George Washington (1-1) at Notre Dame (3-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 21, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Joyce Center (9,149) -- Notre Dame, Indiana . Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: GWU 0-1, Notre Dame 2-0. Away Record: GWU 1-0, Notre Dame 0-0. Neutral Record: GWU 0-0, Notre Dame 1-1. Conference Record: GWU 0-0, Notre Dame 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish return to the Joyce Center, as they play host to the George Washington Colonials on Wednesday night.
Mike Brey is a George Washington alum so this game will hold special meaning to the Irish's head coach. Notre Dame has opened the season with three wins in its first four games, including a split of two games in the championship rounds of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Brooklyn. The Irish dropped a 79-70 overtime decision to Saint Joseph's in the semifinal round, but bounced back with a 78-68 victory over BYU in consolation action. Notre Dame has been a strong team at home, going 37-1 in their last 38 games at the Joyce Center.
Mike Lonergan's Colonials have opened their 2012-13 campaign with a home loss to Youngstown State (80-73), followed by last weekend's road win at Boston University (72-59).
This marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams on the hardwood.
The Colonial came out firing on all cylinders at Boston University last weekend, connecting on 15-of-26 shots in the first half to take a commanding 14-point lead into intermission (37-23). George Washington was able to keep the Terriers at bay the rest of the way. Freshman Joe McDonald was electric in the victory, hitting 6-of-9 shots from the floor and all eight of his free- throw attempts to net a game-high 21 points. Patricio Garino and Bryan Bynes added nine points apiece, while Isaiah Armwood chipped in six points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Seeing McDonald's offensive eruption has to be encouraging, as the youngster scored just seven points in the season- opening loss to Youngstown State.
There is a greater sample to base Notre Dame's performance this season on. The team has shot the ball well for the most part (.459), but has really excelled defensively, limiting the opposition to just 63.2 points and .386 shooting, while owning a +5.8 rebounding margin. A lot of that production has to do with the play of forward Jack Cooley. The 6-foot-9 senior has been a monster down low, averaging a double-double with team-highs of 17.0 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Guards Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins provide perimeter support at 11.3 and 10.0 ppg, respectively. Atkins has doubled as the team's top distributor thus far, doling out 21 assists through four games, including a career-best 10 against Saint Joseph's. In the win over BYU, Cooley and Grant poured in 19 points apiece to lead the team. Cooley recorded his third double- double of the season with 13 rebounds. Atkins added 16 points to the cause, as Notre Dame turned it on the second half, shooting a sizzling .636 from the floor (14-of-22) to earn the 10-point win.
The Irish are almost unbeatable at home out of conference and although this game may be an emotional one for Brey, it won't be because Notre Dame struggles to get the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Notre Dame 77, George Washington 58
11/21 10:37:58 ET