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Notre Dame battles past Army

South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Colin Falls scored 24 points, mostly on shots from beyond the arc, as 20th-ranked Notre Dame throttled Army, 88-47, to win its ninth straight game.

Falls went 9-of-11 from the field, including 6-of-8 from three-point range for the Fighting Irish (10-1), who have established their longest winning streak since the 1986-87 season when that squad won 11 straight. It was a big night for Falls, who had missed the previous two games with an inflamed left foot.

"Colin was in a pretty good rhythm for us," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "For a guy who has played so much basketball to then have to sit out twice, he was chomping at the bit. It was good to have him out there and he is a key guy for our team. Beyond shooting the ball well and scoring, just his presence on he court is so important for us."

Russell Carter contributed 12 points and Luke Harangody tallied 10 points and 12 boards for the Irish, who dominated on the glass by a 45-22 count. Notre Dame also went 15-of-28 from three-point range.

Matt Bell had 15 points to pace the Black Knights (9-3), who had a six-game winning streak broken.

"We got beat in every which way," Army coach Jim Crews said. "Notre Dame played harder than us and they competed harder than us and they played smarter than us. They do a great job in making the extra pass and knowing where their shooters are."

Falls was instrumental in helping the Irish blow open a close game early on. Eight straight points by the senior guard, including a pair of shots from beyond the arc, moved Notre Dame to a 15-6 advantage with 13:24 left in the half.

Ten consecutive points later in the half extended the Irish lead to 38-15, and again Falls was the big contributor with three-pointers at the start and end of the spurt.

Notre Dame led 46-20 at the half and continued the blowout in the final 20 minutes.

Carter's three extended the lead to 56-26 and a bucket by Ryan Ayers moved the margin to 40 points at 72-32 with 10:32 left.

Game Notes

This was the fourth of seven straight home games for the Irish...The only setback for the Irish this season is a two-point decision to eventual NIT champion Butler (71-69) in the first round of the Midwest Region of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis...Notre Dame is 8-0 at home this season and owns a 10-game home winning streak dating back to last season...The Irish have won all eight meetings against the Black Knights...The victory Thursday also marked the earliest in terms of date that an Irish team reached the 10-win plateau in the 102-year history of the program. The 2002-03 squad which began the campaign 12-1 and finished with a 24-10 record earned its 10th win of the season on December 21, 2002.

12/22 01:04:48 ET


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