Bigger ND pushes Central series mark to 3-0

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

There may be nothing more consistent in basketball than size.

Notre Dame took advantage of that again Tuesday at Tiger Fieldhouse when it defeated Cape Central for the third time this season, 58-46.

Using quick cuts for close-range baskets and utilizing size for cleaning up misses, Notre Dame improved to 14-6.

"This was the closest we've had to a complete game as we've had all year," said Notre Dame coach Darrin Scott.

With 6-foot-6 center Doug Schaefer leading the way, Notre Dame established a game-long trend of grabbing errant shots against smaller Cape Central (4-15), which could counter only with a 6-2 combo of Dorian McElmurry and Jake Knepp.

"They had a such a rebounding advantage, and that's been the story with us the second part of the season " said Cape Central coach Derek McCord. "We're undersized night in and night out, but our kids really competed hard."

Except for the first four minutes, Notre Dame led all the way.

Knepp put the Tigers ahead 4-3 with a baseline jumper, but Tyler Cuba put the Bulldogs ahead for good when he scored on an offensive rebound at the 4:40 mark. Schaefer scored on an offensive putback the next trip down the floor, part of a 6-0 spurt that led to a 9-4 lead. Notre Dame, which shot 55 percent from the floor to Central's 40 percent, led 16-9 after the first quarter.

Central fell behind by as many as 12 points in the second quarter, but the Tigers scored the final five points of the period, including a Matt Cardin 22-footer at the buzzer that brought the Tigers to within 30-23 at halftime.

Central couldn't capitalize on the momentum and Notre Dame iced the game in the third quarter with a 13-5 advantage. The Tigers hit one field goal in the period while Notre Dame continued to control the game inside.

Scott Wittenborn led Notre Dame with 14 points, while 6-4 forward Cory Beussink and Cuba added 13 and 11 .

Central's Ryan Delph scored 13 points while Jay Ruark finished with 10.

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