Hoosiers Triumph Over Notre Dame
December 10, 2003Box Score
South Bend, Ind.-- The Indiana Hoosiers knocked off the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 66-63, Wednesday night for the fourth consecutive time in front of the Notre Dame home crowd at the Joyce Center in South Bend. Junior Ryan Tapak's spirited effort helped the Hoosiers triumph, playing a career-high 23 minutes, and finishing the game with a career-high eight points, including a clutch three-pointer in the final seconds of the game. The Hoosiers move to .500 on the season with a 3-3 record on the year. The Fighting Irish fall to 2-3 on the year.
Indiana found itself in foul trouble early on after five different Hoosiers picked up two fouls in the first few minutes of the game, forcing Coach Davis to utilize 10 players in the first half. Sean Kline was stellar in the early minutes, scoring five points and grabbing a rebound in just eight minutes of action. Indiana put forth a balanced scoring effort, with seven Indiana player's getting themselves on the board. Leading by nine, 23-14, at the 9:36 mark, the Hoosiers let up a little and the Fighting Irish ignited on a 13-6 run down the stretch in the last five minutes of the half. Notre Dame battled back from its nine-point deficit, and with 44 seconds to go before the break, Notre Dame's Chris Thomas sank a three pointer to tie the game at 31.
In the second half of action, Thomas came out again and broke the deadlock tie 1:30 into the second half after he fired a three-point shot. This became Notre Dame's first lead since the 5-4 advantage they held over IU in the early minutes of the ball game. It wasn't long before sophomore Bracey Wright answered back with a shot from downtown as well, to tie the score again at 34-34. The Hoosiers were then taken out of their offensive rhythm as the as they were held without a field goal for more than three minutes, on three different occasions.
Things took a turn as the clock near 3:00 minutes, when Wright made a big defensive stop after he blocked Thomas's shot down the middle. A defensive rebound by Tapak, gave Indiana possession of the ball and the Hoosiers stepped up the intensity and refused to let Notre Dame get within reach.
Senior AJ Moye came through on one of the biggest plays of the game, connecting on a base-line reverse lay up to put the Hoosiers up, 63-56 with 2:11 left to play. Notre Dame crept up on the Hoosiers and brought the game to within two, 63-61, after a scramble for possession of the ball on the floor. Thomas ended up with it and in turn, kicked the ball out to an awaiting Colin Falls who sank a three pointer with 1:01 showing on. Indiana kept its composure in the closing minutes and Tapak would nail the clutch three-pointer to seal the Hoosiers win.
Wright finished the night with 19 points and four rebounds. Kline matched a career-high 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds before fouling out of the game with 1:56 left in the game.
The Fighting Irish was led by Torin Francis who posted his third double-double of the season with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Thomas led all scorers with 24 points.
The Cream and Crimson return to action on Saturday, Dec. 13 when they play host to the Butler Bulldogs. Tip-off time is slated for 2 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN Plus Local.
Check back soon