SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — T.J. Gibbs scored 20 points, D.J. Harvey added 18 and John Mooney had his 15th double-double of the season as Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech 69-59 Sunday night.
Coming off a 62-47 loss at Miami last Wednesday, the Irish (13-11, 3-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for only the second time in their last seven. Notre Dame shot just 32.8 percent (21 of 64).
Mooney, whose streak of eight consecutive games with a double-doubles was snapped at Miami, finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Prentiss Hubb added 13 points for Notre Dame.
Michael Devoe scored 18 points and Abdoulaye Gueye added 12 for the Yellow Jackets (11-13, 3-8) who lost for the fifth straight time since a 63-61 victory over Notre Dame on Jan. 22 in Atlanta. Georgia Tech shot 40.7 percent (22 of 54) but turned the ball over 14 times, six more than the Irish, and was outrebounded 45-39.
The first half was one of scoring droughts — one by the Irish of 7:49 between two by the Yellow Jackets of 3:32 and 4:28 — and fittingly ended with Notre Dame’s Nate Laszewski blocking Devoe’s runner at the buzzer that left Georgia Tech with a 25-24 halftime lead.
Georgia Tech built a 17-8 lead — its largest of the half — on Devoe’s third 3-pointer about seven minutes in before Laszewski ended a 0-for-10 start from beyond the arc. It ignited an Irish 16-7 run that ended with Mooney converting a 3-point play with 49 seconds left before halftime.
Jose Alvarado’s 3-pointer, Tech’s only basket in its first five attempts to start the second half, was followed by a 9-0 run by the Irish. Harvey hit a 3-pointer from the corner for a 33-28 lead, forcing a Georgia Tech timeout with 16:41 to play. But a pair of free throws and Kristian Sjolund’s 3-pointer from the corner erased that lead in 52 seconds.
Then with the score tied 33-33 at 14:53, the shot clock had issues, which considering the shooting by both teams was only fitting.
The Irish regained the lead on Gibbs’ 3-pointer with 13:53 remaining to end a drought of nearly-3 minutes and built it back up as Gibbs made five of six free throws after being fouled twice on 3-point attempts.
Mooney’s layup with 4:12 to go gave the Irish a 54-44 lead and they cruised from there.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets entered the game No. 3 in the ACC in scoring defense (66.9 points per game), No. 3 in field-goal percentage defense (40.4) and No. 2 in 3-point shooting defense (28.8). In the first half, they held Notre Dame to 24 points, 29.4 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Notre Dame: The Irish scored just 24 points in the first half, one more than their first-half effort last Thursday in a 62-47 loss at Miami. T.J. Gibbs, who was expected to carry some of the scoring load after averaging 15.3 points per game last season, had just two points on 1-of-6 shooting after missing his first five shots. Gibbs entered the game averaging 13.1 points on 34.4 percent shooting.
Georgia Tech: Visits No. 11 Virginia Tech Wednesday.
Notre Dame: Visits No. 3 Virginia Saturday.
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