Providence, RI – The 21st-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish finally ran out of gas.
Kadeem Batts and Bryce Cotton had 20 and 19 points, respectively, and the Providence Friars took advantage of a tired Notre Dame team, posting a 71-54 victory on Saturday.
Providence snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Fighting Irish, who were coming off an 82-78 overtime triumph over visiting DePaul on Wednesday. That game came only four days after the team survived a five- overtime affair against Louisville.
LaDontae Henton added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Friars (14-11, 6-7 Big East), who have won four in a row.
"I just thought we played at such a high level," Providence coach Ed Cooley said. "I just thought we played with such great confidence, and it's because of what we did defensively."
Jack Cooley ended with 12 points and 10 boards for Notre Dame (20-6, 8-5), which lost to Providence for the first time since Feb. 24, 2004. Tom Knight and Garrick Sherman each tallied 11 points.
"I think they are the most underrated team in our league," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said of Providence. "They're really hard to guard."
The Fighting Irish hung around for most of the first half. However, Providence ended the half on an 11-6 run. Josh Fortune and Lee Goldsbrough each made 3- pointers to cap the surge, making it 34-26 at the break.
Sherman's three-point play in the early stages of the second half cut the gap to 41-31. But that proved to be all the visitors had left in the tank.
Cotton responded with a 3-pointer to spark a 22-8 Providence run. Henton tallied 10 points during the burst to help the home team take a 63-39 margin.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series with Providence, 16-10 ... The Friars went 8-of-20 from three-point range, while the Fighting Irish went 1-of-14 from beyond the arc ... Providence guard Vincent Council, who had 11 assists, broke former Friar Ernie D'Gregorio's all-time assist mark of 662 as he finished the day with 671 career assists ... The victory marked four consecutive Big East wins for the Friars, a feat that the team has not accomplished since the 2003-04 season.