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Mooney's 28 points lead Irish past Georgia Tech, 80-72

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Mike Brey refers to Notre Dame's double-double machine John Mooney as “Superman.”

Saturday after the 6-foot-9, 245-pound senior forward's 28 points and 10 rebounds led the Irish to an 80-72 triumph over Georgia Tech, Brey's coaching counterpart Josh Pastner might have been looking for kryptonite.

“I can't wait for him to move on,” Pastner said after the Fighting Irish (13-8, 4-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their second straight home contest and completed a regular-season sweep of the Yellow Jackets (10-12, 4-7).

T.J. Gibbs scored 19 points, Dane Goodwin 14 and Rex Pflueger 13 for the Irish, whose efficiency shooting (47% on 24 of 51, including 9 of 24 on 3-pointers) overcame Tech's 42-32 dominance of the boards, including 20 on the offensive end.

“I thought our offensive efficiency has been good; it hasn't always come out with wins,” Brey said. “The last two we're scoring, we're confident and getting to the foul line. All three of them (Mooney, Gibbs and Pflueger) set the tone for us in a very important game."

Mooney, who passed the 1,000-plateau in the second half while scoring 18 of his points, finished 9-of-18 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers. He also made 8 of 9 free throws after going 7-for-7 in Notre Dame's 90-80 victory over Wake Forest Wednesday.

“We're a confident group right now, especially in close games,” said Mooney, who now has 1,009 points in his career and 17 double-doubles this season to lead the nation. His 13.4 rebounds per game coming in was the second best.

“He's a beast,” Pflueger said of his teammate who was not on the recent John Wooden Player of the Year list. “He's all about team first."

Jose Alvarado had 25 points, Moses Wright 17 before fouling out and James Banks III 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets, who were playing without leading scorer Michael Devoe (foot injury) and saw a two-game win streak snapped.

Notre Dame, which beat Georgia Tech 78-74 on Jan. 15, closed the first half on a 10-3 run in the final 3:14 to take a 36-33 lead. There were four lead changes, and the game was tied seven times in the first 20 minutes during which the Irish led by as many as five and trailed by as many as four.

The Irish, who shot 48% (12 of 25), made 6 of 15 3-pointers, two each by Gibbs and Pflueger. Mooney had 10 points and three rebounds. The Yellow Jackets, led by Alvarado’s 12 points, shot 37% (14 of 38) after going without a field goal in the last 2:38. They did outrebound the Irish 22-15.

Georgia Tech hit four of its first seven shots of the second half, with Alvarado scoring seven points to tie the game 44-44 with 15:38 to play. A Mooney 3-pointer, off an assist from Prentiss Hubb, with 11:43 to go pushed him past 1,000 points in his career for a 53-48 Irish lead.

George Tech called a timeout, but the 3-pointers kept falling for the Irish as Goodwin’s trey helped the Irish out to a 58-50 lead with 10:03 to play. The Irish lead was still eight, 61-53, with eight minutes remaining.

A Mooney dunk, off a Hubb assist, made it 65-55 with 6:29 to play. Notre Dame’s biggest lead 71-59 came on Mooney’s layup with 3:56 to play.

BIG PICTURE

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets, who were on a modest two-game winning streak following an 82-54 non-league victory over Morehouse, entered the contest 3-2 on the road in the ACC. But playing without Devoe (16.2 points per game) took away an offensive weapon that the Irish didn't have to worry about.

“You can't leave points off the board because (the Irish) will make you pay because of their offensive skill set,” Pastner said after calling Notre Dame perhaps the best offensive team in the ACC. “We did a great job with 20 offensive boards, a good job in the red zone (paint, 44-18). The bottom line is they hit some tough 2s and they made nine 3s. We didn't make enough 3s (4 for 18). Not having Mike Devoe hurts us because it takes away a shooter.”

Notre Dame: The Irish had lost five ACC games by five points or less before winning 90-80 over Wake Forest Wednesday night for their first league victory at home. Saturday's game was the middle of three straight at home. Brey likes the way his team is playing.

“Offensively I think we're feeling pretty good about ourselves,” Brey said. “I feel the last two games we've been harder to guard. If we can score 75 or 80 you're going to have a chance to win every game.”

TRIPUCKA HONORED

Former All-American and NBA standout Kelly Tripucka, who played for Notre Dame's Digger Phelps from 1977-81 when the Irish went 92-26 and made their only Final Four appearance, was inducted into the Purcell Pavilion Ring of Honor at halftime. Tripucka, who scored 1,719 and averaged 15.3 points in his Irish career before averaging 17.2 points in the NBA, visited with the Irish Friday and had some words of advice for Mooney, who was making just 61% of his free throws coming into Saturday's game.

“I got on Mooney a little bit about his free throw shooting,” Tripucka said. “He's got too good of a touch. I asked him, ‘are you a good free-throw shooter?' He said no. I said, that's not going to cut it.”

Mooney made his first eight free throws before missing his ninth Saturday.

“It's about being confident with your touch,” Mooney said about his “lecture.” “Good for him.”

UP NEXT

Georgia Tech: Tuesday vs. Virginia Tech.

Notre Dame: Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh.

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Time Team Play Score
20:00   Jumpball received by Georgia Tech  
19:43 +3 Jose Alvarado made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Banks III 3-0
19:23   Lost ball turnover on T.J. Gibbs, stolen by James Banks III  
18:59   Jordan Usher missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:57   Defensive rebound by Juwan Durham  
18:32 +3 Rex Pflueger made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by John Mooney 3-3
18:12   Jordan Usher missed jump shot  
18:10   Offensive rebound by Moses Wright  
18:03 +2 Moses Wright made layup 5-3
18:03   Turnover on John Mooney  
17:32   Double dribble turnover on Jose Alvarado  
17:11   Prentiss Hubb missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:09   Defensive rebound by James Banks III  
16:50   Jordan Usher missed jump shot  
16:48   Defensive rebound by Rex Pflueger  
16:42   Shooting foul on Moses Wright  
16:43 +1 John Mooney made 1st of 2 free throws 5-4
16:43 +1 John Mooney made 2nd of 2 free throws 5-5
16:35   Jose Alvarado missed 3-pt. jump shot  
16:33   Offensive rebound by James Banks III  
16:28   James Banks III missed layup, blocked by Juwan Durham  
16:26   Defensive rebound by Prentiss Hubb  
16:19   Lost ball turnover on Rex Pflueger, stolen by James Banks III  
16:11   Khalid Moore missed jump shot  
16:09   Defensive rebound by Prentiss Hubb  
15:56   Juwan Durham missed jump shot  
15:54   Defensive rebound by James Banks III  
15:47   Jordan Usher missed 3-pt. jump shot  
15:45   Defensive rebound by Notre Dame  
15:30   Lost ball turnover on John Mooney, stolen by Jose Alvarado  
15:21   Khalid Moore missed layup  
15:19   Offensive rebound by Moses Wright  
15:19   Moses Wright missed layup  
15:17   Defensive rebound by Nate Laszewski  
15:17   Personal foul on Khalid Moore  
15:08   Nikola Djogo missed 3-pt. jump shot  
15:06   Defensive rebound by Bubba Parham  
14:44 +2 Jordan Usher made dunk, assist by Moses Wright 7-5
14:25   Personal foul on Bubba Parham  
14:15 +3 T.J. Gibbs made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Dane Goodwin 7-8
13:51   Evan Cole missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:49   Offensive rebound by Moses Wright  
13:44 +2 Moses Wright made layup 9-8
13:38 +3 Rex Pflueger made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Prentiss Hubb 9-11
13:13   Jordan Usher missed layup  
13:11   Offensive rebound by Evan Cole  
13:08 +2 Evan Cole made layup 11-11
13:03   T.J. Gibbs missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:01   Defensive rebound by Jordan Usher  
12:46   Moses Wright missed jump shot  
12:44   Defensive rebound by Dane Goodwin  
12:35 +3 Nate Laszewski made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Rex Pflueger 11-14
12:22 +2 Jose Alvarado made jump shot 13-14
11:57 +2 Dane Goodwin made jump shot 13-16
11:57   Shooting foul on Evan Cole  
11:57   Dane Goodwin missed free throw  
11:57   Defensive rebound by Jose Alvarado  
11:48   Personal foul on Prentiss Hubb  
11:34   Shooting foul on John Mooney  
11:34 +1 Jordan Usher made 1st of 2 free throws 14-16
11:34 +1 Jordan Usher made 2nd of 2 free throws 15-16
11:09   Dane Goodwin missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:07   Defensive rebound by Khalid Moore  
10:52   Jordan Usher missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:50   Defensive rebound by John Mooney  
10:39 +2 Dane Goodwin made layup 15-18
10:16   Khalid Moore missed layup, blocked by John Mooney  
10:14   Defensive rebound by Notre Dame  
9:56 +2 John Mooney made dunk, assist by Rex Pflueger 15-20
9:32   Moses Wright missed layup  
9:30   Offensive rebound by James Banks III  
9:28   James Banks III missed layup  
9:26   Defensive rebound by Notre Dame  
9:05   Nate Laszewski missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:03   Defensive rebound by Jose Alvarado  
8:51 +2 Moses Wright made jump shot 17-20
8:34   T.J. Gibbs missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:30   Offensive rebound by John Mooney  
8:30   Shooting foul on James Banks III  
8:30 +1 John Mooney made 1st of 2 free throws 17-21
8:30 +1 John Mooney made 2nd of 2 free throws 17-22
8:12 +3 Bubba Parham made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Moses Wright 20-22
7:59   Juwan Durham missed jump shot  
7:57   Defensive rebound by Georgia Tech  
7:38   Moses Wright missed jump shot  
7:36   Offensive rebound by Georgia Tech  
7:32 +2 Jose Alvarado made jump shot, assist by Moses Wright 22-22
7:06 +2 John Mooney made jump shot, assist by Juwan Durham 22-24
6:37 +2 Moses Wright made layup 24-24
6:19   John Mooney missed dunk, blocked by Moses Wright  
6:17   Defensive rebound by Moses Wright  
5:56   Lost ball turnover on Evan Cole, stolen by Juwan Durham  
5:40   Juwan Durham missed jump shot  
5:38   Defensive rebound by Moses Wright  
5:17 +2 Jose Alvarado made jump shot 26-24
5:05 +2 Prentiss Hubb made jump shot 26-26
4:42   Jose Alvarado missed jump shot  
4:40   Defensive rebound by John Mooney  
4:30   Traveling violation turnover on T.J. Gibbs  
4:11   Bubba Parham missed jump shot  
4:09   Offensive rebound by Evan Cole  
4:04 +2 Evan Cole made layup 28-26
3:59   Nate Laszewski missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:57   Defensive rebound by Evan Cole  
3:32 +2 James Banks III made dunk, assist by Moses Wright 30-26
3:16   Prentiss Hubb missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:14   Offensive rebound by Prentiss Hubb  
3:14   Personal foul on Jose Alvarado  
3:12 +3 T.J. Gibbs made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Prentiss Hubb 30-29
2:38 +2 Jose Alvarado made jump shot 32-29
2:22 +3 Dane Goodwin made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by T.J. Gibbs 32-32
1:51   Moses Wright missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:49   Offensive rebound by Georgia Tech  
1:49   Personal foul on Dane Goodwin  
1:32   Khalid Moore missed layup  
1:30   Offensive rebound by Khalid Moore  
1:26   Khalid Moore missed layup  
1:24   Defensive rebound by Dane Goodwin  
1:23 +2 John Mooney made layup, assist by Rex Pflueger 32-34
1:01   Shooting foul on T.J. Gibbs  
1:01   Jose Alvarado missed 1st of 2 free throws  
1:01 +1 Jose Alvarado made 2nd of 2 free throws 33-34
42.0   Shooting foul on Bubba Parham  
42.0 +1 Dane Goodwin made 1st of 2 free throws 33-35
43.0 +1 Dane Goodwin made 2nd of 2 free throws 33-36
18.0   James Banks III missed layup  
16.0   Offensive rebound by Jordan Usher  
11.0   Jordan Usher missed layup  
9.0   Defensive rebound by Prentiss Hubb  
2.0   Prentiss Hubb missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0.0   Defensive rebound by Jose Alvarado  
0.0   End of period  

Time Team Play Score
19:44   John Mooney missed layup  
19:41   Offensive rebound by John Mooney  
19:44   Personal foul on Jordan Usher  
19:36   John Mooney missed 3-pt. jump shot  
19:34   Defensive rebound by Moses Wright  
19:11 +3 Jose Alvarado made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Banks III 36-36
18:55 +3 John Mooney made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Juwan Durham 36-39
18:23   Offensive foul on Moses Wright  
18:23   Turnover on Moses Wright  
18:11   John Mooney missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:09   Defensive rebound by Jordan Usher  
18:00 +2 Jose Alvarado made jump shot 38-39
17:45   Lost ball turnover on Juwan Durham  
17:32   Jose Alvarado missed jump shot  
17:30   Offensive rebound by Jose Alvarado  
17:25   Shooting foul on Juwan Durham  
17:22 +1 James Banks III made 1st of 2 free throws 39-39
17:22 +1 James Banks III made 2nd of 2 free throws 40-39
17:08 +2 John Mooney made layup 40-41
17:01   Shooting foul on James Banks III  
17:09 +1 John Mooney made free throw 40-42
16:50   Moses Wright missed layup  
16:48   Offensive rebound by James Banks III  
16:46 +2 James Banks III made dunk 42-42
16:29   Shooting foul on James Banks III  
16:31 +1 John Mooney made 1st of 2 free throws 42-43
16:31 +1 John Mooney made 2nd of 2 free throws 42-44
16:14 +2 Jose Alvarado made jump shot 44-44
15:57   T.J. Gibbs missed jump shot  
15:55   Defensive rebound by Moses Wright  
15:45   Jose Alvarado missed 3-pt. jump shot  
15:43   Offensive rebound by Bubba Parham  
15:38   Shooting foul on Nate Laszewski  
15:38   Moses Wright missed 1st of 2 free throws  
15:38 +1 Moses Wright made 2nd of 2 free throws 45-44
15:22   Shooting foul on Moses Wright  
15:22 +1 Rex Pflueger made 1st of 2 free throws 45-45
15:22 +1 Rex Pflueger made 2nd of 2 free throws 45-46
15:01   Evan Cole missed dunk  
14:59   Defensive rebound by Nate Laszewski  
14:53   Personal foul on Moses Wright  
14:42   Prentiss Hubb missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:40   Offensive rebound by Notre Dame  
14:29 +2 T.J. Gibbs made jump shot 45-48
14:01   Personal foul on Rex Pflueger  
13:42   Jose Alvarado missed layup  
13:40   Defensive rebound by Nate Laszewski  
13:29   Dane Goodwin missed layup, blocked by James Banks III  
13:27   Defensive rebound by Jose Alvarado  
13:24   Shooting foul on Nate Laszewski  
13:24 +1 Jose Alvarado made 1st of 2 free throws 46-48
13:24   Jose Alvarado missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
13:24   Defensive rebound by Dane Goodwin  
13:05   Lost ball turnover on Rex Pflueger, stolen by Jordan Usher  
13:02   Jumpball received by Georgia Tech  
12:45 +2 Jordan Usher made jump shot 48-48
12:22   Personal foul on Jordan Usher  
12:22 +1 T.J. Gibbs made 1st of 2 free throws 48-49
12:22 +1 T.J. Gibbs made 2nd of 2 free throws 48-50
11:55   Evan Cole missed layup  
11:53   Defensive rebound by John Mooney  
11:44 +3 John Mooney made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Prentiss Hubb 48-53
11:27 +2 Jordan Usher made jump shot 50-53
11:11   Lost ball turnover on Prentiss Hubb, stolen by Jordan Usher  
11:04   Jose Alvarado missed layup  
11:02   Defensive rebound by Nate Laszewski  
10:44 +3 Dane Goodwin made 3-pt. jump shot 50-56
10:20   Jordan Usher missed jump shot  
10:18   Defensive rebound by Dane Goodwin  
10:04   Personal foul on Jordan Usher  
10:04 +1 T.J. Gibbs made 1st of 2 free throws 50-57
10:04 +1 T.J. Gibbs made 2nd of 2 free throws 50-58
9:53   Shooting foul on John Mooney  
9:53   James Banks III missed 1st of 2 free throws  
9:53 +1 James Banks III made 2nd of 2 free throws 51-58
9:35   John Mooney missed jump shot  
9:33   Defensive rebound by James Banks III  
9:17 +2 Moses Wright made jump shot 53-58
9:00   Personal foul on James Banks III  
9:00 +1 John Mooney made 1st of 2 free throws 53-59
9:00   John Mooney missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
9:00   Defensive rebound by James Banks III  
8:36   Khalid Moore missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:34   Defensive rebound by John Mooney  
8:21   T.J. Gibbs missed layup  
8:19   Defensive rebound by Bubba Parham  
8:11   Lost ball turnover on Jose Alvarado, stolen by Rex Pflueger  
8:01 +2 T.J. Gibbs made jump shot 53-61
7:41 +2 Moses Wright made jump shot 55-61
7:10 +2 Rex Pflueger made jump shot 55-63
6:43   Moses Wright missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:41   Defensive rebound by T.J. Gibbs  
6:35 +2 John Mooney made dunk, assist by Prentiss Hubb 55-65
6:11   Moses Wright missed layup  
6:09   Offensive rebound by Moses Wright  
6:06 +2 Moses Wright made dunk 57-65
5:54 +2 John Mooney made layup 57-67
5:22   Moses Wright missed jump shot  
5:21   Offensive rebound by Evan Cole  
5:19 +2 Evan Cole made layup 59-67
5:04   Prentiss Hubb missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:02   Defensive rebound by Bubba Parham  
4:48   Bubba Parham missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:46   Defensive rebound by John Mooney  
4:35 +2 Dane Goodwin made layup, assist by Prentiss Hubb 59-69
4:17   Offensive foul on Jordan Usher  
4:17   Turnover on Jordan Usher  
4:00   John Mooney missed layup, blocked by Moses Wright  
3:58   Offensive rebound by John Mooney  
3:57 +2 John Mooney made layup 59-71
3:45 +3 Jose Alvarado made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Bubba Parham 62-71
3:18 +2 T.J. Gibbs made jump shot 62-73
2:52 +2 Moses Wright made jump shot, assist by Jose Alvarado 64-73
2:16   John Mooney missed layup, blocked by Moses Wright  
2:14   Offensive rebound by John Mooney  
2:07   John Mooney missed layup  
2:05   Defensive rebound by James Banks III  
1:57   Jose Alvarado missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:55   Defensive rebound by Dane Goodwin  
1:45   John Mooney missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:43   Offensive rebound by Rex Pflueger  
1:41   Dane Goodwin missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:39   Defensive rebound by Jordan Usher  
1:39 +2 James Banks III made dunk, assist by Jordan Usher 66-73
1:38   Personal foul on Jose Alvarado  
1:36   T.J. Gibbs missed 1st of 2 free throws  
1:36