- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 4, 2004

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Georgetown gave a clinic against Notre Dame on how to miss shots.

Brandon Bowman missed on a dunk. Gerald Riley missed on an easy layup. So did Courtland Freeman. Then Riley again. A shot by Ashanti Cook rolled once around the rim and popped out.

The Hoyas shot just 28 percent in losing 61-48 to the Irish last night, their seventh straight loss.

“We couldn’t put the ball in the ocean if we threw out of a boat,” said Bowman, who led the Hoyas with 17 points. “We couldn’t buy a bucket.”

The Hoyas still can still qualify for the Big East tournament with a win tomorrow against Virginia Tech at MCI Center or if Miami loses at home to West Virginia.

“It’s a must-win this weekend,” Bowman said.

The 48 points were the fewest ever allowed by the Irish (15-11, 8-7) in a Big East game, breaking the mark of 51 in a victory over Seton Hall in 2002.

“That was really great for us,” said Chris Thomas, the leading Irish scorer with 19 points. “We really guarded them and made them take tough shots. Nobody really got good looks, and if they did we were blocking out and limiting their second-chance opportunities.”

It didn’t seem like it mattered how many chances the Hoyas got. They simply couldn’t put it in the basket.

“We missed some real good shots that I think we can make,” coach Craig Esherick said. “Most of the game I thought we got some shots I’d take again.”

It was the second straight game in which the Hoyas (13-13, 4-11) were held to 48 points — and they needed a 15-foot jumper by Ray Reed at the buzzer to get that many.

The Irish, though, preferred to see it as strong defense.

“We really defended well and didn’t take any possessions off,” Torrian Jones said.

Notre Dame was in control throughout after opening a 13-4 lead early. The Irish shot 37.5 percent and had just five turnovers.

“We missed a lot of shots,” Irish coach Mike Brey said. “There was an opportunity for them to seize control of the game, and our defense kept bailing us out.”

Georgetown’s Gerald Riley, who entered the game averaging 17.8 points, struggled for a second straight game. He was 0-for-11 from the field and had eight points against Seton Hall on Saturday. Against the Irish, he had just 10 points on 3-for-13 shooting.

“I’m not really concerned — I think Gerald will be fine,” Esherick said. “He was the guy I thought got some really good looks at the basket and the ball just didn’t go in.”

The Irish visit St. John’s tomorrow looking to extend their winning streak to three games heading into the Big East tournament.

“We just have to use this game for momentum heading into the next game,” said Chris Quinn, who scored 18 points for the Irish.

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