Feb. 24, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A spectacular performance on Wednesday night, called for a change in the record books.
In front of over 9,000, Donta Wade turned in his most spectacular performance in a Friar uniform. The junior college transfer scored a career-high 38 points as Providence upset the Irish on their home floor, 89-79.
Wade shot 10 for 17 from behind the arc. He set a Big East record with 10 3-pointers.
“It feels good, I couldn’t hold back the smile,” Wade said. “I wanted to jump around with my teammates and there was still four minutes to go. If I was watching me tonight, I would have been saying ‘Where’s he been? Why hasn’t he showed up the last 11 games.'”
Wade usually averages around seven points per game.
“The played a heck of a game,” Murphy said. “Rarely do you see a guy come out and shoot 10 three pointers like (Donta) Wade did. He was unstoppable from the beginning of the game. They played aggressive – they had nothing to lose. We saw them warming up before the game. They were very loose and messing around with each other. We came out a little tight and it showed.”
Notre Dame appeared frustrated from the start in Wednesday’s game. The Irish made numerous runs at the Friars but Providence stood strong. Again sophomore Troy Murphy led his team with 22 points and six rebounds. Murphy managed to get beat up every time in the post which eventually forced his game to the outside.
The Irish could not get anyone started. In fact, sophomore David Graves, did not score his 15 points until the final minute of the game. Graves’ five three-pointers registered him as Notre Dame’s third leading scorer.
Many questioned why Doherty chose to remain with the zone defense when Wade kept draining the threes.
“Well at first, he really surprised us,” Doherty said of Wade. “We didn’t expect them to shoot like that, or him I thought we got close to him in the second half, but he hit some tough threes. Maybe we should have gone man, done some other things. But, I thought we got to them in the second half a little bit. It’s going to happen. I wouldn’t change much.”
Doherty does not feel that Wednesday’s loss hurt his team’s chances at postseason play. He feels that the team just needs to win two of the remaining three.
“I told the team I thought we needed to win two more games (to make the NCAA tournament) and we have three more to play,” Doherty said. “We have to put (this game) out of our minds quickly. We have another tough game on Saturday.”