Photo by © Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Notre Dame Basketball

Hubb, Gibbs, Irish Sting Yellow Jackets

January 15, 2020

Notre Dame’s shortened rotation no longer is much of a topic.

The Fighting Irish have who the Fighting Irish have.

But when they get this type of balanced scoring, well, who they have can do some pretty big things.

Paced by four players in double digits, including Prentiss Hubb’s game and career-high 25 points, Notre Dame overcame host Georgia Tech, 78-74, Wednesday night at McCamish Pavilion --- the program’s first win in the venue in five years.

“It seems like we’re in these (games) all the time,” ND coach Mike Brey said. “I’m proud of our group because we made some fearless plays to get out of here with a win tonight.

“Just a heck of a game.”

T.J. Gibbs added 17, Dane Goodwin 15 off the bench and John Mooney dismissed a sluggish offensive start to match the program record with his 11-straight double-double, 12 rebounds and 10 points, for the Irish (11-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).

“Obviously Hubb and Gibbs were fearless for us; Hubb was fabulous,” Brey said. “But, you know, he’s trending this way.”

After they combined to score just 10 points in a first half that Notre Dame led 29-27 at the break, Gibbs, Hubb and Mooney scored 42 of the Irish’s 49 second-half points.

“I don’t really care about that personal stuff; I really don’t,” said Mooney. “Just glad we got the win. The double-doubles come from my teammates, especially on the offensive end, when I’m scoring the ball because of our movement. We have shooters on the wing and it opens up stuff down low.

“Same as some of the rebounds. Juwan Durham will contest, which leaves things kind of wide open for me. Team game, just glad we got the win.”

The teams were never separated by more than seven points in the game; they were tied 12 times and swapped leads on 10 different occasions.

But Notre Dame made plays that the host Yellow Jackets (8-9, 3-4 ACC) simply could not down the game’s closing stretch.

Specifically, Hubb made a plethora of big shots --- deep 3s and daring drives --- that spurred the Irish to their second league win --- both of them on the road after an earlier win at Syracuse.

The Irish, who trailed by six in the second half, found a way to close out a tight game after their three most recent losses came by a combined 10 points.

Notre Dame hit six of its final seven field-goal attempts, Gibbs and Hubb doing the major damage, and shook off some inopportune misses at the charity stripe from earlier this season. Hubb hit 5-for-6 inside the final 25 seconds and Goodwin went 1-for-2 as the Irish scored their final six points at the line.

Goodwin (three), Hubb (three) and Gibbs (two) combined for all eight of the victor’s 3-pointers to help offset an evening that the Jackets abused Notre Dame in the paint with a 48-32 interior scoring edge.

Michael Devoe’s hot shooting kept the Jackets within a bucket or nursing a small lead for much of the game; the Tech guard had 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting to go along with nine boards. Moses Wright added 16 and James Banks 10 for GT, which has lost two of three since winning at North Carolina to begin the 2020 portion of its schedule.

For Notre Dame, this win comes at a particularly purposeful time in the schedule. The Irish get a rare weekend off from their grueling ACC gauntlet before they return to the court at home against Syracuse January 22.

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