Feb. 9, 2004

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  • Notre Dame did not commit a turnover in the second half and totaled just four in the game – fewest for the Irish since a similar four-turnover game in a last-second loss at Syracuse on Feb. 15, 2003 (82-80)…the record for fewest turnovers in a BIG EAST game is three by Seton Hall vs. St. John’s (Feb. 25, 1981) and by UConn earlier this season vs. West Virginia (Feb. 7, 2004).
  • Prior to tonight’s game, Connecticut had been 55-1 during the past three seasons when leading at halftime (the Huskies held a 38-35 edge tonight at the break).
  • The Irish avoided what would have been their first four-game losing streak since early in the 1999-2000 season.
  • Connecticut entered the game as the BIG EAST leader in several statistical categories but ND held UConn to nine points below its season scoring average (83.1 ppg)…UConn was shooting 50.5 pct. for the season (42.3% tonight)…ND’s 74 points were 11.5 points above UConn’s average points allowed (63.5)…UConn outrebounded its previous opponents by 10.6 per game (44-39 tonight).
  • The specialty offensive stats tell much of the story in tonight’s game: UConn held a 40-25 edge in points in the paint, but just 18-14 in the second half; ND finished with a 14-7 edge in points off turnovers (11-0 in the second half)…the Irish surged for a 14-11 edge in second-chance points (11-5 in the second half)…both teams had just five fast-break points (ND held UConn to no points in transition in the second half), with the Huskies averaging 18 fast-break points per game prior to tonight…both benches totaled 12 points but ND held an 8-0 edge in second-half bench scoring.
  • Junior G Chris Thomas totaled five assists, pushing his career total to 590 to pass David Rivers (585; ’84-’88) as Notre Dame’s career assist leader…Thomas claimed the record in his 87th career game, 31 games fewer than Rivers’ career games played total (118).
  • Thomas scored 22 second-half points for a season-high 31 in the game, one shy of matching his career-high (set vs. Rutgers and Miami as a freshman and Marquette as a junior)…it was the biggest point production from Thomas in the last 47 games, dating back to the Marquette game on Dec. 2, 2002…Thomas shot 7-for-13 in the second half and drained 5-of-8 shots from three-point range (for six total 3s, one shy of matching his career high)…he entered the game with a 21.5 career scoring avg. vs. the Huskies.
  • Sophomore F Torin Francis was limited to seven minutes of action as he continues to battle back spasms (he shot 0-for-3 with one rebound) .. he played just nine minutes vs. Pittsburgh on Saturday.
  • Rick Cornett stepped in for his injured classmate, logging 15 minutes (one shy of his career-high, set earlier this season vs. DePaul)…Cornett scored six points, bested just once in his Irish career (he scored 10 at DePaul on Dec. 14), and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds (including four on the offensive glass).
  • Senior swingman Torrian Jones (14 points, 12 rebounds) posted his third double-double in the last 11 games, after totaling no double-doubles in his first 100 games with the Irish…Jones also has posted double-digit points in four of the last seven games and now has nine double-digit scoring games in 2003-04 (he scored 10-plus points just five times in his first three seasons with the Irish)…Jones’ big night also included four steals, two assists and a block in 38 minutes (four of his rebounds came on the offensive end)…his 45 career blocks rank 16th in ND history, five behind former teammate Harold Swanagan…the 14 points matched the fourth-most in Jones’ career with the Irish.
  • Thomas has started all 87 games of his ND career for the second-longest streak of consecutive starts in Irish history…Pat Garrity started all 111 games of his ND career, from 1994-98…Thomas also ranks 12th on the ND list of total games started (next up are Martin Ingelsby and Tim Kempton, with 90 each).
  • Thomas (31) reached 30-plus points for the fourth time in his ND career…he has scored 20-plus points in six of the last 11 games…it marked his 35th career game with 20-plus points (10th of 2003-04) and was his 73rd career game with double-digit points…he has scored 10-plus points in 11 of the last 12 games and 18 of the last 20.
  • Thomas pushed his career scoring total to 1,525 points, passing LaPhonso Ellis (1,505; ’88-’92) into 12th place on the ND career scoring charts…next up on that list is Bob Whitmore (1,580; ’66-’69)…Thomas ranks as the No. 4-scoring guard in ND history, behind Austin Carr, David Rivers and Matt Carroll.
  • Junior F Jordan Cornette blocked two shots, bringing his career total to 128 and edging past Troy Murphy into sole possession of third place on the ND career blocks list (behind LaPhonso Ellis’ 200 and Ryan Humphrey’s 166).
  • Notre Dame (11 assists/4 turnovers) has totaled more assists than turnovers in five of the last seven games and in 12 total games this season.
  • Sophomore G Chris Quinn (17) has scored double-digits in 13 of the last 15 games and bounced back from a three-point game vs. Pittsburgh (he shot 0-for-8 vs. the Panthers and 5-for-11 tonight)…Quinn also continued his season-long run of low turnovers, with no turnovers in 34 minutes of action (he entered the game averaging 32 minutes per turnover).
  • The Irish now have made a three-point basket in 167 consecutive games, dating back to a game with no three-pointers vs. Connecticut in Hartford on Jan. 12, 1999.