Notre Dame Comes Up Short, Loses 75-74 To Providence


The two former conference rivals squared off in an entertaining game, but in the end the Providence Friars and LaDontae Henton were just one-point better than the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Henton scored a career-high 38 points, as well as deflecting Pat Connaughton‘s last second shot to secure the victory.

The Irish (4-1) were looking for wins in consecutive days, and Jerian Grant almost got it for them. Grant scored 20 points, as well as dishing out six assists as Notre Dame took the lead on his three-point play with 29.7 seconds left. Through their first four games, Grant had accounted for just over 40 percent of the teams scoring.

The Friars (5-0) got all they could from Henton, who had to pick up the slack when guard Kris Dunn went out with an injury after making a save on a ball headed out-of-bounds. Henton played all 40 minutes, shooting 14-of-19, and 4-of-8 from three-point range.

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All four starters for the Irish scored in double-figures, and Connaughton finished with a double-double (13 pts, 11 reb). Steve Vasturia hit several clutch threes down the stretch, but the Friars came up with enough stops to win the “home away from home” game at Mohegan Sun Arena, even though they were the visitors.

The Irish got very little help from their bench, as the subs provided only four points, while Austin Burgett accounted for five fouls. While Grant, Connaughton, and Demetrius Jackson will key this offense, the supporting cast and bench will need to step up once they enter ACC play. Mike Brey knows this. He’s got the style of players he needs to run his type of offense after not having that last year.

Following the suspension of Grant for academic reasons, the Irish turned to a post-oriented offense around Garrick Sherman and Tom Knight. Now the personnel fit Brey’s fast paced, ball movement offense, and simply needs to find their groove before entering conference play.

The Irish will take on Grambling State at Purcell Pavillion on Wednesday at 7 pm.