March 3, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame heads into the MCI Center on Saturday, trying to stop its slide.
The Irish are in the midst of a three game losing streak, which has erased all hopes of a NCAA tournament bid.
The bitter taste of defeat still lingers in Notre Dame’s mouth. The Irish fell victim to the Orangemen, 73-71.
Matt Doherty’s squad had rallied from a 16-point deficit only to watch it all get thrown away on a technical. With 8.8 seconds remaining, sophomore David Graves got called for a foul on Ryan Blackwell. To show their disgust with the foul, many fans booed in anger. One chose to toss a plastic water bottle on to the floor, earning Notre Dame a costly technical.
“It was the third time something hit the floor,” Doherty said about the technical. “I was on the microphone after the first time. Did they officially warn us? No, I guess I officially warned us. It was a tough time to make that call.”
Some argue the foul cost Notre Dame its first NCAA bid in 10 years. Other believe that the Irish really had no shot at a bid because of the team’s losses to Pittsburgh and Providence.
“We have to forget about it,” Carroll said about the Syracuse game. “We have to just put it out of our heads. Even though it was the last home game of the season, we can’t let it affect our play for the Georgetown game.”
Georgetown is currently ranked eighth in the conference with a record of 6-9. Overall this season the Hoyas are 16-12 and coming off a big win over West Virginia, 72-54.
“Georgetown is a tough team, they are long and quick,” Carroll said. “I think if we come out and play the way we did in the second half today, good things can happen and we can get a win.”
Georgetown’s Kevin Braswell ranks second in the conference in steals. He averages a little less that three per game. Braswell also is his team’s leading scorer. His average stands at 14.5 points per game.
Another force for the Hoyas is 7-foot center Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje. The center averages 8.1 rebounds per game, ranking him sixth in the conference. Boumtje-Boumtje also averages a little less than 14 points per game.
“Against Georgetown, we just have to come out and play hard. I think we play hard every game,” sophomore David Graves said. “Actually, we just have to execute better. These last four games have been a real bumpy road. We just have to come out and play our game. We still have fight left in us.”
Notre Dame wants nothing more than to get a win under its belt prior to next week’s Big East tournament.