Hoyas Handle Irish

In Notre Dame's first true road game last weekend at Marquette, the Irish found themselves in a world of trouble. The Golden Eagles limited Notre Dame on offense and were in cruise control for most of the second half. Fast forward a week, the Irish were given another shot, again in a tough environment at No. 6 Georgetown. Unfortunately, the same scenario played out.

The Hoyas' Roy Hibbert scored 21 points and Georgetown held Notre Dame to 32 percent shooting from the field in a 84-65 win on Saturday afternoon. In front of 19,286 fans at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., Georgetown shook off a loss to Pittsburgh earlier in the week by doing what they do best: play suffocating defense and attempt high percentage shots. The Hoyas improve to 14-2 overall and 4-1 in Big East play while the Irish fall to 13-4 overall and 3-2 in league action.

Georgetown came into Saturday's contest ranked first in the conference in field goal percentage defense and three-point percentage defense. Both of these strengths were on display. Notre Dame had trouble finding the bottom of the net. The Irish shot 32 percent in the game and 7-of-25 from three-point range. In the two league road games, Notre Dame is 11-of-44 from behind the arc, far below their season average. Kyle McAlarney, the team's best long distance shooter, scored 10 points but was only 4-of-15 from the field on Saturday, including 2-of-8 from three-point range.

Georgetown also shut down the Irish's No. 1 scoring option, Luke Harangody. The sophomore forward had been averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds in Big East play. But in the battle of the big men, Hibbert took the underclassman to school. The Hoyas' 7-2 senior was 7-of-11 from the field, good for 21 points. Hibbert only had three rebounds but dished out five assists when the Notre Dame defense collapsed around him. As for Harangody, the sophomore was just 3-of-13 from the floor in scoring 13 points.

The Hoyas held a 38-25 halftime lead and if the Irish were going to make it a contest, it would have been right out of the locker rooms. But this wasn't the case. A Hibbert lay-up increased the Georgetown lead to 48-27 just three minutes into the second half. The way the Hoyas were playing defense and hitting their shots on the offensive end, the contest was essentially over. Notre Dame cut it to 48-34 at one point but Georgetown quickly pushed it out to a 20-point advantage again. In addition to Hibbert's play, the Hoyas got 17 points and 11 rebounds from DaJuan Summers, 16 points from freshman Austin Freeman and another 14 from Jessie Sapp. Georgetown shot 52 percent from the field.

For Notre Dame, Tory Jackson scored five points and pulled down seven rebounds but turned the ball over seven times. Jonathan Peoples came off the bench to notch 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Rob Kurz and Ryan Ayers combined to hit just 2-of-10 baskets in the game.


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