Feb. 23, 2000

Recap?|? Box Score

Notre Dame Head Coach Matt Doherty
On the shooting of Providence and Donta Wade:
“Well at first, he really surprised us. We didn’t expect them to shoot like that, nor 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.”

On the game:
“Maybe I talked too much about winning this game, instead of talking about effort and concentration. Maybe we were too tight. We missed a lot of easy shots early. We wanted to do so well and we’re frustated we didn’t. That’s probably my fault.”

“They came out well, but I thought we were in good shape all along. It got to about the six- minute mark and you start to think, ‘man we gotta start doing some things.’ We chipped it away and got it to six but we weren’t effective defensively and we weren’t sharp offensively. They were very loose and hit some tough shots. It was just a disappointing night for us.”

On the play of Providence:
“They were pretty active defensively. Tim (Welsh) does a good job.”

On his team’s chances for postseason play:
“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. We have to put (this game) out of our minds quickly. We have another tough game on Saturday.”

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Troy Murphy:
“I don’t think (the game being a must-win) was a problem. Our number-one goal is to make it to the NCAA tournament and we need two more wins. Tonight, we saw the Providence game at home and knew it was an opportunity for a win. We knew it was a big game. We have also been accustomed to ‘must-wins’. After the fiasco in Pennsylvania (Pittsburg and Villanova losses), we knew we needed a win.”

On the Providence team effort:
“The played a heck of a game. 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.”

On the ability to bounce back vs. Miami Saturday:
“We see it as another opportunity. We have blown a lot of those opportunities this year, but the Miami game is a big game. It is nice to have another chance (to get a win).”

Providence Head Coach Tim Welsh Quotes

On Donta Wade’s performance:
“That’s why we recruited Donta and sometimes junior college players take awhile to get their feel. Certainly he clicked into high gear tonight and he started feeling it. I think the whole arena could sense his confidence out there. When a guy’s got that type of confidence, you don’t want to say anything to him except keep pulling the trigger until you go cold. He never did. That was certainly one of the best performances I’ve seen since I’ve been in college basketball as far as perimeter shooting. He was just awesome. And when you’re playing zone defense, you can’t do much about that.”

“He’s shot well in practice the past couple of weeks. Since the Rutgers game when he didn’t play, he came back in refocused and I told him, ‘Danta, let’s just stop worrying about minutes and shots and just go out and play. The guy I recruited went out and knocked down shots and played free and loose.'”

“He’s such a determined individual. No one works harder, he’s in the gym all the time. I told him, ‘Just let it happen out there. Let the game come to you. If you’re open, knock it down. I’m giving you the green light.’ I put him back in the starting lineup and it’s worked.”

On his team’s defense:
“When those threes start going in, your defense takes another step up. We played a tremendous team defensive game tonight. I thought Erron Maxey did as good a job on probably the best player in the country (Troy Murphy) as you can do. He still got 22 points, but we made him work for his shots. Erron had a lot of help out there, but he is just a warrior and played both ends of the floor like a true leader.”

On the game:
“We had to come in and play a very good game to win here because they are an excellent basketball team, well-coached, and they run their stuff as well as any team I’ve seen in awhile. We’re very happy, obviously, because this is a tough place to come in and win.”

On what the win meant to his team:
“The wins have come so few and far between this year that I’m just so happy for them. The feeling in that locker room tonight seemed like we’re a team going to the NCAA tournament. That’s why I’m a coach.”

On holding off Irish in the second half:
“Defense is the key. Seemingly every time they got close, Donta knocked down a three and that can be a dagger in your heart. When you’re coming back, the crowd’s feeling it, and you’re gathering some momentum. Suddenly he hits one of those bombs, it’s like the pin goes into the balloon. It’s deflating, especially when a guy’s shooting the ball like that.”

Providence Player Quotes

Junior Guard Donta Wade:
“I know they really didn’t expect me to do that, because I haven’t been scoring a lot. They didn’t know I was capable of scoring. I’ve been having a down season, maybe coming out and getting five (points) a night, but I am capable of scoring.”

“I was intense this game, I really wanted to win coming off the Miami game. I wanted everybody else to be intense because I felt I’ve let my team down . We lost 10 in a row and I felt that was partly my fault. When we lost John (Linehan), I felt I needed to step up and be a leader. I didn’t do that.”

“It wasn’t just tonight, if it was any other night I still would have wanted the ball. I told my roommate on this trip that we’re going to win this game and I’m going to shoot the ball because I wanted to win. I was going to shoot the ball, so if we lost, they could put it on me, and if we won, they could put it on me.”

“It feels good, I couldn’t hold back the smile. 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.'”

Junior Forward Erron Maxey:
“I thought the defense on Murphy tonight was good. I was on him most of the game and Karim (Shabazz) was helping out. We played him real tough tonight.”

“We weren’t too surprised that they stuck with the zone. That’s who they are. They’ve been playing zone all season and they just stuck with it tonight.”

“It feels real good right now, coming off the Miami win. We’re playing real well as a team. There’s no question Donta (Wade) was on tonight. It makes us feel good as his teammates to see him shooting the ball so well.”