March 5, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – On Saturday, Notre Dame took an early lead and never looked back.
For the first time, the Irish became the aggressor instead of waiting to see what their opponent would do.
Notre Dame manhandled Georgetown, 77-54, securing seventh place in the Big East.
The Irish managed their strong play without the likes of their star, Troy Murphy. The sophomore got into foul trouble early, picking up his second foul with 14 minutes remaining in the first half.
With Murphy on the bench, Notre Dame came out strong behind the leadership of freshman Matt Carroll. The guard scored 13 points in the first half. He started the momentum going for the Irish. Notre Dame began to build a large lead without their main leader.
After amassing a huge lead, the Irish never relinquished it. When the final buzzer sounded, Notre Dame had outplayed Georgetown in every category. The Irish grabbed 51 rebounds, compared to the Hoyas’ 29. Notre Dame also had 23 assists in the game. Jimmy Dillon did not score any points in the win but racked up nine assists.
Murphy sealed up a strong season with another stellar performance. The sophomore scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, earning him his 18th double-double of the season. The forward managed to turn in an impressive performance despite only playing 29 minutes because of foul trouble.
“He is really the MVP of the league,” Doherty said about Murphy.
Murphy’s fellow classmate David Graves earned his second double-double of the season. Graves stayed on the floor the entire game. He scored 14 points and snatched 13 rebounds. The 13 rebounds marked a career high for Graves. He also registered two blocked shots as well as two steals in the contest.
“David did a good job on the boards,” Doherty said. “I thought he really competed.
Notre Dame’s record currently stands at 17-13 overall and at 8-8 in the Big East. The .500 finish is the best finish for the Irish in the Big East Conference since joining it five years ago.
“We can say that we are playing our best basketball right now and it is the best time to do it,” Doherty said.
Saturday’s big win over the Hoyas, secured the Irish the seventh seed in the Big East Tournament. The Tournament starts on Wednesday with the Irish to play at 7:30 p.m.