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Irish keep Hoyas on short leash

Heather VanHoegarden | Thursday, February 5, 2004

No. 23 Notre Dame showed Georgetown that the team’s first meeting this season – a 76-73 Hoya victory – was a fluke, as the Irish dominated the Hoyas 66-52 Wednesday night.”I think we were a little unsure how to react at the end of the game, having more than a two-point lead,” Irish coach Muffet McGraw said.Jacqueline Batteast led the Irish with 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting and nine rebounds, narrowly missing a double double. Batteast also had two blocks.Notre Dame (14-7, 7-2 in the Big East) gave yet another stellar defensive effort, as they held Big East scoring leader Rebekkah Brunson (18.2 points, 11 rebounds per game) in check. She managed 12 points on 3-for-13 shooting. Six of her points came from the free throw line, and she only grabbed seven rebounds.”I was really pleased with our defense once again to hold them to 52 – they scored 76 on us last time we played,” McGraw said. “I really think that they have made a commitment to the defensive end of the floor, and I think it’s one that we didn’t make earlier in the season.”Earlier this season, the Irish were knocked off by the Hoyas (10-10, 4-6 Big East), despite holding a six-point lead with 55 seconds to go. Wednesday’s game was sweet revenge for the Irish, who remained undefeated at home.Notre Dame never trailed in the game. Teresa Borton hit a layup to put the Irish up 2-0 in the first 16 seconds, and they never looked back.Georgetown cut the lead to 38-31 with 16:59 remaining in the second half. But the Irish called a timeout and proceeded to go on a 9-2 run to go ahead 47-33. After that, the Hoyas got within 10, but that was as close as they would get. Borton had a big game for the Irish, as she went 4-for-4 from the field for 10 points. She also grabbed four rebounds, helping the Irish pay back the Hoyas.”We really wanted a little bit of revenge from the last game,” Borton said. “They just stole it away from us in the last two minutes, and that really hurt us a lot. It was great to come back and win this game.”Notre Dame held the Hoyas to 29.6 percent shooting, and no Hoya made more than three field goals. They also out rebounded Georgetown 42-30.”The team knows that we are starting our best five defensive players. And if they want to start, then they need to be better defensively,” McGraw said. “I think you’re seeing a much more intense, focused group on the defensive end.”On the offensive end, guard Megan Duffy also scored in double figures for the Irish, as she added 11 points and five assists. She was perfect from the line, hitting 6-of-6 attempts. Monique Hernandez added seven points and seven rebounds, in what was arguably her best game of the season.