 Syracuse on Feb. 15, 1992.
“I think our offensive efficiency was going to have to win it for us,” Brey said. “It was hard to keep them off the backboard they’re so athletic. We did get some stops and some steals at times.”
Alonzo Gee led Alabama with 24 points, Ronald Steele had 13 and Jermareo Davidson 12.
“They just played hard and outhustled us,” Gee said.
It was Notre Dame’s second straight win over a ranked opponent. They beat No. 23 Maryland 81-74 on Sunday to end a seven-game losing streak to ranked teams. The last time Notre Dame beat a team in the top five was Feb. 8, 2005, when it edged No. 4 Boston College 68-65.
After the game, Irish students flooded the court to celebrate. It was the first back-to-back wins over ranked teams for Notre Dame since beating No. 13 Marquette, No. 9 Maryland and No. 2 Texas in six days during the 2002-03 season.
“I think, I hope, you watched two NCAA tournament teams tonight in an NCAA intensity type game,” Gottfried said.



Pioneers hand Dragons third straight setback

UTICA — SUNY Cortland men grabbed the lead only twice during Thursday’s basketball visit to_Utica College.
On both occasions the Clark Athletic Center hosts responded with scoring spurts that would eventually send the Red Dragons to a third consecutive loss, as Utica was a 72-58 non-conference victor.
Ray Bryant would do in the Red Dragons (3-4) almost by himself, as the 6-foot-5 senior and team scoring leader pumped in 32 points. He also grabbed nine rebounds, came up with four steals and provided five assists for his teammates as Utica improved to 5-1.
The first Cortland lead would come just four minutes into the game, going ahead 10-9 when senior guard Dave Maggiacomo knocked down a 3-point shot. Utica responded by scoring the next 11 points, eventually taking a 39-33 lead into halftime.
The Red Dragons emerged from the break to score the first seven points of the second half. And when sophomore forward Carson Niehoff swished a 3-pointer just 2:22 into the period, the visitors were up 40-39. And Cortland had a chance to add to that lead, as a steal by Dave Jutton led to a Maggiacomo look from 3-point range that failed_to fall.
After that missed chance, Utica responded once again. The Pioneer reeled off 13 unanswered points and the lead grew to double digits once again — and Cortland never sniffed at the lead again.
Niehoff was the leading Red Dragon scorer off the bench with 14 points, hitting 4-of-7 shots from the floor including a trey. He was also 5-for-7 from the free throw line.
Maggiacomo made a trio of 3-pointers while finishing with 13 points. Senior forward Headley added 11 points and six rebounds, four of those boards grabbed on the offensive end.
While Bryant did the most to spoil this Red Dragon road trip, Doug Herring added 11 points and six assists for Utica.
This coming Friday, Cortland hosts RIT in a 6 p.m. Corey Gymnasium tipoff — the last Red Dragon contest until after Christmas.




Purple Tigers suffer first defeat

DEWITT — Some early foul trouble and hot shooting by its opponent helped cost the Cortland High girls’ basketball team its first loss of the season Thursday night, 66-59 to host Jamesville-DeWitt.
“The teams are pretty evenly matched and it was back-and-forth all game,” said Purple Tigers coach Dick Penoyer, whose team fell to 2-1 in the OHSL Freedom Division and 4-1 overall. “We had two girls, Amanda Lawlor and Natalie Khazzaka, get in foul trouble with three each in the first quarter, and neither played in the second. But Emily VanGorder and Alena Turturro came off the bench and did a nice job, keeping us in range.”
In fact, Cortland trailed by just two, 33-31, at halftime, and J-D led by only 42-39 heading into the final eight minutes.
That’s when the Red Rams’ Amanda Koenck took over, hitting three of her four game-high four 3-pointers over the final eight minutes. “We knew she was a good shooter, but didn’t close her out,” Penoyer said. “They also went 11-for-12 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. “We had the opportunity to win, and the kids played well overall, but we need to execute better.
“We also needed to out-rebound them, which we didn’t do (no stats were available). When you score 59 points you should be able to win, but we didn’t get it done defensively. The game was a track meet in the first half, and both teams had to slow it down in the second.”
Deanna Bishop led Cortland with 20 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and as Penoyer noted, “had her best varsity game ever for us.” Shannon Finucane had 12 points, Lawlor 11 (with a 3-pointer) and Khazzaka 10. Brittany Cohen led J-D (3-0 league, 5-0 overall) with 16 points, complemented by Koenck and Caitlin Tessier with 13 each and Alicia Gratton with 10.
The Cortland Js squad fell to 0-3 in a 49-37 loss to J-D despite 14 points from Aubrey VanGorder.
Cortland’s teams visit Mexico Tuesday.