Quinn Leads Irish in Exhibition Win

Junior guard Chris Quinn started warming up for the regular season Wednesday night by scoring 26 points and adding five assists to lead the Irish over the visiting Quincy Hawks, 80-61.

The Dublin, Ohio native was one of three Notre Dame players in double figures. Senior guard Chris Thomas added 16 and senior forward Dennis Latimore contributed 12 points for the Irish.

Thomas also added an NBA type 3-pointer as time expired in the first half and Latimore displayed the talent we've been hearing about by adding a highlight which consisted of a steal finished off by a big dunk.

Coach Mike Brey was able to use nine of his active scholarship players with eight of them getting in the scoring column. Junior Rick Cornett did not see action again but he is expected to go in the season opener next weekend.

Notre Dame used a 26-6 run midway through the first half to take control of the game and a commanding 49-30 lead into the locker room.

In the second half the Irish continued to build their lead and had a 24-point advantage with about 13 minutes to play. The visiting Hawks then went on a run and cut the lead to 12 with seven minutes remaining, but this was as close as they would get as the Irish quickly bumped up the lead and came away with a 19-point victory.

For the game Notre Dame shot 31-of-67 for 46.3 percent and 11-of-22 from 3-point range, good for 50 percent. Quinn was 5-of-8 from beyond the line and Thomas was 4-of-7. Sophomore Russell Carter also added a couple behind the arch.

The key to this Irish victory was the aggressive play at both ends of the court. In the win over St. Joseph, the Irish were out rebounded by a smaller team. Tonight the Irish won the battle of the boards, played good defense, and good offense.

Irish head coach Mike Brey was happy with this win on Wednesday.

"I think we took a step forward from last week, which is what we were looking for," said Brey. "I thought we were better defensively, and it was nice to see the defense give us a spurt. I thought Dennis (Latimore) really sparked us with some contesting and some hustle plays that gave us that spurt. I thought he was very comfortable tonight and I thought he really defended. He was active.

"I actually believe he was very nervous the first time putting the uniform on and not playing for awhile last week. But that is a pretty efficient stretch for him, 12 points, and he is very skilled in the post. He can do some things around the low post and he is a great passer."

"I thought we shot well but those guys are getting pretty good looks because you are aware of our big guys. Our guards were really good and Chris (Thomas) and Chris (Quinn) are going to set the tone for us. They are really the keys for us and I was glad to see them both get into a pretty good rhythm."

Junior guard Chris Quinn said these exhibition games are helpful to working out the kinks before the regular season.

"We learned a lot in the two exhibition games, especially some of the newer guys that haven't played a lot," Quinn said. "I think we learned we have a lot to work with, but we still have lots to work on as well. We will get back in here tomorrow and this week and we will get better as a basketball team because we have learned from these first two games."

The 2004-05 season marks the 100th season for the Notre Dame men's basketball program. The first regular season game is Friday, November 19, as the Irish host Harvard. This will be the beginning of three straight home games for Notre Dame. The Irish will play eight of its first 10 games at home.

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