Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Providence came out energized against a slow Notre Dame team and won, 71-54, on Saturday morning, getting their first win over the Fighting Irish since 2004.
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Providence's defense locked down on Notre Dame's outside shot for the Friars first win over the Fighting Irish since Feb. 24, 2004. Notre Dame looked listless at times, perhaps tired from their recent bouts with overtime games. The Fighting Irish have played six overtime periods in their past two games, including the marathon 104-101 five overtime win against Louisville.
Friar's junior forward Kadeem Batts continued his scoring tear as he finished with 20 points, his third straight game with 20 or more points scored. Junior guard Bryce Cotton, the Big East's leading scorer, chipped in 19 points for a Providence team that never let up the pressure on Notre Dame.
Notre Dame big men Tom Knight and Jack Cooley tried to keep their team in the game but the guard play of the Fighting Irish never got going. All of Notre Dame's baskets in the first half came from inside the paint. Cooley finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds for his 18th double-double this year. Providence smothered guards Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins all game. Atkins finished with seven points on 3-8 shooting and Grant was 2-9 for six points. Notre Dame was just 1-14 from behind the arc.
Providence guard Vincent Council became the Friar's all-time career assist leader as he finished the game with 11 assists for a career total of 671.