PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Unranked Providence never trailed and roared to its fourth straight victory, hammering No. 21 Notre Dame, 71-54, in a Big East Conference game on Saturday.
Kadeem Batts scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half and LaDontae Henton had 10 of his 13 in the second half as the Friars, actually a slight betting favorite at home, broke the game open with a 22-11 burst to start the second half and never looked back.
The win lifted Providence, which beat No. 17 Cincinnati on Feb. 6 as part of this streak, to 14-11 overall, 6-7 in the Big East. Notre Dame, which came in on the heels of two overtime victories (one in five overtimes), fell to 20-6, 8-5.
In the final minutes, the sellout crowd chanted, "Over-rated, over-rated."
Michael Cotton added 19 points, while Vincent Council had seven points, 11 assists and a career-high 11 rebounds on the day he became Providence's all-time assist leader.
Jack Cooley led Notre Dame with 12 points and 10 rebounds, his sixth consecutive double-double.
Notre Dame, which came in shooting almost 39 percent from 3-point range, was 1-for-14 from behind the arc, while the Friars, who lead the Big East in 3-point baskets, were 8-for-15 before garbage time, 8-for-19 for the game.
Ahead by eight at the half, Providence exploded after the break, 10 of the points coming from Henton. His 3-point play gave the Friars a 22-point lead with 10:15 remaining. It grew to 24 points 21 seconds later.
Council broke Ernie DiGregorio's Providence record for assists, the great Ernie D accomplishing his 662 in three years, while Council is playing his fourth.
Council is four assists from passing Sherman Douglas of Syracuse for the Big East league-game record.
Tom Knight, averaging 3.8 points per game coming in, scored Notre Dame's first seven points, a bad sign for the Irish, who didn't get a point from another player until Cooley scored with 14:41 left in the half.
That basket cut Providence's early lead to 14-9, but the lead grew to eight with 7:33 left in the half and it was eight at halftime.
Lee Goldsborough, a crowd favorite not known for his shooting, had nothing else to do with the time running out in the first half, so he took, and made, his first 3-pointer of the season.
It was the fourth 3-pointer of the junior's career in seven attempts and it gave Providence its eight-point halftime lead.
NOTES: Former Friar Dickey Simpkins, who played six years and won three championships with the Chicago Bulls, was honored at halftime as part of the school's incoming Hall of Fame class. Simpkins scored 1,226 points and grabbed 790 rebounds at Providence, helping the Friars to their only Big East title, in 1994. ... Notre Dame swingman Pat Connaughton hails from nearby Arlington, Mass., and played his high school ball at St. John's Prep north of Boston. He came in averaging 9.0 points per game and failed to score. ... Forward Scott Martin missed his seventh straight game for the Irish because of a knee injury. He started the first 18 games of the season, averaging 7.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. ... The Irish finish a two-game trip at No. 16 Pittsburgh on Monday night, while the Friars are at No. 6 Syracuse Wednesday. ... Notre Dame came in leading the country in assist/turnover ratio and was leading the Big East and was third in the nation in assists per game. They had 14 assists and 11 turnovers in this game. ... Both programs have one year left of Big East basketball, with Notre Dame headed for the Atlantic Coast Conference and Providence for the new basketball conference breaking off from the Big East.