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Article updated: 12/29/2011 12:40 AM
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Stephens saves Notre Dame against Lake Park
 

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Stephens saves Notre Dame against Lake Park
Eric Bennett

With five seconds to go and the game knotted at 50-50, Notre Dame's Duante Stephens took matters into his own hands in capping a furious 16-point comeback.

Stephens stole Lake Park's inbound pass, dribbled up court and drained a 3-pointer as the horn sounded to give the Dons a 53-50 win Wednesday night in the Wheeling Hardwood Classic.

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Lake Park got a game-high 14 points from Dominique Spencer, but he didn't look the same after leaving the game briefly in the third quarter with an ankle sprain. That's when the Dons took advantage.

The Lancers looked to be clicking on all cylinders in a breakout second period when they went on a 16-0 tear to seize control. The Dons seemed to be reeling as their coach was called for a technical and forced to sit the rest of the game.

But turnovers -- including three in succession of one another in the fourth quarter -- cost the Lancers dearly as gritty defense by the Dons turned the game around.

Donte Stephenson played a vital role in mounting the Dons' late run, scoring 11 in the fourth quarter and 13 for the game. But the hero was Stephens.

"Our defense stepped up big in the second half," Stephens said. "They all came out there and stayed on their man. Once we started to get to the rim, getting in the lane, that's when we started to create shots."

Dons coach Tom Les said his team capitalized on what looked to be a complacent fourth quarter for Lake Park.

"This is a very athletic, well-disciplined team," Les said. "I think we caught them looking up and worrying about the scoreboard a little bit, trying to figure out how much time was left."

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