Borton leads ND to 14-point home win over Georgetown
Eric Retter | Monday, February 14, 2005
The beginning was promising and the final result was as expected, but in between No. 6 Notre Dame left much to be desired. Despite never trailing in a game they eventually won 72-58, the Irish, who improved their respective Big East and overall records to 10-1 and 22-3, struggled to put away unheralded Georgetown. Notre Dame started the game in encouraging fashion, shooting 57.1 percent from the field in the first half and dominating the Hoyas at the outset. Behind a strong early inside effort from senior center Teresa Borton, who had 10 of her 14 points in the first half, the Irish built their way up to a 31-17 lead with 5:05 in the first half. “I was happy [with the way the game started],” Irish coach Muffet McGraw said. “I thought we should have put them away.”But Notre Dame didn’t, and the Hoyas went on a 12-4 run to end the half, including a half-court 3-pointer by guard Kristen Heidloff that cut the lead to 35-26 as time expired in the first half.”Once we got the big lead we sort of stopped focusing,” senior forward Jacqueline Batteast said. “We were making big mental mistakes and giving them lay ups, and, we turned the ball over during that period and let them get back in the game.Halftime didn’t put an end to Georgetown’s hot streak. Led by Mary Lisicky, who had seven of her 16 points in a 7:19 stretch at the start of the second half, the Hoyas went on a 15-8 run and cut Notre Dame’s lead to 43-41. “She [Lisicky] shot the lights out on us. She made some great shots,” McGraw said. Nonetheless, a two-point deficit was as close as Georgetown would come, as the Irish regained their earlier form and took control of the game, outscoring the Hoyas 29-17 the rest of the way. Notre Dame turned rebounding – a season-long weakness – into a strength against Georgetown, taking a 42-21 advantage on the glass.Borton led the Irish in that category, grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds and putting together her second double-double of the season.”I just got good positioning down low, and we were more aggressive going for the rebound,” Borton said. Rebounding helped the Irish pull away towards the end, as the team got 12 of its 18 second-chance points in the second half. Batteast, who finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, led the Irish effort in the second half, helping the team rebuild the lead to a comfortable margin by scoring 12 second-half points. Saturday’s game was Batteast’s 10th 20-point performance of the season, and the 31st of her career. Batteast also moved into fourth place on Notre Dame’s all-time scoring list, passing Alicia Ratay with 3:18 left in the second half.After the game, Batteast downplayed her individual achievement compared to the team’s successes. “It’s a great accomplishment but I’m more happy with the 22-3 record that we have this year,” she said. “As a team we’re doing very well.”The game marks the ninth time this season four players have scored in double digits, as Borton and Batteast were joined by junior guard Megan Duffy and freshman guard Charel Allen, who had 17 and 14 points, respectively.Ultimately, Batteast noted, the Irish have to play more consistently from beginning to end.”We can’t keep opening the door and letting teams think that they can keep playing with us,” she said. “We have to take their confidence away, and we let Georgetown come back many times during this game. We should have put them away a lot sooner.”The Irish will be back in action Tuesday at No. 19 Boston College.