Feb. 28, 1998
PROVIDENCE, R.I.-The Providence College Friars honored their senior class in pregame ceremonies on Saturday afternoon, but it was a member of the junior class that put on a show in PC's 77-62 win over Notre Dame.
Junior guard Jamel Thomas scored a career high 32 points and added 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Justin Farley added ten points and John Linehan chipped in ten points along with six assists and seven turnovers.
All-BIG EAST Player of the Year candidate, Pat Garrity scored 26 points and had ten rebounds for the Fighting Irish. Phil Hickey added 12 points as the only other Irish player in double figures.
The win makes Providence 12-15 on the year and 7-11 in the BIG EAST. Notre Dame is now 13-13 overall and 7-11 in league play. With games still left on the schedule, the BIG EAST Tournament seedings have not been decided as of yet. The Friars look like they are headed for an eighth or ninth seeding and could possible see Notre Dame again on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
Thomas was the story in this one though as he shot 12-19 from the floor and equalled a career high with five three-pointers on the way to his 32 points. The Brooklyn, New York native scored 19 of the points in the first half and only a late surge by Garrity kept the game close at 37-33 Providence. PC shot 55.2% (16-29), one of the best halves shooting-wise that PC has had this season.
PC came out quick in the second half and went on a 13-4 run over the first four minutes to go ahead, 50-37. The Friars' lead went to 15 points at 60-45 when Linehan nailed a three-pointer with 9:12 left in the game.
Notre Dame was able to get as close as seven points with 3:36 left when Keith Friel hit his third three point shot of the game. The Friars managed to keep the lead as the Irish began fouling. The Friars were just eight for 16 over the final three minutes shooting foul shots and kept the lead at 10 with 1:12 left in the game. Corey Wright scored on a layup with 25 seconds left and the Friars' lone senior, Mark Adams, nailed a 25-foot three-pointer with six seconds left for the final score of 77-62.
PC finished the game shooting 51.8% (29-56). That marks the fourth time this season that the Friars were over 50%. When they do that, PC is 4-0. The Friars also won the battle of the boards by a 36-33 margin. Thomas with 10, Llewellyn Cole with seven and Erron Maxey added five.
The Friars forced 21 turnovers and equalled a season high with 15 steals. Notre Dame shot20-of-50 (40.0%) from the floor.
NOTES....The Friars game with Notre Dame was the 400th of Pete Gillen's coaching career. His record stands at 273-127 for his career....With the 12-15 record, Gillen suffers his first losing season in 13 years as a head coach...Jamel Thomas finished the year with 27 games with double figures in scoring and 31 going back to last season...PC finished the home schedule with an 8-6 home schedule for the 1997-98 season.