If the young Hoyas were not already aware of how unforgiving the Big East conference schedule can be, Saturday’s 84-63 thumping at the hands of Notre Dame served as an ample lesson. The No. 12 Irish (14-1, 3-0) led from the start and Georgetown (11-4, 1-1) never really threatened in their first of many conference games against ranked teams.

Georgetown struggled mightily on offense, turning the ball over on their first five possessions. Freshmen Morgan Williams and Tia McBride came off the bench to provide the Hoyas’ only early offense, combining to score Georgetown’s first 13 points. Sophomore guard Monica McNutt added eight first half points and Williams recorded six of her game high seven assists in the first half as the Hoyas began to find their offensive rhythm. Georgetown trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half, but the Hoyas tightened up on defense, holding Notre Dame scoreless in the final four minutes of the half to pull within 32-25 at the break, despite shooting only 29 percent from the floor for the half.

Georgetown Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy was pleased with her team keeping the first half close.

“We played hard, made some good runs in the first half,” Williams-Flournoy said.

A pair of free throws from freshman forward Adria Crawford early in the second half reduced the deficit to five and gave the Hoyas a little more hope that they could stay with the Irish. But then Notre Dame’s potent offensive attack broke the game open with a 16-4 run to extend their advantage to 48-31. Georgetown never again reduced the lead to less than 12 as the Irish scored 52 in the second half to rout the Hoyas 84-63.

“In the second half we played well and put ourselves in a good position,” Williams-Flournoy said. “It was against a tough team; Notre Dame’s a good team.”

cNutt led the Hoyas with 16 points and noted that the loss can help the team if they learn from it properly.

“It was tough for us. We’ve got a lot of young kids,” McNutt said. “We need to take it as a learning experience, because we can’t get stuck. That’s the caliber of teams we play in the Big East.”

Williams and McBride contributed 14 points and 10 points respectively, drawing the praise of Williams-Flournoy. “They did a good job coming off the bench,” Williams-Flournoy said. “They’re building a lot of confidence, coming in and giving good minutes.

On Tuesday the Hoyas pay a 7 p.m. visit to the St. John’s Red Storm, which, despite a strong 13-2 record, presents a good bounce back opportunity. “St. John’s is big for us; we’re working on becoming a better road team,” McNutt said. “We want to go up there and get this done.”

The biggest Red Storm threat will be senior guard Monique McLean, who averages 19.4 points per game during the season and dropped a season-high 30 on South Florida Saturday.

Williams-Flournoy spoke confidently about the team’s chances, however.

“We play hard, play smart, play tough, we’ll get the victory,” Williams-Flournoy said.

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