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Notre Dame routs Rider for 10th straight win

Dec 29, 2006 - 8:20 AM SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- Notre Dame got off to a fast start on a milestone night for coach Mike Brey.

Rob Kurz scored 23 points and Kyle McAlarney added 21 to lead the 24th-ranked Fighting Irish to their 10th consecutive victory, a 101-51 triumph over Rider.

Off to its longest winning streak since 1986-1987, Notre Dame (11-1) set season highs in points and victory margin in Brey's 200th game with the Fighting Irish. He is 129-71 since taking over for Matt Doherty in 2000.

"I was very proud of how prepared we were tonight," Brey said. "The team was really locked in and was not distracted by things. Our defense was very good against a team that is very good offensively and can shoot the basketball. Anytime you can get 23 assists, that shows you are unselfish."

After shooting 52 percent (34-of-66), including 13-of-31 from the arc, Notre Dame continued its best start since winning 12 of its first 13 contests in 2003-2003.

The Fighting Irish broke open the contest with a 23-5 run to supplied a 40-16 bulge with 6:22 to go in the first half. McAlarney made three 3-pointers, Kurz hit a layup, a jumper and two free throws, and Luke Harangody added six points during the burst.

"With such an unselfish group, when someone gets in a rhythm and gets going, we know where to find them and we know who the ball is going to," McAlarney said.

"I am so proud of (McAlarney)," Brey said. "Starting with the Maryland game, the way he has quarterbacked our team and the way he understands how to hunt for his shot. He (has) done a great job of controlling the tempo."

McAlarney made 6-of-8 shots and scored 18 points in the first half, while Kurz added 17 on 5-of-6 from the floor to help give Notre Dame a 56-24 halftime edge.

"Coach always wants us to get the inside game going early on," Kurz said. "Play inside out and get a rhythm going early in the game. I think we got some good inside baskets and that really helped to open up some driving lanes and jump shots for everybody."

"He has been solid as a rock," Brey said. "He is machine-like. One thing that does not show up in the stat sheet is his great team defense. It's a big weapon when we have the big guys who can make the long-distance shots out there."

Harangody finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds and Russell Carter added 15 points for Notre Dame, which forced 16 turnovers and had a 44-34 rebounding advantage.

After hitting six 3-pointers and scoring 24 points in last Thursday's victory over Army, Colin Falls managed just four on 1-of-8 shooting.

Ryan Thompson and Terrance Mouton added 10 points apiece for Rider (7-5), which shot just 28 percent (8-of-29) in the first half and has dropped three of four.

"We knew coming in here that they were obviously playing well and we needed to really shoot the ball well to be able to hang in the game," Rider coach Tommy Dempsey said. "We couldn't get the ball to go in the basket. Numerous times, we had shots that went in and out and we had some open looks that didn't go in."

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    RIDER 24 27 51
    NOTRE DAME (24) 56 45 101 FINAL

    Dec 28 9:52 PM

    RIDER 24

    Dec 28 8:53 PM