March 4, 1998
Irish Fall to Providence at BIG EAST Tournament, 72-55
NEW YORK (AP) - Jamel Thomas and Justin Farley each scored 17 points to lead Providence to a 72-55 victory over Notre Dame on Wednesday in the opening round of the Big East tournament.
The eighth-seeded Friars (13-15) advanced to Thursday's quarterfinals against top-seeded and sixth-ranked Connecticut by winning at least one game in the tournament for sixth straight season.
Thomas, the only returning starter from the team that reached the final eight of last season's NCAA tournament, scored five points in a 6-0 run after Notre Dame (13-14) had closed within 48-42 with 8:20 to play. The Friars led by at least 10 points the rest of the way with the final margin one of the two times they led by 17 points.
Pat Garrity, the conference's player of the year last season and a first-team selection this season, had 18 points for the Fighting Irish, who have never won a Big East tournament game in their three seasons in the league. Garrity finished his career with 2,085 points, the third-best total in school history.
Erron Maxey added 10 points for Providence, while Thomas had 10 rebounds as the Friars were outrebounded 42-31.
Antoni Wyche had 11 points for the Fighting Irish, who shot 33 percent (18-for-54), including 6-for-19 from 3-point range, and committed 19 turnovers. Notre Dame closed the season losing five of their last six games, including one at Providence just five days ago.
Providence took control in the first half with an 11-2 run that gave the Friars a 25-15 lead. Farley had four points and Thomas added three in the run during which Notre Dame missed nine of 10 shots.