Notre Dame had won the five previous Joyce Center meetings vs. Pittsburgh, dating back to a 72-61 win for the Panthers on Jan. 6, 1998.
Sophomore F Torin Francis was limited to playing the first nine minutes of the game before sitting out due to back spasms (he totaled 4 points and 2 rebounds).
Despite the loss, Notre Dame now has held 11 opponents under 70 points this season (the previous two opponents had averaged 78.5).
Junior G Chris Thomas has started all 86 games of his Notre Dame career and passed John Paxson (85; '79-'83) for the second-longest streak of consecutive starts in Irish history...Pat Garrity started all 111 games of his ND career, from 1994-98...Thomas also tied Paxson for 12th on the ND list of total games started (next up are Martin Ingelsby and Tim Kempton, with 90 each).
Thomas (23) has scored 20-plus points in five of the last 10 games...it marked his 34th career game with 20-plus points (ninth of 2003-04) and was his 72nd career game with double-digit points.
Thomas pushed his career scoring total to 1,494 points, passing Elmer Bennett (1,488; '88-'92) into 13th place on the ND career scoring charts...next up on that list is another member of the '91-'92 senior class, LaPhonso Ellis (1,505)...Thomas now ranks as the No. 4-scoring guard in ND history, behind Austin Carr, David Rivers and Matt Carroll.
Thomas had one assist to creep closer to the Notre Dame career record, with 585 (David Rivers had 586 assists, from 1984-88).
Notre Dame (13 assists/10 turnovers) has totaled more assists than turnovers in four of the last six games and in 11 total games this season.
Senior G Torrian Jones (12) has posted double-digit points in three of the last five games and now has eight double-digit scoring games in the 2003-04 season (he scored 10-plus points just five times in his first three seasons with the Irish).
Sophomore G Chris Quinn has scored double-digits in 12 of the previous 13 games but was held to just three points (all on free throws)...Quinn did continue his season-long run of low turnovers, turning the ball over just once in 36 minutes of action (better than his season average of 32 minutes per turnover).
The Irish now have made a three-point basket in 166 consecutive games, dating back to a game with no three-pointers vs. Connecticut in Hartford on Jan. 12, 1999.
Feb. 7, 2004