March. 2, 1998
ND Readies to Take on Providence
Irish, Friars Meet in BIG EAST Tourney
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (13-13) vs.
Date: Wednesday, March 4, 1998
Place: Madison Square Garden (19,876), New York, NY
Time: 11:00 a.m. EST
Television: National telecast by ESPN2 (Dan Shulman, Bill Raftery)
Live Radio: Host Communications Inc. (Jack Lorri, Jack Nolan) originates the Notre Dame Radio Network (includes WNDU-1490 AM and 92.9 FM in South Bend, WEFM-95.9 FM in Michigan City and WGON-860 in Marion)
TODAY'S GAME: The University of Notre Dame basketball team meets Providence College for the second time in five days this morning as it takes on the Friars in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship. Notre Dame enters the contest with an overall record of 13-13 and is the No. 9 seed in the event after a 7-11 record in BIG EAST play during the regular season. Providence is 12-15 on the year, was also 7-11 in BIG EAST play and the Friars are the No. 8 seed.
The Friars defeated Notre Dame on Saturday by a 77-62 count at the Providence Civic Center. Jamel Thomas had a game-high 31 points for PC and Justin Farley and John Linehan each added 10. Senior forward Pat Garrity (Monument, Colo.) was the leading scorer for the Irish with 26 points and 10 rebounds while junior center Phil Hickey (Wellsboro, Penn.) had 12 points and eight boards.
Providence led by as many as 13 points in the first half, but the Irish cut the lead to four at halftime (37-33) as Garrity hit a pair of three-point field goals in the final 46 seconds of the half.
The Friars took control of the game early in the second half with a pair of three-pointers in the first 1:11. The closest the Irish could get was seven points, 64-57, with 3:36 left.
THE NOTRE DAME-PROVIDENCE SERIES: Today's game is the tenth meeting between Notre Dame and Providence and the Friars lead the series by a 6-3 count. Since Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST in 1995-96, Providence leads the series by a 3-1 count. John MacLeod is 1-5 vs. Providence as a collegiate head coach.
The teams split a pair of meetings last season as the Friars won an 82-59 game at Providence on Dec. 7, 1996, and the Irish won in overtime at the Joyce Center by an 86-74 count on Feb. 22, 1997.
NOTRE DAME STARTING LINE: No. Player Pos Ht. Wt. Class PPG RPG Other Notes: 53 Pat Garrity PF 6-9 231 Sr. 23.4 8.3 48.3 FG% in BE Nine double-doubles this season 3 Derek Manner F 6-6 206 Sr. 6.3 5.6 43.8 FG% Team is 5-1 when he scores in double figures 55 Phil Hickey C 6-10 252 Jr. 10.8 8.0 50.4 FG% Double figure scoring in 6 of past 8 games 4 Antoni Wyche 2G 6-4 193 Jr. 9.4 3.1 50-60 FT Averaging 11.1 ppg in last eight games 24 Martin Ingelsby PG 5-11 169 Fr. 6.5 2.5 5.7 apg 15 pts. vs. G'town was BIG EAST career high NOTRE DAME OFF THE BENCH: No. Player Pos Ht. Wt. Class PPG RPG Other Notes: 14 Keith Friel 2G 6-3 188 So. 9.2 1.8 45-93 3FG Nine points vs. PC in return from injury 15 Paul Rainey G 6-1 184 Sr. 0.8 0.3 6-10 FG Career-high 6 pts. vs. UConn 20 Leviticus Williamson F 6-6 200 Fr. 2.1 1.9 8.9 mpg Career-high 7 rebs. vs. Miami in 1st game 21 Jimmy Dillon G 6-1 171 So. 1.7 1.0 43 ast. 23 points in last five games 33 Hans Rasmussen F 6-9 218 Fr. 1.8 2.2 9.7 mpg Has started four games this season 34 Skylard Owens F 6-3 201 So. 0.6 1.2 5.0 mpg 19 minutes vs. Miami was career high 44 Todd Palmer F 6-7 223 So. 1.7 0.7 5.0 mpg Career-high seven points vs. G'town
IRISH IN THE GARDEN: Today's game marks Notre Dame's second appearance in Madison Square Garden this season as the Irish posted a 73-65 win over St. John's on Jan. 31. Notre Dame has a long tradition of playing in Madison Square Garden as the Irish were part of the first doubleheader in MSG history when they faced New York University on Dec. 29, 1934. Notre Dame has an overall mark of 45-22 in MSG and an 18-8 record since 1974.
INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore guard Keith Friel (Durham, N.H.) suffered a thigh contusion with 1:03 left in the win over St. John's on Jan. 31. Friel missed seven games for the Irish and returned to the lineup on Saturday vs. Providence. Freshman Leviticus Williamson (Spring, Texas) has missed two games in the past seven contests with back spasms.
ROAD WINS: With the victory at St. John's on Saturday, Jan. 31, the Irish claimed their third BIG EAST Conference road victory of the season, surpassing the total number of wins Notre Dame had on the road its first two seasons in the league. In 1995-96, Notre Dame defeated St. John's 86-83 at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 31, 1996, for its first BIG EAST road victory. Last season, the Irish won at Syracuse, 73-58, on Jan. 18, 1997.
This season, Notre Dame won three league road tests. The Irish won the league opener at Pittsburgh 73-69 on Dec. 6, prior to beating West Virginia by a 74-72 count in Morgantown on Jan. 15. Notre Dame became the first visiting school this season to win at the WVU Coliseum and snapped a West Virginia five-game BIG EAST home court winning streak.
KNOCKING OFF THE TOP 25: Notre Dame's win over Syracuse on Jan. 21 gave the Irish their second win over a top 25 team in seven days. Syracuse was ranked No. 15 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today poll at the time of the game while Notre Dame beat West Virginia on Jan. 15 by a 74-72 tally. West Virginia was ranked No. 20 in the AP poll and No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today poll at the time of that game. Before the win over the Mountaineers, the last time Notre Dame had defeated a nationally-ranked opponent was February 17, 1994, when the Irish defeated No. 22 Marquette 68-58. The WVU win snapped a 20-game losing streak to ranked teams.
ALL BUT 'NOVA: With Notre Dame's victory over Georgetown on Feb. 25, the Irish have now posted at least one victory over each BIG EAST team since they joined the league in 1995-96 with the exception of Villanova. Notre Dame has lost four league games to the Wildcats, including an 81-61 setback this season.
IRISH SHOOTING A KEY IN BIG EAST: Notre Dame's field goal and three-point field goal shooting percentages have been drastically different in its BIG EAST wins and losses.
In BIG EAST wins, Notre Dame shot 50.8 percent from the field (189 for 372) and 42.2 percent from three-point range (46 for 109). In BIG EAST losses, the Irish shot at 40.2 percent from the field (245 for 610) and 31.1 percent (57 for 183) from three-point range.
91 POINTS A BIG EAST HIGH: Notre Dame's 91 points in its win against Rutgers on Jan. 11 was the most number of points the Irish have scored in a BIG EAST game in its two-plus years of membership in the league. The previous high was 90 vs. West Virginia in the Joyce Center last season.
IRISH EXCEL IN CLASSROOM: Once again, the Notre Dame basketball team had another successful semester academically as a total of five players made the Dean's List for the fall '97 semester. Making the Dean's List were: Academic All-American Pat Garrity, Phil Hickey, Derek Manner, Paul Rainey and Nick Wills.
GARRITY PASSES RIVERS TO MOVE TO NO. 3: Garrity enters the BIG EAST Tournament with 2,067 career points, which places him third in Notre Dame career scoring history. Against Providence on Saturday, Garrity scored 26 points and passed David Rivers, who was No. 3 with 2,058 points from 1984-88. The career leader is Austin Carr with 2,560 points from 1968-71. Garrity has scored in double figures in 99 of his 110 career games. Garrity has scored 20 or more points in 48 career games and has scored in double figures in 45 straight contests and 84 of the past 87 games.
GARRITY A NAISMITH FINALIST: Garrity was named as one of 10 finalists for the Naismith College Player of the Year Award, given by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The finalists were announced on February 24 and the winner will be announced on April 4 in Atlanta. Other finalists for the award include Antawn Jamison of North Carolina, Raef LaFrentz of Kansas, Mike Bibby of Arizona, Vince Carter of North Carolina, Matt Harpring of Georgia Tech, Trajan Langdon of Duke, Paul Pierce of Kansas, Miles Simon of Arizona and Kenny Thomas of New Mexico.
GARRITY AND BIG EAST POINTS: Garrity scored a game-high 31 points vs. Connecticut on Feb. 17 and became the 19th player in BIG EAST Conference history to score 1,000 points in league regular season play. Garrity finished his career with 1,107 career BIG EAST points. Felipe Lopez and Zendon Hamilton of St. John's both became members of that group earlier this season.
Garrity finished as the 15th leading scorer in league history while Andre McCloud of Seton Hall (1982-86) is No. 14 with 1,113. Lawrence Moten of Syracuse is the leader with 1,405 points from 1991-95.
Garrity is the leading scorer in BIG EAST history for players that have played three years or less.
Garrity's 20.5 points per game BIG EAST scoring average is tied as the fifth-best in league history -- fourth-best among players that have played three or more seasons.
GARRITY AND CAREER STATISTICS: Garrity currently stands 10th on the Notre Dame career list for rebounds with 768 while Adrian Dantley is No. 9 with 843 from 1973-76. Garrity's 99 three-point field goals made is second in school history behind Ryan Hoover's 248 from 1992-96. His 278 trey attempts is second to Hoover's 680.
CAREER HIGH FOR GARRITY: Garrity scored a career-high 37 points vs. Seton Hall on Jan. 17 as he shot 12 for 22 from the field and was 12 of 14 from the free throw line. Garrity also pulled down 13 rebounds in the contest.
Garrity had his ninth double-double of the season against Providence on Saturday with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Garrity now has 21 career double-doubles and all eight of his double-doubles this season came in BIG EAST contests.
GARRITY, FRIEL HONORED BY BIG EAST: For his efforts against West Virginia and Seton Hall, Garrity was selected as the BIG EAST player of the week on Jan. 19 and shared the award with Duane Woodward of Boston College. The award marks the second time in Garrity's career that he has won it.
Sophomore guard Keith Friel (Durham, N.H.) was named the BIG EAST player of the week on Jan. 26 for his performance against Syracuse and shared the award with Boubacar Aw of Georgetown.
IRISH ON TELEVISION: Notre Dame once again made a number of appearances on national and local television during the regular season. Notre Dame appeared on NBC twice (Jan. 31 at St. John's and Feb. 28 at Providence), ESPN twice (Jan. 21 vs. Syracuse and Feb. 25 vs. Georgetown) and on ESPN2 twice (Dec. 3 at Indiana and Feb. 17 vs. Connecticut).
Notre Dame made six appearances on FOX Sports Chicago as part of the ESPN-Plus package: Dec. 6, at Pittsburgh; Dec. 14, vs. Drexel; Jan. 3, at Connecticut; Jan. 11, vs. Rutgers; Jan. 28, vs. Villanova; Feb. 14, at Miami. Two games, in addition to the NBC games, appeared on WNDU-TV in South Bend (Jan. 17 at Seton Hall and Feb. 7 at Georgetown) and two others on WBND-TV in South Bend (Jan. 15 at West Virginia and Feb. 5 at Rutgers).
IRISH ON THE RADIO: Host Communications, Inc., originates the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network for the 10th year in 1997-98.
Jack Lorri will handle the play by play of all Notre Dame games and this season will mark his 29th year announcing Irish games. Lorri spent his first 14 years with Notre Dame as sports director of WTRC-AM in Elkhart, Ind., and then five doing games on WGN-AM in Chicago before teaming up with Host Communications. He served as sports director for WSJV-TV in Elkhart for 13 years beginning in 1967 and did play by play for Kentucky football and basketball on WLAP in Lexington in 1961-63. Lorri also served as sports director of the Tribune Radio Network in Chicago.
Jack Nolan handles the color commentary on the network. He has been a sports anchor at WNDU-TV, the NBC affiliate in South Bend, for over a decade. He has done play by play of Irish basketball on both television and radio as well as combining on various live telecasts of Notre Dame football. He is also the host of WNDU's highly-successful Saturday and Sunday morning news broadcasts.
Stations scheduled to be on the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network this season in the South Bend area are: WNDU 1490 AM and 92.9 FM in South Bend, WEFM-95.9 FM in Michigan City, WGOM-860 AM in Marion and WLUV 96.7 FM and 1520 AM in Rockford, Ill.
BIG EAST STANDINGS Final Regular Season BIG EAST 6 Conference GB Overall 1. Connecticut 15-3 -- 26-4 2. St. John's 13-5 2.0 21-8 3. West Virginia 11-7 4.0 22-7 4. Villanova 8-10 7.0 11-16 5. Notre Dame 7-11 8.0 13-13 6. Boston College 6-12 9.0 14-15 BIG EAST 7 Conference GB Overall 1. Syracuse 12-6 -- 22-7 2. Miami 11-7 1.0 18-8 3. Seton Hall 9-9 3.0 15-13 4. Providence 7-11 5.0 12-15 5. Georgetown 6-12 6.0 14-13 5. Rutgers 6-12 6.0 12-14 Pittsburgh 6-12 6.0 11-15