On Saturday night, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey asked T.J. Gibbs to meet him in the gymnasium for a little chat. On Sunday the junior responded to the private session by scoring a season-high 20 points and helping Notre Dame to a 69-59 over visiting Georgia Tech.
Gibbs had been suffering from an extended shooting slump that had seen him go 1 for 9 from the floor on Tuesday at Miami. The New Jersey native wasn’t perfect on Sunday, but still topped his season-high by a point. He was 5 for 13 from the field, including two 3-pointers, and was 8 of 9 from the free throw line.
Gibbs had a 3-pointer and three free throws to spark at 8-2 run midway in the second half that allowed the Irish to take a six-point lead at 41-35. Tech never got closer than three points.
Notre Dame (13-11, 3-8) also got 11 points and 14 rebounds from John Mooney, his ACC-leading 15th double-double. D.J. Harvey scored 18 points and added eight rebounds and Prentiss Hubb scored 13.
Georgia Tech (11-13, 3-8) was led by freshman Michael Devoe with a career-high 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Devoe was 6 for 13 from the floor and 4 for 5 on 3-pointers. James Banks III played through foul trouble to grab 12 rebounds and block four shots.
The Yellow Jackets have lost five straight and seven of their last eight.
Neither team got its offense going until late in the first half. Georgia Tech went on a 9-0 run — a stretch of nearly five minutes — and grabbed a 14-6 lead on Jose Alvarado’s short jumper at 8:27. The Irish used a 7-0 streak to pull within two points on a Gibbs jumper and tied the game at 24-24 with 49 seconds remaining on Mooney’s three-point play. Georgia Tech led 25-24 at the half.
The series continued to be one of the closest in the ACC. Since joining the conference, Notre Dame leads the series 7-5 and until Sunday the largest winning margin has been eight points. Georgia Tech won the first meeting this season 63-61 in Atlanta.
Notre Dame is off until Saturday, when it travels to No. 3 Virginia. Georgia Tech plays at Virginia Tech on Wednesday.
—Field Level Media