Junior G Chris Thomas has scored 57 points in the last two games (31 vs. UConn, 26 vs. SHU), one shy of matching his career-best for scoring in back-to-back games. Late in his freshman season, Thomas totaled 58 points in consecutive games vs. West Virginia (26) and Miami (32).
Thomas - who had averaged just 14.3 ppg in four previous games vs. the Pirates - has been a second-half force in the last two games, totaling 41 second-half points in action vs. UConn (19) and Seton Hall (22). In the second half of those games, he made 13-of-22 shots from the floor (.591) and drained 7-of-10 from 3-point range (today he shot 7-of-13 in the second half, making both 3-point attempts). Thomas also has totaled just one second-half turnover in the last two games.
Thomas has posted 20-plus points in three straight games for the third times in his ND career. He also scored 20-plus points in consecutive games as a sophomore vs. Bucknell, Furman and Creighton and repeated the feat later in that 2002-03 season vs. Virginia Tech, UConn and Rutgers (Thomas never has scored 20-plus in four consecutive games with the Irish).
Thomas matched his fourth-highest scoring output of the 2003-04 season and is averaging 26.7 ppg in the last three games. He has scored 20-plus points in 11 games this season and 36 times in his ND career. Thomas also has scored in double-digit in 74 of 88 career games (19 of 21 this season, including 12 of last 13).
Thomas logged 40-plus minutes for the 29th time in his ND career and sixth time this season (including each of the last three games).
Thomas pushed his career scoring total to 1,551 points. He remains 12th on the ND career scoring but could crack the top 10 by the end of the 2003-04 regular season, if he remains on his 18 ppg pace (1966-69 teammates Bob Whitmore, with 1,580 points and Bob Arnzen, with 1,665, hold down the 11th and 10th spots on that list).
The last three games have seen Thomas shoot 27-for-57 (.474), including 50% from 3-point range (13-for-26), plus 13-of-15 from the free-throw line in the last three games. He has totaled 10 assists and just four turnovers in the last three games.
Notre Dame did not allow any fast-break points in the game and now has played three straight halves without allowing any fast-break points by the opposition.
Senior G Torrian Jones finished second on the team with 13 points, marking the second time in the last three games that he has been among the top two ND scorers. Thomas has shared team scoring lead twice this season - vs. West Virginia (17) and Kentucky (16) - and was second on the team in scoring vs. Marquette (14) and Pittsburgh (12, on Feb. 7)...he now has registered double-digit points in five of the last eight games and has 10 double-digit scoring games in 2003-04 (he scored 10-plus points just five times in his first three seasons with the Irish)...
Jones again displayed his athleticism with a pair of blocks in today's game, pushing his season total to 14 blocks. His 46 career blocks rank 16th in the ND record book, three behind former teammate Harold Swanagan.
Senior C Tom Timmermans poured in eight second-half points on 3-of-4 shooting (plus 2-of-2 from the line), en route to totaling 10 points for the game. It marked his third double-digit scoring output in the last nine games, after not scoring 10-plus in his first 72 games with the Irish. Timmermans also matched his career-high with eight rebounds.
Notre Dame again kept its turnover total in single digits (9, after 4 in the previous game vs. UConn) while totaling more assists (16) than turnovers for the 13th time this season and sixth time in the last eight games.
Sophomore F Torin Francis did not dress due to nagging back spasms that limited him to a total of 16 minutes in the previous two games.
Sophomore G Chris Quinn (10) has scored double-digits in 14 of the last 16 games...Quinn had a rare multi-turnover game (2), after totaling just 21 turnovers in the previous 20 games this season.
The Irish now have made a three-point basket in 168 consecutive games, dating back to a game with no three-pointers vs. Connecticut in Hartford on Jan. 12, 1999.