What a game! This game was one of the best of the early college basketball season, and it's a shame one team had to lose. Providence bested the Irish 75-74 in the Hall of Fame Tipoff, in a battle of undefeated teams that didn't disappoint.
Notre Dame capitalized on second chance points early on, thanks in part to their play on the boards, grabbing 10 offensive rebounds in the game. But the story quickly turned to LaDontae Henton.
"Henton was fabulous," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said after the game. Fabulous might be an understatement. Ed Cooley was emotional in his post game remarks, talking about how he was recollecting after the game about Henton being his first commitment at Providence, and how he is proud to have watched him grow up.
Henton did his best Bryce Cotton impersonation and went off for a career high 38 points in 40 minutes, including the game-winning free throws with 14.8 seconds on the clock. The Friars made two stops after that with the Irish getting the ball out of bounds off a Jerian Grant miss. Cooley mentioned after the game that Kris Dunn wanted to guard Grant, but Cooley opted to give the assignment to Junior Lomomba because Dunn was a bit gimpy after taking a spill into the first row earlier.
Providence only had 10 turnovers. Both teams shot the ball well on the day; Providence shot 28-for-50 from the field (56%) and the Irish went 26-for-52 (50%). Notre Dame's Jerian Grant came alive in the second half and ended up with 20 points after a slow start in the first half.
Providence's next game is Friday back at the Dunkin' Donuts Center against Yale.
- Freshman Jalen Lindsey injured his ankle after making a three-pointer in the first half. He would return to the bench on crutches after halftime. Cooley didn't get into details after the game but said they will give the players an off-day Monday and re-evaluate the injury before they face Yale on Friday.
- LaDontae Henton's 38 points are the most for a Providence player since Bryce Cotton scored 36 points in Providence's Round of 64 loss to North Carolina last season.
- After a few less than stellar performances at the free throw line earlier in the season, Providence shot 13-for-14 (92.9%) against Notre Dame.
- The Providence team will be together at Ed Cooley's house for Thanksgiving.