Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Georgetown Hoyas Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 16th 2023

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Notre Dame’s first chance to atone for an underwhelming road loss against a longtime rival comes Saturday afternoon with a clash against Georgetown in South Bend, Ind.

The Fighting Irish (4-5) are opening a six-game homestand against the Hoyas (6-4), who are on the road for the first time since their 71-60 loss at Rutgers on Nov. 15 — their only game away from home so far this season.

Notre Dame did not present a challenge in last Saturday’s contest at Marquette. The Fighting Irish surrendered the game’s first 17 points and committed eight turnovers before scoring a basket. Markus Burton’s layup gave Notre Dame its first points 7:07 into the game, which was the 120th all-time meeting between the teams.

Burton’s 20 points led Notre Dame in its 78-59 loss, one that first-year coach Micah Shrewsberry said didn’t align with his vision of the program’s future.

“Wins and losses, who cares?” Shrewsberry said, per ND Insider. “I’m building a culture. If you’re not going to hold yourself up to that culture and that standard, I’m not going to play you.

“I guarantee we’re going to get the culture right here.”

Burton’s 15.7 scoring average leads all ACC freshmen and ranks sixth-best among Division I freshmen.

Georgetown initially struggled on offense in Wednesday’s game against Coppin State but heated up after halftime en route to its 71-54 victory in Washington, D.C.

Playing without Jayden Epps after the Big East’s leading scorer was a late scratch due to illness, the Hoyas shot 29.7 percent in the opening period and entered halftime with 29 points, their fewest in a first half this season.

Dontrez Styles and Ismael Massoud each made two 3-pointers within the first four minutes of the second half to help Georgetown pull away.

Epps didn’t practice Thursday and is questionable for Saturday’s game, Georgetown coach Ed Cooley said.

“We’re definitely going to need (Epps),” Cooley said. “I tell our players all the time: You never know what’s going to happen, so you always have to be prepared. It’s a ‘next man up’ mentality.”

If Epps (18.9 points per game) doesn’t play, the Hoyas will rely on Styles (15.7), Massoud (10.3) and Supreme Cook (11.2 points, 8.6 rebounds) to try to notch their first road victory this season.

–Field Level Media

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