Jan. 8, 2000
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw was looking for a strong offensive and defensive performance from her team. Against Georgetown her squad came through with one of its best performances at both ends of the floor as the eighth-ranked Irish won its seventh straight in earning an 82-60 BIG EAST road victory at Georgtown.
Freshman Alicia Ratay and junior Ruth Riley combined for nearly half of Notre Dame’s 82 points. Ratay scored 20-plus points for the third time this season as she finished with a game-high 23 points, while Riley registered her first double-double of the campaign in scoring 18 points and grabbing a game and season-high 13 rebounds.
With the victory, Notre Dame improves to 11-2, 2-0 in the BIG EAST. Georgetown, which suffered an 87-48 setback to top-ranked Connecticut on Tuesday, was playing its third straight ranked opponent. The Hoyas, who fell to 7-6, 1-2 in the league, were led by junior Katie Smrcka -Duffy’s 19 points.
“I was pleased with the way we sustained our intensity throughout the entire game,” Irish head coach Muffet McGraw said. “We played well at both ends of the floor and were very aggressive for 40 minutes. It is something that we had been stressing to our players. From the start we were ready to play and I like what we did this afternoon.”
Notre Dame gained control of the game six minutes into the contest. After two free throws by Nok Duany, which tied the game at 10-10 with 14:25 left in the first half, the Irish outscored Georgetotwn 23-5 in building a 33-15 advantage with 5:34 remaining before the intermission. The Irish used balanced scoring in the run that was key by a couple of baskets from both Riley and Meaghan Leahy, who came off the bench in the first half to score six points. The Irish junior played 18 minutes in the contest and tied her career-high as she finished with nine points.
“Meaghan had a great game for us and provided a real spark off the bench.” McGraw said. “She helped key our run in the first half which helped us extend our lead during that 10-minute stretch.”
Notre Dame led by as many as 19 points in the first half as they shot 54.8 percent from the field, while limiting the Hoyas to 29 percent accuracy as Georgetown made just nine-of-its 31 field goal attempts.
Georgetown, which trailed by 12 at the half, was able to cut the lead to 10 (47-37) on Smrcka-Duffy’s layup with 16:59. The Hoyas were never able to get closer than that as Ratay burned the Hoyas for 11 points during a 13-3 run that saw Notre Dame extend its lead to 60-40 with 13:39 remaining in the game. Ratay scored 14 points in the second half and had four three-pointers for the game.
“This was Alicia’s best game since coming back from the Christmas break,” McGraw said. “She was looking for her shot today, something that she hadn’t done in a couple of games. She seemed to have a great deal of confidence out there and I liked how aggressive she was in looking for her shot.”
Notre Dame proved dominant on the boards for the second straight game as the Irish outrebounded the Hoyas 47-35.
Both teams found it difficult to get in an offensive rhythm at times with a total of 47 fouls called in the game. Georgetown had two of its players, Nathalie Bourdereau and Nok Dunay foul out of the contest. The Irish hit 24 of its 31 free throw attempts while the Hoyas made 19 of 29 from the line. Riley was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe for the game.
Notre Dame returns to the Joyce Center on Tuesday, January 11 when the Irish host Seton Hall in a 7:00 p.m,. tipoff.