THE FLATS - A cold-shooting second half doomed Georgia Tech men's basketball as they fell to Notre Dame, 68-59, on Saturday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion.
The Yellow Jackets (6-7) used hard-nosed defense and six steals in the first half to take a five-point lead into the break, but the Fighting Irish (11-3) only committed four turnovers and shot 40 percent from downtown in the second half to seal the victory.
Leading Tech offensively was Josh Okogie, who recorded 16 points and seven rebounds on the night. Tadric Jackson provided key energy off the bench with 15 points and four rebounds while Ben Lammers tabbed his fifth double-double of the year with 11 points and 12 boards. Jose Alvarado rounded out GT's double-digit scorers with 11 on the night as well.
Bonzie Colson scored 22 points and matched his career high with 17 rebounds as the Fighting Irish head coach Mike Brey earned his 393rd win as Notre Dame's coach, matching Digger Phelps' program standard. Brey is 393-190 in his 18th season with the Irish. Phelps went 393-197 over 20 seasons from 1971-1991.
The Irish (11-3) scored the first eight points of the second half to take a 31-28 lead. The Yellow Jackets (6-7) had only one more lead, 32-31, as Notre Dame steadily pulled away. A 10-1 run gave ND its largest lead at 55-41 with six minutes to go.
Also scoring in double figures for the Irish was Martinas Geben with 12 points, Rex Pflueger 11, and Matt Farrell and T.J. Gibbs 10 apiece. Pflueger also dealt a game-high six assists, while Geben flushed home three slams over the final nine minutes of the game.
Each team finished just 23 of 60 from the field (ND with seven 3-pointers and Tech with six), but the Irish were 15 of 18 from the free-throw compared to the Yellow Jackets' 7-of-18 effort.
In a first half littered with ice-cold shooting by both sides, Tech took a 28-23 lead despite going just 10 of 26 from the field with three 3-pointers and 5 of 11 at the foul line.
The Irish were 9 of 27 from the field with a trio of 3s in the first half.
POST-GAME AUDIO FROM COACH PASTNER
Notre Dame: The Irish have won three straight since their overtime loss to Indiana as they try to scale their way back into the national rankings. They'll have that opportunity playing in the ACC.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets have lost six of their last eight, with all eight games being played against unranked teams.
Notre Dame: The Irish play a second straight home game to start the ACC season when North Carolina State visits Wednesday.
Georgia Tech: The Jackets play their ACC home opener Wednesday against No. 15 Miami.