Irish can’t close the deal

ND out-played the Yellows Jackets in the second half, only to have its offensive efficiency escape them with a turnover and shot-clock violation in the final three minutes.

With eight of its nine ACC losses by single digits, Georgia Tech was due for one to fall its way.

Marcus Georges-Hunt’s shot from point-blank range with one second remaining lifted the Yellow Jackets to a 63-62 victory over No. 19 Notre Dame Saturday night at McCamish Pavilion.

The loss snapped a three-game Irish win streak and prevented them from gaining ground on Miami and creating distance above Duke and Clemson.

Notre Dame (18-8, 9-5) held a six-point lead with less than five minutes remaining, flashing its outstanding offensive efficiency in the second half to overcome a seven-point halftime deficit.

But a Notre Dame turnover, a shot clock violation and dual-possession call in Georgia Tech’s favor opened the door for the Yellow Jackets (15-12, 5-9) to score nine of the game’s final 11 points.

Georgia Tech called timeout with 10 seconds remaining, and it was Georges-Hunt – the veteran leader of the Yellow Jackets – who took control and scored the game-winner.

Georges-Hunt led all scorers with 19 points. Georgia Tech’s 14 offensive rebounds helped spark a nine-point first-half lead.

Down by seven at halftime, the Irish immediately began chipping away until an 8-0 run – capped by a three-pointer by V.J. Beachem with 10:26 remaining – gave Notre Dame a 50-46 lead.

The lead would expand to 60-54 with 4:42 remaining on a layup by Zach Auguste, but the Irish would manage just two points the rest of the way.

Notre Dame made 12 of its first 24 shots in the second half, but just one of its last four.

Beachem and Auguste led the Irish in scoring with 13 points apiece. Demetrius Jackson scored 12 and Bonzie Colson tossed in 10 with six rebounds. Auguste led the Irish in rebounds with nine.

It was an uphill battle from the outset for the Irish, missing six of their first seven shots while Georgia Tech was establishing its interior superiority on the offensive end.

By the second TV timeout, the Yellow Jackets had four offensive rebounds en route to six for the half. Of Georgia Tech’s 37 first-half points, 24 came from the paint.

The Irish had difficulty penetrating the Georgia Tech defense, which limited Notre Dame to just three assists on 11 first-half baskets. Georgia Tech’s work on the offensive glass extended its lead to nine points late in the first half.

Notre Dame had out-scored Georgia Tech 30-17 through the first 15 minutes of the second half before the Yellow Jackets reversed the trend.

Charles Mitchell had 14 points and six rebounds for Georgia Tech.


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