No. 16 Wildcats contain Irish's Thomas in 88-73 victory
Published: Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 1:37 a.m.
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky coach Tubby Smith accurately predicted the key to beating No. 10 Notre Dame.
The No. 16 Wildcats executed Smith's game plan of containing point guard Chris Thomas to near perfection Saturday and beat Notre Dame 88-73.
Thomas, Notre Dame's assist leader and second-leading scorer, scored 14 points but committed nine turnovers in the loss.
"We frustrated him. That was the goal," Smith said.
Thomas endured constant harassment from Kentucky guards Gerald Fitch and Cliff Hawkins and finished 4-of-17 from the field.
Thomas also struggled with Kentucky last season, going 4-for-15 from the field with four turnovers in a 72-65 Wildcats' win in South Bend, Ind.
"They played good defense," Thomas said. "They kept a hand in my face."
While Fitch and Hawkins kept Thomas in check, Kentucky forward Chuck Hayes dominated inside. The 6-foot-6 sophomore had 17 points, 16 rebounds and five assists - all career highs.
"I just wanted to play the best that I could," said Hayes, who recorded his third double-double of the season. "I wanted to get after it early, get on it offensively and defensively."
Marquis Estill scored 18 and Erik Daniels added 15 points and six rebounds for the Wildcats (13-3).
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