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I think they're tired of looking at long armed athletes right on top of them. - Jay Bilas
The Hoyas put together one of their best all-around games of the season tonight, absolutely shutting down the Fighting Irish while putting together one of their better offensive performances. (Fifty nine points in 53 possessions against a decent defense is a strong offensive game for this team.)
On defense, the Hoyas gave Notre Dame very few good shots. Jack Cooley, who until Saturday had been the scourge of the Big East, was completely shut down on the interior. Jerian Grant, who has been excellent as a playmaking wing, was forced into tough shot after tough shot. The Hoyas even managed to force a few more turnovers than normal and owned the defensive boards.
The Irish didn't help themselves much, either, missing many of the few open looks they received. But at the end of the day the biggest different was in watching Notre Dame attempt to execute their burn offense. They would run the clock down, and then attempt, in the last ten to fifteen seconds, to get the open shot they have been able to get over the last ten or so games. But today, it wasn't there -- a long, active Hoya defender would turn away the easy shot, forcing a poor one or a bad pass. There were few open jumpers.
More importantly, there were few shots at the rim. The Irish shot 32 jump shots and only 16 layups. The Irish guards could not penetrate and Cooley did nothing inside.
The Hoyas actually weren't that much better in their shot selection (27 jumpers, 17 layups), but offensively, the team seemed to do everything else right. They crashed the offensive boards well and despite a number of frustrating turnovers, kept the overall TO count down. And then they went and made a lot of those jumpshots (something we probably shouldn't count on them continuing).
But the most impressive aspect was the team's cutting to the basket. The cuts came often and were fast and decisive. Clark and Whittington, particularly, continually forced their men to trail them as they looked for easy baskets. Henry Sims had five assists, mostly on cuts. And he and his teammates actually missed quite a few open cutters. Perhaps the Irish weren't well-prepared or maybe the Hoyas simply were clicking, but either way, those easy baskets were the key reason the team was able to put up 28 in the first half.
TEMPO-FREE BOX SCORE . Home Visitor . Georgetown Notre Dame . 1st Half 2nd Half Total 1st Half 2nd Half Total Pace 26 28 53 Points 28 31 59 18 23 41 Effic. 109.4 111.4 110.5 70.3 82.6 76.8 eFG% 56.5 57.1 56.8 37.0 36.0 36.5 TO% 15.6 25.1 20.6 19.5 21.6 20.6 OR% 33.3 45.5 39.1 20.0 33.3 27.3 FTA/FGA 17.4 42.9 29.5 13.0 28.0 20.8 Assist Rate 66.7 45.5 56.5 50.0 37.5 43.8 Block Rate 5.9 14.3 9.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 Steal Rate 7.8 10.8 9.4 11.7 14.4 13.1 2FG% 55.6 60.0 57.6 41.2 42.9 41.9 3FG% 40.0 33.3 36.4 16.7 18.2 17.6 FT% 50.0 77.8 69.2 33.3 71.4 60.0
More thoughts and stats after the jump