NOTRE DAME — Mike Brey hadn’t even sat down in front of the microphones at his post-game press conference Monday before he spat out his analysis of Notre Dame’s performance.
“That was a thorough beating,” the Notre Dame head basketball coach said following a 63-47 home loss against Georgetown.
That’s putting it lightly.
No. 24 Notre Dame (15-4, 3-3 Big East) sleepwalked through a conference loss to the Hoyas (13-4, 3-3 Big East) in what was the second biggest home deficit in Brey’s tenure with the Irish and the fewest points Notre Dame has scored since last season’s 59-41 loss to Georgetown.
Georgetown took control early on an 11-0 run that the Irish never recovered from. Notre Dame overcame shoddy first-half shooting (30 percent in the first half) and showed brief flashes of life — closing the gap to a bucket or two at a couple of points in the contest — but the Hoyas would embark on lengthy scoring runs to keep Notre Dame at bay.
“We couldn’t get the basket or the stop that we needed,” Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant said. “We’re just leaving those plays out there. We climbed back in, but we couldn’t get that rebound or that defensive stop that we really needed.”
A Pat Connaughton reverse layup brought the Irish within two points midway through the second half, but the Hoyas went on an 18-0 scoring run to hammer the nail in the coffin. In that time, Notre Dame went nearly 7 1/2 minutes without a point.
Monday’s loss compounds Notre Dame’s recent struggles; the Irish wrapped up 2012 and non-league play with 10 straight wins but are 3-3 in 2013 and have lost three of their last four games.
“That’s something we’re going to have to address here in the next couple of days,” Brey said of his team’s recent free-fall. “It’s a hard league. We’re fortunate that this only counted as one loss the way that thing went.”
Grant led the Irish with 13 points, while Connaughton chipped in 12. Meanwhile, Scott Martin — Notre Dame’s six-year starter — finished without a point, which Brey attributed to ongoing knee issues.
The Irish came into Monday’s game leading the Big East in field goal percentage. They shot 34.8 percent against Georgetown.
Though starting out 3-3 in a stretch of conference games is disconcerting, Brey isn’t panicking quite yet.
“I’ve been here before,” he said. “We’re going to need some new juice. Maybe going on the road and getting away from here will help us.”