Wednesday , Mar , 08 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Unlucky Irish; No. 23 Georgetown bests Notre Dame

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Brandon Bowman scored a game-high 25 points
with seven rebounds to lead 23rd-ranked Georgetown past Notre Dame, 67-63, in
an opening round match up of the Big East Conference Tournament at Madison
Square Garden.

Ashanti Cook added 14 points for the fifth-seeded Hoyas (20-8), who have won
three of their last four games. Jeff Green scored 13 points with nine boards
to help lead Georgetown into the quarterfinals, where it will face fourth-
seeded Marquette on Thursday.

Georgetown shot just 30.3 percent in the first half but connected on 56.0
percent in the second to pull out the win.

“In March, any win is a good win,” said Georgetown head coach John Thompson
III. “That’s a very good win against a very tough team that did what they’ve
done all year – they fight. They keep fighting, they keep coming. We got down
early. Then we responded and came back.”

Colin Falls paced Notre Dame (15-13) with 21 points. Russell Carter added 12
points for the 12th-seeded Irish, who had won their previous two contests. Rob
Kurz added 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Chris Quinn finished with eight
points, five boards and eight assists.

“I thought we gave up second shots at key times. That really hurt us,” said
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey. “We finished the first half so well and we
started the second half just poorly, and then you’re digging out of a hole.”

Ahead 60-57, Bowman made it a five-point cushion after his layup with 2:02
remaining in the second half. Carter pulled the Irish to within two after a
three-pointer and the two schools traded lay ups for a 64-62 Georgetown lead
with under a minute left.

Torin Francis made it a one-point game after a free throw, but Bowman
connected on a big layup to put Georgetown ahead 66-63 with just 20 ticks
remaining. Carter was then fouled with seven seconds left, but missed his free
throw.

Green then iced the game by hitting 1-of-2 from the line with just five
seconds remaining.

“He had a special performance today,” said Thompson of Bowman. “He got it in
there, threw the right passes, got big rebounds when we needed it. A lot of
little things that make you win games, not just the points. today, the
importance of your contribution.”

The contest started out all Notre Dame as Georgetown failed to find its stroke
from the field.

In all, the Hoyas missed their first 13 shots and did not get on the board
until Jonathan Wallace connected on a three-pointer 6:24 into the first half.
The Fighting Irish capitalized, opening up the game on an 11-0 run.

Falls started the spurt with a pair of three-pointers and later capped the
burst with three from the free throw line just under five minutes into the
game.

Georgetown, though, began to chip away at the Irish’s lead and eventually
pulled to within four at 22-18 after a three-pointer from Bowman with 5:55
remaining. Carter converted a layup to put the Irish back up by six, but
Georgetown used a three-point play from Green and a conversion from behind the
arc by Bowman to pull even at 24-24 with 2:56 left.

The Hoyas took a one-point advantage after a layup and free throw by Bowman
made it 27-26 with 1:06 remaining, but Notre Dame netted the last three points
of the half to take a 30-27 lead into the locker room.

Falls paced the Irish with 12 points in the opening 20 minutes, while Green
netted 10 in the first half for the Hoyas.

Less then five minutes into the second half, Georgetown extended to a five
point edge on Roy Hibbert’s layup. Notre Dame answered with a three-pointer
from Falls, but the Hoyas came right back with a trey of their own from the
hands of Cook.

Just 1 1/2 minutes later though, Notre Dame regained the lead at 41-40 on a
Falls three-pointer. The schools then exchanged leads on three-pointers until
Georgetown seized control.

Down 44-43 with 12:28 left, a three-pointer by Cook ignited a 10-3 burst that
staked to Hoyas to a 53-47 advantage with 8:22 left. However, the Irish
countered with an 8-2 scoring edge to tie the contest at 55-55 with just under
five minutes left to setup the finish.

Game Notes

Wallace finished with eight points while Hibbert added 11 rebounds…Francis
ended with seven points…Notre Dame shot 40.7 percent from the floor in the
game…The Irish were 11-of-23 from the three-point line while the Hoyas ended
9-of-24…Georgetown has won the Big East Championship six times, tied with
Connecticut for the most among active league members, and improved to 40-20
in the event…The Irish, which have never won the title, fell to 3-11 in the
Big East Tournament…The Hoyas have not captured the tournament since 1989.

GEORGETOWN NOTREDAME