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Irish to present new face to Georgetown

Heather VanHoegarden | Wednesday, February 4, 2004

When Georgetown plays at the Joyce Center tonight, they will face a very different Notre Dame team than the one they beat Jan. 7 in the Big East opener.The No. 23 Irish, (13-7, 6-2 Big East) have beaten ranked foes Virginia Tech, Connecticut, Villanova, Miami and Boston College since the loss at Georgetown. Meanwhile, the Hoyas (10-9, 4-5 Big East) come off a stretch in which they have beaten Virginia Tech, St. John’s and Villanova, but have also lost four games including a double overtime loss to Miami Jan. 14.The last time these two teams met, the Hoyas earned their first win over Notre Dame since 1988, and only their second win ever against the Irish. Notre Dame led by six points with 55 seconds left, but Georgetown went on an 11-2 game-ending run, and scored the final seven points of the game to win 76-73. In that game, Notre Dame committed 24 turnovers, while Georgetown had only 13.That loss is one of only two for the Irish in the Big East, the other coming at West Virginia Jan. 17, 64-51.But the Irish hope tonight’s game will be different, as Georgetown has never won at the Joyce Center, and Notre Dame holds an all-time 17-2 record versus the Hoyas.To win, the Irish must contain the Big East’s leading scorer and rebounder, Rebekkah Brunson, who averages a double double (18.2 points, 11.3 rebounds per game). Brunson has been dominating this season, earning five Big East Player of the Week awards. The Irish also have to worry about 3-point threat Mary Lisicky, who averages 12.8 points per game. Lisicky scored 17 points the last time these teams met, and Brunson dropped 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds.On the Notre Dame side, Jacqueline Batteast has been a force both inside and outside the key. She averages 14.8 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game. Batteast and sophomore guard Megan Duffy (11.5 points, 4.6 assists), have led the Irish to a tie for second-place in the Big East. Another sophomore, Courtney LaVere, has been solid off the bench for the Irish, averaging 8.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.Notre Dame is 9-0 at the Joyce Center this season and looks to improve that mark when the teams tip off at 7 p.m. tonight.