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Carter, Notre Dame shock fifth-ranked Alabama

Dec 8, 2006 - 4:42 AM SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- Notre Dame added another ranked opponent to their list.

Russell Carter scored 27 points and Kyle McAlarney and Colin Falls added 20 apiece as the Fighting Irish posted a 99-85 triumph over fifth-ranked Alabama.

It was the second consecutive impressive win by Notre Dame (7-1), which registered an 81-74 victory over No. 19 Maryland in the BB&T Classic on Sunday.

"We did a lot of growing up this week, certainly in (Washington) D.C. and here," Irish coach Mike Brey said. "I thought we did a little bit better job defensively."

Carter's breakaway windmill dunk gave the Irish an 82-73 advantage with 6:23 remaining. He made 9-of-16 shots, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range, and grabbed six rebounds.

"I really didn't do anything different. I just took it upon myself just to be more aggressive," Carter said. "There were times when there was an open shot, and I hesitated a little bit. I just said, 'If it's open, I'm going to take it.' Luckily for us, they were going down."

Alabama (7-1) stormed back to cut the deficit to 85-82 when Alonzo Gee made a pair of free throws at the three-minute mark to cap a 10-3 surge.

"We got up a little bit and you think it's going to be easy, and then here they come right back again with a couple turnovers," Brey said.

However, Notre Dame did not fold under the pressure as it rolled off 14 consecutive points to seal the upset victory.

Rob Kurz had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Irish, who shot 50 percent (32-of-64) from the field.

"It was a great experience and a great win," Kurz said. "I couldn't be more happy for my teammates after how much work we put in throughout the summer and the season so far. It gives us a lot of confidence."

Gee scored 24 points and Mykal Riley chipped in 18 for Alabama, which shot 43 percent (29-of-66) and has dropped three of four in the series.

"We feel like if we score 85 points on the road at Notre Dame, that should be enough points to win," Crimson Tide coach Mark Gottfried said. "We did not guard them nearly as well as we would have liked to and we turned the ball over too many times."

"I thought they played great defense," Gee said. "They just played hard and outhustled us."