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McAlarney helps shoot Notre Dame over Maryland

Dec 4, 2006 - 2:17 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Kyle McAlarney and Notre Dame once again had Maryland's number in the BB&T Classic.

McAlarney scored 12 of his career-high 18 points in a decisive second-half run as the Fighting Irish claimed an 81-74 victory over the No. 19 Terrapins in the one-day, six-team event.

Improving to 10-8 all-time against Maryland, Notre Dame (6-1) beat the Atlantic Coast Conference school for the second straight time, including a 79-67 victory in the championship game of this event in December 2002.

"You have to give Notre Dame credit," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "They made some big shots. They took advantage of our defensive lapses and they converted. They came in and really played well and played with a lot of heart."

Trailing, 41-33, nearly five minutes into the second half, the Irish chipped into the deficit, closing within 47-45 on a 3-pointer by Rob Kurz with 11:18 remaining.

Although the Terrapins (8-1) quickly answered with a jumper by Eric Hayes, the Irish opened up a lead with a 12-0 spurt over the next three minutes. McAlarney sank two of his four 3-pointers and added a layup during the burst.

Colin Falls, who finished with 14 points, capped the run with a shot from the arc, making it 60-49 with 7:52 to play.

Overall, the Irish went on a 27-9 run over a span of nearly seven minutes, shooting 10-of-12 during the span and making their final 10 shots.

"They had a lot of layups in the second half," Williams said. "We couldn't stop them from driving the ball to the basket. I'm not sure they ran anything different, but we didn't play very good defense. Once they felt they could score on us, they got confidence and they did a good job."

"I don't know what happened," Hayes said. "We just didn't play the same kind of defense that we've played for the past eight games."

Kurz scored 16 points and Russell Carter 13 for Notre Dame, which shot 38 percent (9-of-24) on 3-pointers.

D.J. Strawberry scored 17 points and Ekene Ibekwe chipped in 13 for Maryland, which was off to its best start since the 1998-99 campaign.

"We were getting open shots, but we just weren't playing any defense," Strawberry said. "It was frustrating because we knew we had a chance to be 9-0 right now. We didn't do what got us here."

Freshman Greivis Vasquez scored 13 points and James Gist had 11 and eight rebounds for the Terrapins, who were outrebounded, 40-37, and shot just 64 percent (18-of-28) on free throws.

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