Georgetown’s recent momentum screeched to a halt as No. 5 Notre Dame posed too big an obstacle in a streaky 72-58 loss Saturday afternoon in South Bend, Ind.

In a battle of two teams on winning tears, it came as little surprise that the Fighting Irish’s eight-game run would triumph over the Hoyas’ three-game upswing.

The drama came from Notre Dame’s mid-game slump, allowing Georgetown (9-13, 4-7) to nearly take the lead after falling out early.

The Fighting Irish (22-3, 10-2) steamed ahead in the first half, shooting over 57 percent for the half. While the Hoyas shot a respectable 40 percent, the team could not keep pace and fell behind by 17 points with five minutes to go before halftime. Georgetown managed to crawl back from the 31-14 score with a 12-4 run, hitting six of its final seven shots. The Irish held the lead, 35-26, going into the locker room, but the Hoyas were not about to fade away just yet.

Georgetown trimmed more of Notre Dame’s lead at the start of the second half, capitalizing on the home team’s lack of focus, resulting in a series of missed shots from the Irish. The Hoyas eventually whittled down the lead, coming within two points at 12:40 when senior guard Mary Lisicky drained two free throws.

From 43-41, the Irish stepped up their defense, limiting the visiting team to four points over a seven-minute span. The 17-4 run was enough to keep Notre Dame’s streak alive and to put a period on Georgetown’s brief bright spot.

Lisicky headed up the losing effort for the Hoyas with 16 points and five assists. Since returning to full health, Lisicky has led the team in scoring in each game. Sophomore guard Kate Carlin dropped 11 points and senior guard Bethany LeSueur garnered 10 as the only other Georgetown players in double-digits. Freshman forward Kieraah Marlow, the team’s leading scorer, had an off night with only six points.

The team struggled to match up against Notre Dame’s tough inside game. The hosts were better able to get offensive rebounds and padded their lead with second-chance points. The Hoyas were limited to only 21 boards for the entire game, outrebounded 2-to-1 by the Fighting Irish in one of Georgetown’s weakest rebounding efforts this season.

Senior forward Jacqueline Batteast led all scorers with 20 points while senior center Teresa Borton recorded the only double-double of the night with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Junior guard Megan Duffy had 17 points and seven assists. Freshmen guard Charel Allen rounded out the double-digit scorers with 14 points.

Notre Dame has slowly closed its grip on the top spot in the Big East. During its nine-game run it has toppled No. 10 Rutgers and No. 25 Boston College, as well as winning a revenge match against No. 11 Connecticut. It is the only conference team to notch 20 wins, but has wobbled in its past two games. The Irish trailed against bottom-dwelling Providence for much of the game before picking up the pace to bury the Friars.

Neither team could hold onto the ball, with Georgetown making 21 turnovers to Notre Dame’s 19. The game was also very physical; LeSueur fouled out as the Hoyas let the Irish collect 20 points from the free throw line.

Georgetown returns home for another tough matchup tomorrow evening, this time against Connecticut (16-6, 9-2).

The Huskies are coming off a 72-66 loss to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights over the weekend. Connecticut has struggled to keep itself in championship form, although it remains a strong contender. A lack of leadership and a weaker backcourt have made the team more vulnerable than in past years. The Hoyas will still be at a large disadvantage, having lost to three ranked opponents this season by a margin of 219-120.

The two teams face off in what may be the most crowded game at cDonough Gymnasium this season. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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