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Notre Dame forward Luke Zeller (40) passes around Tide forwards Jermareo Davidson (33) and Mykal Riley (1) during first-half action in a basketball game in South Bend, Ind., on Thursday. The Irish won 99-85.
AP photo by Joe Raymond
Notre Dame forward Luke Zeller (40) passes around Tide forwards Jermareo Davidson (33) and Mykal Riley (1) during first-half action in a basketball game in South Bend, Ind., on Thursday. The Irish won 99-85.

Tide can't rally in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Russell Carter scored a career-high 27 points, including a pair of key baskets that thwarted an Alabama threat and sparked a 14-0 run, in Notre Dame's 99-85 victory over the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide on Thursday night.

Alabama (7-1) used a 7-0 run to cut Notre Dame's lead to 85-82 as the Irish (7-1) appeared to be losing their composure with turnovers on three straight possessions. But Carter hit a 3-pointer and an 18-footer to extend the lead to 88-82 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.

Kyle McAlarney also had a career-high 20 points and Colin Falls also scored 20. The Irish were 12 of-28 from 3-point range. No team had shot better than 29 percent against Alabama from the 3-point range in its first seven games.

Alonzo Gee led Alabama with 24 points, Ronald Steele had 13 and Jermareo Davidson 12.

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 Tide opened a 66-62 lead after three straight baskets by Gee, who had chances to complete three-point plays on each. Gee made only one of the free throws, but Athens product Richard Hendrix rebounded the final try to give Alabama the four-point lead. Hendrix finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.

But the Irish responded with a 10-0 run. Harangody made the first two baskets, scoring on a reverse layup and a fast-break layup off a steal. McAlarney then made a 3-pointer and a 14-foot jumper to make it 72-66. The Irish opened an 82-73 lead when Carter scored on a slam dunk following a steal with 7:20 left. They extended the lead to 85-75 on a 15-foot jumper by McAlarney. Alabama cut it to 85-78 on three-point play by Hendrix. Zach Hillesland then fouled Gee when he tried to steal it. Gee made both free throws to cut the lead to 85-80.

After the game, Irish students flooded the court to celebrate.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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