Tired legs and an early tip-off caught up to the No. 21 Notre Dame basketball team on Saturday in a 71-54 loss at Providence in the Dunkin Donuts Center. The Irish had played a total of six overtimes in their two previous games, both wins, against Louisville and DePaul prior to Saturday's noon tip-off against the Friars.
Fighting Irish head coach Mike Brey said earlier in the week that he was concerned the wear and tear of playing nearly an extra game might have on his team. The Irish practiced sparingly Thursday and Friday after Wednesday's single overtime win over DePaul. They needed five overtimes to beat Louisville one week ago.
Notre Dame (20-6, 8-5 Big East) has still won five of its last seven games. Providence (14-11. 6-7) has won four straight with its second straight win over a top 25 team.
Cold shooting killed the Irish in the 17-point loss. They were just 1-for-14 from three-point range. Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton were each 0-for-4 from long range. Cameron Biedscheid was 0-for-3 from behind the arc, while Eric Atkins was 1-for-3.
Jack Cooley finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Tom Knight and Garrick Sherman each had 11 points. The trio of big men combined to shoot 15-for-26 (57%) 6-for- 26 (23%).
Kadeem Batts led the Friars with 20 points on 10-of-16 shooting, while Bryce Cotton and LaDontae Henton added 19 and 13 points, respectively. Providence guard Vincent Council had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He needs just two more assists to set the all-time Big East assists record set by former Syracuse guard Sherman Douglas in the late 1980s.
Notre Dame is at Pittsburgh Monday night.