Jan. 10, 2018
By Robby Hamman
ATLANTA — Notre Dame (13-4, 3-1 ACC) tried to shake off a slow start at Georgia Tech (8-8, 2-1 ACC) on Wednesday evening but fell short, losing by a final of 60-53 to the Yellow Jackets. With the defeat, the Irish split the regular season series with Georgia Tech 1-1, as Notre Dame defeated the Yellow Jackets 68-59 in the team’s ACC opener.
The Irish were led by senior big man Martinas Geben, who scored a career-high 16 points and pulled down a team best nine rebounds. Two other Notre Dame players finished in double figures, as T.J. Gibbs and John Mooney each added 11 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish had a tough time getting anything going on the offensive end in the first frame of play against the Yellow Jackets, scoring just 20 points over the first 20 minutes. Notre Dame trailed Georgia Tech 30-20 at the half. The Irish held a 16-15 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the first but then went cold for the remainder of the period.
With under 15 minutes to play in the second stanza, the Irish trailed 37-29. The Notre Dame offense then came to life, as the Irish ripped off nine unanswered points to take a one-point lead at 38-37 with just over 11 minutes left on the clock. Georgia Tech responded with a run of its own, retaking a 52-43 lead at the seven-minute mark.
Freshman D.J. Harvey answered by knocking down two shots from beyond the arc to help cut the lead back down to three at 54-51 with 3:56 left in regulation. Unfortunately for the Irish, that was as close as they would get as Georgia Tech did enough over the final minutes of play to win by a final of 60-53.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Geben turned in his best offensive performance of his four-year career against the Yellow Jackets, scoring a career-high 16 points on an efficient 8-of-13 shooting effort from the field to lead the Irish in scoring. The senior also paced the Irish in rebounds with nine and swiped a career-high two steals and added two blocks to stuff the box score.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Irish dished out 16 assists on the evening. Gibbs matched his career high for assists with seven and junior Rex Pflueger also tied his personal best with six assists.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- For the eighth time this season Geben finished in double figures in the scoring column, finishing with 16 points in Atlanta.
- With 11 points, Gibbs finished with 10-plus points for the 12th time this season and fifth consecutive game.
- Gibbs recorded a season-high seven assists.
- Rex Pflueger dished out six assists, tying his career high.
- Mooney scored a career-high 11 points at Georgia Tech, marking his first double-digit scoring performance of his Notre Dame career.
- Mooney also pulled down a career-high eight rebounds in the contest.
- Elijah Burns made the first start of his career at Georgia Tech.
The Irish return home after their two-game road swing to host No. 20/18 North Carolina at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13. The game will air live on ESPN.
— ND —
Robby Hamman joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in September 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and men’s lacrosse program. Hamman is a 2010 graduate of Bethel College, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in sport management and business administration, and earned his master’s degree in business administration from Defiance College in 2013.