Hibbert was dominant down low, hitting eight of his nine shots for a game-high 18 points to lead Georgetown to a 66-48 win over the 17th ranked Irish in Washington, D.C. Notre Dame's 12-game winning streak comes to an end and they fall to 13-2 on the year and 1-1 in the Big East. The Irish's first road trip of the year was highly unsuccessful.
It didn't start well and the snowball effect continued from there. Georgetown raced out to a 18-2 lead to start the contest. This huge early advantage is almost insurmountable against the Hoyas. They play a slow down, conservative offensive approach matched with a stingy defensive effort. Georgetown (11-3, 1-0) is second in the Big East in scoring defense and coming back against the Hoyas, with the limited possessions opponents get, is more than an uphill climb.
The stats tell an uglier story. Notre Dame came into the game sixth in the nation in scoring and first in the conference, averaging 88 points per game. On Saturday, they had big-time trouble locating the bottom the of the hoop. The Irish shot just 30 percent for the contest, hitting 16 shots for the entire game. The 48 points is 40 below their season average. Notre Dame's best two players, Rob Kurz and Russell Carter, combined for 5-for-20 from the field. It'll be hard for the Irish to compete against the big boys when Kurz and Carter have off-nights. As a team, Notre Dame was even worse from three-point land. They shot 4-of-22 from behind the arc.
The Irish were dead cold shooting the ball. Georgetown was red hot. The Hoyas shot 58 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point land. They came into the game with six players averaging seven points or more. In addition to Hibbert's 18, Green scored 15 and Jonathan Wallace chipped in 13. Georgetown outrebounded Notre Dame 29-23 and assisted on 18 of 23 made field goals. This type of precision should make the Hoyas one of the favorites to win the Big East Conference.
Carter was the only Irish player in double figures. Colin Falls was a disappointing 1-for-6 from the field, all shots from three-point distance. Luke Harangody, a big body down low, was just 1-for-4 from the field and scored five points and pulled down three rebounds. Freshman point guard Tory Jackson, filling in for suspended starter Kyle McAlarney, got his first taste of road games in the Big East by shooting 2-for-8 and dishing out only one assist.
The good news for the Irish is that they'll get a little home cooking next week. Notre Dame plays West Virginia at the Joyce Center on Tuesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Then, Seton Hall will travel to South Bend to take on the Irish on Sunday, January 14th. Notre Dame needs to take care of business at home and play even on the road to be successful this year in the Big East. On Saturday, Georgetown proved it'll be a difficult task to beat them when they're playing at the top of their game.