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No. 21 Notre Dame can remain unbeaten at home vs. Villanova

Jan 27, 2007 - 2:14 PM Villanova (14-5) at No. 21 Notre Dame (16-4) 4:00 pm EST

SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- After some recent struggles on the road, Notre Dame can not wait to return home to the friendly confines of the Joyce Center.

The 21st-ranked Fighting Irish attempt to preserve their undefeated home record and avenge an earlier loss to Villanova when the teams meet Saturday in a Big East Conference battle.

Notre Dame is 14-0 at home and has dropped all three road contests. Tied with Louisville for sixth place in conference play with a 4-3 record, the Fighting Irish trail first-place Pittsburgh by two games.

Russell Carter has led Notre Dame in scoring in 10 of the last 13 contests and 15 times overall this season. The 6-4 senior guard has assumed more of the offensive load after sophomore Kyle McAlarney was suspended in late December following his arrest for marijuana possession.

The Fighting Irish are coming off Tuesday's 71-68 loss to St. John's. Carter made 10-of-20 shots to score a career-high 32 points for Notre Dame, which shot just 26 percent (9-of-35) from the floor in the second half.

Villanova has split its first six conference games and is looking for its fourth consecutive victory to complete a regular-season sweep of Notre Dame.

The Wildcats stopped Providence's 12-game home winning streak with Tuesday's 82-73 victory. Freshman Scottie Reynolds scored 20 points and Mike Nardi added 19 for Villanova.

In their earlier encounter on January 17, the Wildcats hit 10 3-pointers en route to 102-87 triumph over the Irish. Reynolds scored 27 points and Curtis Sumpter had 21, while the Fighting Irish set a season high for points allowed.