Despite outscoring No. 2 Notre Dame (16-1, 4-0 Big East) in the second half, No. 18 Georgetown (13-4, 2-2 Big East) was unable to overcome poor shooting and an inability to contain the conference’s top-scoring offense in a 80-60 home defeat Wednesday night.

The Hoyas had hopes of repeating their 2009-2010 season triumph over the then-No.4 Fighting Irish — a 76-66 upset in the teams’ last meeting at McDonough Arena — but instead fell to 3-25 all-time against their foes from South Bend. The Blue and Gray scored first on a layup from senior forward Adria Crawford, but the visitors responded with a 15-2 run and never looked back, taking a 37-16 advantage into the break. The Hoyas never led again.

Georgetown shot a miserable 18.6 percent from the field in the opening period, and junior guard Sugar Rodgers was held scoreless until the 18:41 mark of the second half. The Big East leading scorer finished with 13 but was outdone by Irish junior guard Skylar Diggins, who led Notre Dame 22 points.

The Blue and Gray emerged from the locker room with a renewed fighting spirit, battling their way back into the game and cutting the lead to ten points on three occasions. The hosts whittled an eighteen point deficit to 58-48 with 7:03 remaining in the contest. They could not find a way to within cut it to single digits, however, and an 18-8 Notre Dame run over the final five minutes of play extinguished any hope for a comeback.

While her defensive-minded team surrendered more than 27 points above its season average, Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy pointed to offensive inefficiency as the root of the problem.

“We truly did enough to win tonight except score,” Williams-Flournoy said. “We had 22 offensive rebounds and forced 18 turnovers, but we shot 28 percent and gave up 80 points and you’re not going to win giving up that many points.”

As the Hoyas’ shooting faltered, the normally red-hot Irish were even deadlier than usual. Notre Dame ranks second in the conference with a 48.2 field goal percentage but eclipsed even its own high standard by hitting at a 56.8 clip, including a 61.9 percent performance in the second half. Both sides enjoyed double-digit scoring efforts from four starters, but the top four Hoyas’ 43 combined points was nowhere near enough against their Notre Dame counterparts, who combined for 69. The visitors also held a 28-15 advantage from the free-throw line and outscored the Blue and Gray in the paint by eight.

However, this setback — coming against an Irish squad which recently defeated reigning conference champion No. 3 Connecticut and whose only loss came to top-ranked Baylor — is no reason for theHoyas to hang their heads. While Notre Dame leads the Big East in turnover margin at +8.76 per game, Georgetown committed just 12 turnovers and forced 18.

The Hoyas have two home losses just four games into their rigorous conference schedule, but both are at the hands of quality opponents; the Blue and Gray’s first setback was a 59-50 defeat againstNo.21 DePaul (14-3, 2-1 Big East). Should Georgetown be able to harness the momentum from a big second half against the Irish, its chances will be much higher in an upcoming matchup with Syracuse (12-5, 1-2 Big East).

The Hoyas will look to rediscover their winning ways Sunday afternoon when they play host to the Orange. Tipoff is set for noon at McDonough Arena.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *