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Georgetown Basketball: January 2005 News Archive

Boston College 64, Georgetown 49 1/29/05 10:30 pm

For a team which traditionally starts slow in the first half, Saturday's game against Boston College was that...and then some.

The Georgetown Hoyas went over 15 minutes without a field goal in the first half, paving the way for a 64-49 win by the #8-ranked Eagles before a sold out crowd Conte Forum. Despite the drought, Georgetown amazingly rallied to close to within five points in the second half, only to fall back at game's end.

The Hoyas opened the scoring with an Ashanti Cook three with 19:08 to play, and added a Roy Hibbert free throw on the next series, 4-1. At that point, the bottom fell out of the Georgetown offense, missing 14 consecutive shots. In 1970, a Georgetown team missed 22 straight shots against Manhattan, but in only eight minutes. When Hibbert dunked the ball with 4:03 to play, it was amazing that the score (18-6) wasn't in the 20-30 point range. At half, BC led 24-12, but the 12 was the second lowest halftime score in conference history and the fewest points by a Georgetown team in memory.

A Sean Marshall three pointer early in the half gave BC a 15 point lead at 32-17, but the Hoyas began to claw back. Back door plays and improved defense brought the Hoyas within eight, while a Ashanti Cook three closed the lead to 40-35 with 8:30 to play. The teams traded baskets at 42-37 with 6:39 to play, but BC pulled away at the free throw line. The Eagles managed only two field goals down the stretch, they connected on 15 straight free throws to put the game out of reach.

Brandon Bowman led the Hoyas with 16 points, while freshman Tyler Crawford had a career effort of 12 points and a team-high six rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench. Jeff Green fared poorly, finishing with five points before fouling out.

The second half has to be seen as a significantly improved effort. From a 5-21 shooting effort in the first half, Georgetown shot 50 percent (14-28) in the second; from 14 first half turnovers, the Hoyas gave up only one in the second. Still, it's a 40 minute game, and the Hoyas have to come to play at the start.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

         MIN  2FG    3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starters:                                 
Wallace   16   0-1   0-2   0-0   0   0   1    0
Cook      34   1-3   2-6   0-0   3   0   3    8
Bowman    32   4-8   2-3   2-2   2   0   1   16
Green     34   2-8   0-1   1-2   5   7   5    5
Hibbert   14   2-4   0-0   2-3   3   0   2    6
Reserves:
Reed      30   1-2   0-2   0-2   4   1   3    2
Ross       5   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0   3    0
Owens     11   0-0   0-1   0-0   0   0   0    0
Crawford  16   5-7   0-1   2-3   6   1   4   12
Kilk.-Diaw 8   0-0   0-0   0-0   2   0   2    0
DNP: Izzo, Beal, Guibunda, Dizdarevic  
Team Rebounds:                   3
TOTALS   200 15-33  4-16  7-12  28   9  24   49

Post-game links follow below.

The Late January Curse? 1/29/05

Saturday's game was not only the Hoyas' sixth loss of the season, but it's the eighth loss in the last ten years on the last Saturday in January, a peculiar trend noted in a link from last season's archives. The game also marks Georgetown's 14th straight loss to a top 10 team since 1996.

Post: Father And Son 1/28/05

With all the comments from coaches on Georgetown's improved effort this year, Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post talked with someone who knows all about John Thompson III: his father.

"Anybody who says they predicted before the season that Georgetown would do this is lying," Thompson said. "They've already won more games than I thought they'd win all year. John's a far better coach than I was as this point in my career."

Recommended reading.

Times: Hope On The Hilltop 1/28/05

Friday's Washington Times also weighs on on the Hoyas's season to date.

"As we win games, sure, the perception of us changes," said coach John Thompson III. "Winning is a good thing. But buzz or no buzz, we have to be better this week than we were last week. And it's still far too early to start assessing this season."

Junior forward Brandon Bowman recalls last season's nine game losing streak.

"It was so bad it's hard to put into words," said Bowman. "Teams looked at us like we were a joke. We walked around campus with our heads down. The whole year was humiliating...After the Temple game, he took us back to square one emotionally. Coach made it very clear that all of the losing and doubt and everything was in the past. After that, it was like a rebirth, a fresh start. He told us we would win now and not later if we put the past in the past and started believing in ourselves and giving it all up for each other every day on the court. All of a sudden, basketball was fun again."

Bowman, Cook Talk To Post 1/28/05

Friday's Washington Post talks about the Hoyas' improvement in 2004-05 with juniors Brandon Bowman and Ashanti Cook.

"Brandon's an aggressive-type player," Cook told the Post. "Sometimes he forces the issue because he's trying to win, but you can't always force the issue, because you'll have turnovers or bad decisions. I think he's trying to figure out in practice when to take his shots and when to pass. I think he's getting better at that, a lot better."

Post Discusses GU Boathouse 1/27/05

Thursday's Washington Post discusses the latest developments surrounding the University's boathouse project.

Georgetown 66, St. John's 57 1/25/05 9:45 pm

Three months ago, few would have considered Tuesday's St. John's-Georgetown game anything more than a struggle between the Big East's two worst teams. Both teams proved otherwise. St. John's is no cellar dweller, and a predicted 11th place finish is fast becoming a blur in the Hoyas' rear view mirror.

Jeff Green scored 21 points to lead Georgetown to only its second win over St. John's in its last ten games, 66-57, at MCI Center. While the Hoyas played well for most of the game, the closeness of the score indicates that while this is not last year's Hoyas, this is not the St. John's of 2004, either.

The Redmen (aka Red Storm) forced four Georgetown turnovers in the Hoyas' first seven possessions, taking an early 10-4 lead. The Hoyas closed to one, 18-17, as the teams connected on three straight three pointers in as many possessions. A driving layup by Jeff Green gave the Hoyas a 24-23 lead with 3:30 to play, but St. John's answered with their best run of the half, taking a 27-24 lead in the final two minutes with strong offensive rebounding. Once again, the Hoyas answered before the bell, scoring the last seven points of the half to lead 31-27.

St. John's kept the score close early in the second, in part due to three Roy Hibbert fouls in a two minute span to open the half. Leading 38-36, Georgetown went on an 11-2 run that shut down St. John's guard Darryl Hill and built a 49-38 lead with 11:20 to play. St. John's closed to within seven, 54-47, when Ashanti Cook answered with a three pointer to extend the lead to ten, 57-47. Georgetown led by as many as 16 before the Redmen made a late run to narrow the gap to nine at game's end.

The Hoyas continued its inside-outside formula to success Tuesday. Within the three point arc, Georgetown shot 58 percent, while connecting on seven threes for the game. From the line, Georgetown finished 11 for 18 but hit only one of its last five. Defensively, Georgetown forced St. John's into 19 turnovers, six above its average.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

         MIN  2FG    3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starters:
Wallace   32   2-2   0-2   2-4   2   1   1    6
Cook      34   2-4   3-6   0-0   2   2   1   13
Bowman    34   4-8   2-3   0-1   3   3   2   14
Green     40  7-10   1-4   4-6   9   3   3   21
Hibbert   14   1-3   0-0   2-3   1   1   4    4
Reserves:
Reed      14   0-1   0-1   2-2   2   1   1    2
Owens     32   1-1   1-3   1-2   5   0   1    6
Team Rebounds:                   5
DNP: Izzo, Ross, Crawford, Guibunda, Beal,
Kilkenny-Diaw, Dizdarevic

TOTALS   200 17-29  7-19 11-18 29  11  13   66

Post-game links follow below:

Hibbert: Rookie Of The Week 1/25/05

Congratulations to freshman Roy Hibbert, named Big East Rookie of the Week for his efforts against Syracuse and Notre Dame.

Georgetown received five votes in the Associated Press poll this week, the first such votes in nearly two seasons.

Georgetown 55, Notre Dame 54 1/24/05

Shhhhh. Listen. Can you hear it?

It's the buzz that's building on a once-forgotten Big East team that now starts three freshmen, plays good defense, and has rediscovered the art of the come-from-behind win.

Five days (and a size 17 shoe) removed from a near-upset of #7-Syracuse, Georgetown's yearlings continued to rebuild the buzz surrounding Hoya basketball, a 55-54 win over Notre Dame before 9,305 at MCI Center Sunday.

Both teams started slow in the first half: after seven minutes, the score was 7-7, before Notre Dame (12-4, 4-2 Big East) took a 5-0 run and the Georgetown (12-5, 4-2 Big East) returned the favor with a 12-1 run to lead 19-13 with 7:53 to play. The Hoyas dominated inside (20 of its 29 first half points came inside the paint) but fared poorly from the outside (2-10 from three point range). The Irish built a late lead in the half off free throws, second change points, and a pair of three pointers to lead 29-27 late in the half. After a Jonathan Wallace miss, the Irish stood to build on the lead, but Chris Quinn missed a three pointer with eight seconds left that Jeff Green alertly found Ashanti Cook streaking to the basket for his first points of the half at the buzzer, 29-29. The basket would prove crucial in the final score, as well as give the Hoyas a boost heading into the second half.

Georgetown scored the first five points of the half to lead 34-29, but the Irish began to close off Georgetown's inside game and responded with improved three point shooting. Notre Dame tied the game at 37-37 but missed its next three shots as Georgetown took a five point lead, 42-37, midway in the half. Notre Dame's three point shooting never let it get far behind, but the Hoyas stayed ahead with free throws and alert reads by Brandon Bowman. Ashanti Cook sank a jumper with 3:23 to play to hold the lead at five, 53-48, but it signaled a scoring drought that would last (almost) the rest of the game.

Both teams missed shots on its next four possessions, until Chris Thomas hit a three pointer with 1:14 to play, 53-51. Bowman was called for a turnover with 1:11, giving the ball back. ND struggled to find a shot but picked up a foul on Roy Hibbert with 35.4 seconds, resetting the shot clock and giving the Irish a potential game winning shot.

On its last series, Georgetown's defense was strong, but Colin Falls took an off-balanced, clutch three from the right wing that gave ND a shocking 54-53 lead with :06 left. Instead of calling time out, Georgetown's Ashanti Cook raced up the floor, and as Jordan Cornette moved towards Cook as he approached the lane, Cook fired the ball to a waiting Roy Hibbert, who dunked the ball as time expired.

The Georgetown student section was halfway to the foul line when the referees wisely went to the scorer's table to review the timing of the basket. In an unusual move, referee Steve Welmer brought both coaches together and informed them of the result, allowing them a handshake before signaling to the crowd that the basket was good, 55-54. The game snapped a five game win streak by Notre Dame over GU at MCI Center dating to 1998 and a four game streak over the Hoyas overall, including double and quadruple OT wins over the Hoyas in the past three years.

"We've had a good run in this building until today," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey. "They made a heck of a play going the length of the floor. They deserved it."

Four Georgetown starters were in double figures, but Hibbert's 11 points and seven rebounds were key against the Irish down low. Ashanti Cook scored 10 of his 12 in the second half, and was a key player in the finish of both halves. Georgetown's bench scoring was negligible (one point in the second half) but the starters made all the difference.

Notre Dame fared well from three point shooting in the second half (6-13), but shot poorly (3-10) from two point range. A key stat was free throw shooting. The Irish were 8-9 in the first half but got only two attempts in the second, while Georgetown was 8-10 from the line in the second half.

"They surprised me with how hard they played," said ND senior Dennis Latimore. "They've got talented, skilled guys, but you can really tell that coach Thompson has them playing with a lot of heart."

And the buzz continues.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

         MIN  2FG    3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starters:
Wallace   35   0-0   0-3  2-2   0   0   2    2
Cook      38   3-6   2-4  0-0   4   3   0   12
Bowman    36   4-9   1-5  2-3   6   4   2   13
Green     40  4-10   0-0  5-6   7   1   1   13
Hibbert   23   5-6   0-0  1-2   7   0   4   11
Reserves:
Reed       7   0-1   1-2  0-0   0   0   0    3
Ross       2   0-1   0-0  0-0   1   0   1    0
Owens     16   0-0   0-4  1-2   6   1   3    1
Crawford   2   0-0   0-0  0-0   0   0   0    0
Kilk.-Diaw 1   0-0   0-0  0-0   1   0   0    0
Team Rebounds                   2
DNP: Izzo, Guibunda, Beal, Dizdarevic  
TOTALS   200 16-33  4-18 11-15 34   9  13   55

Post-game links follow below:

Syracuse 78, Georgetown 73 (OT) 1/19/05

"I wish I was a size 14 instead of a size 17." --Brandon Bowman, recalling his game-tying shot

Hakim Warrick scored 25 points, including a pair of late free throws to secure a 78-73 OT win for #7 Syracuse at the Carrier Dome Tuesday night. Despite Syracuse's fourth consecutive overtime win over Georgetown since 1990, the Hoyas were in it until the end. Fouls--and foul shooting--dictated the course of the game.

For the first time this season, foul problems caused trouble for the Hoyas and their heavy reliance on starters. Leading 20-18, starting guard Ashanti Cook picked up his 3rd foul with 5:56 to play, with Syracuse responding by going on a 7-2 run to retake the lead. Georgetown tied the score at 26, but Brandon Bowman added his third foul with 2:51 to play and Syracuse carried a four point lead into intermission, 36-32.

Georgetown opened the second half on an 8-0 run to regain the lead, 40-36, before the Orangemen answered with back to back threes from Gerry McNamara to pull ahead 46-42. A Jeff Green three pointer closed the deficit to three, but Georgetown struggled from outside in the second half. After hitting 6 of 14 threes in the first half and two midway in the second, the Hoyas went 2 for 8 the rest of the game.

More late fouls took their toll. Bowman's 4th foul capped a 7-2 Orange run that gave Syracuse the lead with 5:31 to play, and Green fouled out less than a minute later. A pair of Warrick free throws gave Syracuse a 66-62 lead with 3:39 to play, but the Hoyas just wouldn't quit. A Darrel Owens three pointer closed the gap to 66-65, and the teams then traded possessions down the stretch. After Warrick made one of two free throws with 1:11 to play to lead 67-65, Bowman missed the front end of a one on one that could have tied the game, but the Hoyas held on Syracuse's next drive with 0:30 to play. Holding for the last shot, Bowman sank a 22 foot jumper with four seconds remaining that was literally a foot short of a game-winner: Bowman's foot was on the three point line when he took the shot. Still, Gerry McNamara still had chance at a second buzzer beater over GU but fell short, as the two teams battled into overtime.

The Orangemen scored the first seven points of OT as the Hoyas struggled to get up off the canvas. A key sequence in the overtime was early in the period, when, down two, Ashanti Cook missed two free throws, only to see McNamara get open in the corner for a three pointer to extend the lead to five. A Warrick steal and dunk extended the lead to seven, 74-67, but a Jonathan Wallace three (his first points since the first half), closed the count to 74-70.

McNamara added a jumper with 1:20 left to build the lead to six, but a foul shot and a basket by Roy Hibbert closed to three, 76-73. Bowman then picked up his 5th foul, allowing Warrick the free throws to put the game out of reach.

Brandon Bowman led all Georgetown scorers with 19 points, followed by freshman Roy Hibbert's 12 points and a career high 14 rebounds. Though even with the Orangemen at the foul line, Georgetown's 15 for 24 shooting has to be a disappointment, especially when the Hoyas missed four of six free throws over the final 8:55 of the game. But Syracuse fared none better (15-26), echoing a game where both teams battled in every phase of the game.

"It was a great game," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim following the game. "Both teams went at it every way you want to. This was as good a game as you can get, really. It was just a tremendous basketball game. Both teams went at it the whole way. It came down to we made a couple of plays starting overtime. That was just enough."

"When the final horn sounded," wrote Rochester Democrat and Chronicle columnist Scott Pitoniak, "[Carrier] Dome public address announcer Carl Eilenberg bellowed into the microphone: 'Just like the old days. The rivalry lives on.' It does indeed."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

         MIN  2FG  3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starters:

Wallace   44  0-4  4-8   0-0   2   5   1  12
Cook      18  2-4  1-4   0-0   2   1   4   7
Bowman    42  3-5  2-5  7-13   6   3   5  19
Green     31  3-8  1-1   3-3   4   5   5  12
Hibbert   34  4-8  0-0   4-6  14   1   3  12
Reserves:
Reed      24  1-2  1-1   0-0   2   0   2   5
Owens     28  1-1  1-7   1-2   3   1   2   6
Crawford   1  0-0  0-0   0-0   0   0   0   0
Kilk.-Diaw 2  0-1  0-0   0-0   0   0   0   0
Dizdarevic 1  0-0  0-0   0-0   0   0   0   0
DNP: Izzo, Ross, Guibunda, Beal
Team Rebounds                  1
TOTALS   225 14-33 10-26 15-24 34  16  22  73

Additional post-game links follow below:

Georgetown 66, Villanova 64 1/15/05

Darrel Owens sank two free throws with 0.1 seconds left to give Georgetown a 66-64 win on the day Villanova celebrated a reunion of the 1985 NCAA title team. The free throws came after a wild finish that appeared to give Villanova overtime just moments before.

As has been the case in the past three games, Georgetown slumped in the first half. From a 14-14 tie, the Wildcats (9-3, 2-2 Big East) ran past the G-man, collecting 15 points in the first half off turnovers and leading by as many as 13, 33-20, with 3:45 to play. The Hoyas closed to nine at 36-27 at the half, but left the floor shooting only 38% from the field and 3 of 9 from three point range.

Georgetown scored the first five points of the half to close to 36-32, and the game was back on. The Wildcats' largest lead of the half was 41-36 with 15:06 to play, but the Hoyas made 5 of their first 8 shots of the half and tied the game at 46 on a pair of Ray Reed free throws. Reed's free throws with 6;12 to play took the lead, 57-56.

A Jeff Green jumper gave the Hoyas a 63-60 lead with 2:52, but it was Georgetown's last basket of the game. Allan Ray answered with two free throws, 63-62, and after an Owens miss, the Cats could have taken the lead, but turned it over. The Hoyas turned the ball over on its next two possessions, while Villanova's Mike Nardi missed shots at 1:02 to play and 0:14 to play for the win.

Off the second Nardi miss, Ray Reed was fouled, making one of two, 64-62. On the ensuing play, Allan Ray found Will Sheridan inside for a thundering dunk with :02 left, sending the Pavilion into delirium. On the ensuing play, Ashanti Cook sailed the ball long to Owens, who was fouled by Allan Ray before the buzzer went off (see the photo here). The sellout crowd was stunned to see Owens walk to the line, but all their distractions could not stop the 6-5 senior from nailing the shots with one-tenth of a second remaining.

Georgetown shot 12-23 in the second half, and 15-18 from the line. Jeff Green led all scorers with 16 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Brandon Bowman (11), Ashanti Cook (10), and nine points each from heroes Ray Reed and Darrel Owens.

The timing of the win amidst Villanova's reunion ceremonies did not go unnoticed by coach Thompson, who was a freshman at Princeton in 1985."We may have had a few ghosts of Billy Martin and Horace Broadnax and Michael Jackson and some of those guys as the ball was sailing down court and as Darrel was taking off down the floor, " said coach Thompson. "We might have had a few of those guys helping (the ball) get over the top and lay into Darrelís hands, but, no, I donít think itís redemption for that [1985] game."

The game the first regular season win for the Hoyas playing in Philadelphia since 1993, and its first regular season win of any kind against the Cats since the 1997-98 season.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

         MIN  2FG  3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starters:
Wallace   31   0-1  1-3   0-0   3   0   3    3
Cook      32   2-6  2-4   0-0   3   3   2   10
Bowman    37   3-5  1-5   2-2   8   3   2   11
Green     40  7-12  0-0   2-2  12   2   3   16
Hibbert    8   2-3  0-0   2-4   1   0   2    6
Reserves:
Reed      17   1-2  0-0   7-8   2   2   1    9
Owens     29   2-2  1-5   2-2   2   5   4    9
Kilk.-Diaw 6   1-3  0-0   0-0   2   0   1    2
Team Rebounds                   6
DNP: Izzo, Ross, Crawford, Guibunda, Beal, Dizdarevic  
TOTALS   200 18-34  5-17 15-18 39  15  18   66

Post game links follow below.

Thompson Profiled In L.A. Times 1/14/05

Coach Thompson is profiled by columnist Jason Reed in Friday's Los Angeles Times.

"It's hard to go to three Final Fours in four years...Then you look at the schools that kids want to go to these days, they're schools that have had success recently, so you know you have your work ahead of you," said Thompson, recalling his father team's of the 1980's.

"But is that where we want to be again? It is. Are we a long way away from that point? Yeah," Thompson said. "But we're going to do everything in our power to get to that. I wouldn't have taken this job unless I believed we could do that."

Recommended reading.

A Series Of Close Finishes 1/14/05

While media types will recall the 1985 NCAA title game as a supreme upset (never mind that Georgetown escaped 52-50 earlier that year in Philadelphia and lost at home in double overtime the year before), more recent games in the series have come with various combinations of inspired comebacks and just plain bad luck:

  • 12/3/97: The Hoyas lose by four in the MCI Center opener, 73-69, thanks to an 8 for 22 free throw shooting performance.
  • 1/30/99: Down 17 in the second half, the outmanned Hoyas engineered a remarkable 19-0 run to take the lead and force two overtimes, despite three players fouling out and leaving Rhese Gibson as the tallest Hoya left on the court. In the second OT, Georgetown led 90-87 with 14 seconds to play. Anthony Perry misses a free throw, and Villanova has one chance--a three pointer. To every Hoya fan's dismay, Villanova's Howard Brown gets away from Rhese Gibson in the zone and hits a 22 footer with 2.6 seconds remaining. Daymond Jackson lobs the ball in the direction of Anthony Perry, which is promptly stolen by Brooks Sales, flipped to Jermaine Medley, who launches a 28 footer at the buzzer to win, 93-90.
  • 2/5/00: The Hoyas battle back from a 15 point deficit to lead in the final minute, whereupon Jermaine Medley hits a three pointer with :45 to play, Lee Scruggs' pass to Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje sails through his hands, and Kevin Braswell's three point attempt is blocked by Malik Allen at the buzzer, 72-69.
  • 2/13/01: Faced with a tie game with 3:44 to play, Georgetown misses 10 of its final eleven shots and loses by three, 59-56. The backcourt trio of Demetrius Hunter, Kevin Braswell, and Anthony Perry missed 23 of 30 attempts.
  • 2/16/02: Leading in the final seconds by one point, the Hoyas catch a break when Kevin Braswell found Harvey Thomas on the break. Braswell threw the ball long to Thomas, who went to the basket instead of passing it back to a trailing Mike Sweetney. Fouled on the play, Thomas missed a free throw, and the Cats answered with Derrick Snowden driving the length of the court to tie the game at 67 with two seconds to play. In the overtime, Villanova scored the first eight points of the period while the G-men missed 14 of 16 shots and lost by 11.
  • 3/12/03: With only six players eligible following 12 suspensions for unauthorized use of a phone card, the Wildcats nearly pulled off the biggest upset in Big East tournament history. A triple-teamed Mike Sweetney was held to just three field goals as the shorthanded Wildcats were up three at the half and trailed by only two with 1:06 left, thanks to 31% shooting by the Hoyas. A Gerald Riley jumper and a Victor Samnick block otherwise secured the win in the lowest scoring game in Big East tourney history, 46-41.

But as the Pre-Game Report notes, this is a new era for the Hoyas, and with it, a chance to exorcise some old demons.

Villanova Salutes 1985 Team 1/14/05

The Hoyas and Wildcats will be playing at Villanova's 6,500 seat Pavilion and not downtown, marking the first time in the Big East era the two teams are not playing at the Palestra, Spectrum, or Wachovia Center. Villanova is honoring its 1985 NCAA title team with an appearance at the game and a $250 per person dinner later that evening.

Thursday's USA Today visits with former Villanova guard Gary McLain, whose drug use during the 1985 final was chronicled in a Sports Illustrated cover story two years later.

NCAA Enacts Grad Rate Reforms 1/11/05

The final day at the NCAA's annual convention produced legislation that will penalize schools for poor graduation rates, according to the Indianapolis Star. Schools must maintain a graduation rate of at least 50% of student-athletes over a five year period to avoid penalties.

"When we send out letters in two or three weeks, 30 percent of D-I football teams, just under 25 percent of D-I baseball teams and about 20 percent of D-I men's basketball teams will be getting letters," said committee chairman Walter Harrison.

Villanova Starter Sidelined 1/14/05

Villanova starting forward Jason Fraser has been sidelined for Saturday's game with an injury to his shooting hand, according to a release at Villanova.com. This is the fourth surgery in three years for Fraser, the former high school All-American from Amityville, NY ranked as the #5 recruit in the nation when he arrived on the Main Line in 2002. A replacement starter for the game has not been announced.

Additional coverage follows in the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer.

And if that wasn't enough, the Wildcats were involved in an emergency landing on a flight from Providence earlier this week, according to ESPN.

Georgetown 62, Rutgers 55 1/11/05

"The biggest thing is getting these guys to believe in themselves again." --John Thompson III, in the Newark Star Ledger

A week ago, the a Georgetown team learned the value of an upset. Tuesday night, it learned a lesson perhaps even more valuable: how to dig down and earn a hard fought victory.

Five Hoyas scored in double figures, with Darrel Owens' 14 points sparking the Hoyas to a 62-55 win over Rutgers before 6,905 at MCI Center. The win came after a struggle to raise a Hoya ship that was underwater much of the first half.

Georgetown (10-4, 2-1 Big East) never led in the first half--in fact, the Hoyas did not score a point for the first 5:45 of the half. Still, the Blue and Gray was as close as 10-8, but with no three point shooting the Scarlet Knights (6-6, 0-2 Big East) went on an 10-2 run to lead 22-10 en route to a 26-18 halftime score. Georgetown was 0 for 9 beyond the three point arc, while Rutgers sank four threes in the half.

The Hoyas' offensive woes continued early in the second half, missing 10 of its first 13 shots. At the the 11:49 mark of the second half, the Hoyas had managed just 30 points, as Rutgers maintained a double-digit lead. At that point, the Hoyas began to find the open shot. A Darrel Owens three keyed an 8-2 run that narrowed the lead to 42-38 with 7:29 to play, an Ashanti Cook two pointer tied the score with 5:38, 44-44, and an Owens three pointer gave Georgetown its first lead with 3:00 to play, 50-47. A pair of Brandon Bowman free throws extended the count to 52-47, and the lead was capped off by a Jeff Green three with 1:27 to play: a 25-7 Georgetown run in a ten minute stretch.

Rutgers made a late run, closing to 56-53, when center Byron Joynes intentionally fouled Owens on his way to the hoop with 0:53 left. Owens made the basket and one of two from the line, 59-53. Rutgers missed its last three shots as the Hoyas were able to run out the clock.

Despite a poor effort from outside (5 for 22), Georgetown did a great job at close range, shooting 16 for 26 from two point range. The big statistic was rebounding. Overwhelmed on the boards versus Connecticut, Georgetown outrebounded Rutgers 42-26, and 26-9 in the second half.

Juel Wiggan, averaging 3.9 points per game, made his first start of the season and led Rutgers with 23, followed by 13 from Quincy Douby. Senior guard Ricky Shields, entering the game averaging 15 points a game, continued a run of woeful shooting against the Hoyas: after his 2 for 15 effort Tuesday, Shields is now 8 for 52 (.153) from the field in his last five games against Georgetown.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

         MIN  2FG  3FG    FT   REB  A  PF  PTS
Starters:
Wallace   32   4-6  0-3   3-3   2   3   3   11
Cook      36   3-4  0-6   4-6   4   3   2   10
Bowman    37   3-4  1-4   2-2  11   0   2   11
Green     40   4-8  1-3   5-8  10   4   4   16
Hibbert    9   0-1  0-0   0-0   1   0   1    0
Reserves:
Reed      11   0-0  0-0   0-0   3   0   2    0
Owens     31   2-3  3-6   1-2   7   0   0   14
Crawford   4   0-0  0-0   0-0   1   0   1    0
DNP: Izzo, Ross, Guibunda, Beal, Kilkenny-Diaw,
Dizdarevic
Team Rebounds:                  3
TOTALS   200 16-26  5-22 15-21 42  10  15   62

Additional links follow below:

Home Court & Early Games 1/10/05

The Washington Times article on the Georgetown-UConn game noted former coach John Thompson Jr. and his dislike for 12 noon starts. Noon starts were rare in the Capital Centre era: only six Big East home games between 1982 and 1997 started in the noon hour. In the MCI Center era, nearly two-thirds of Georgetown's Big East weekend home games have started at noon, owing to a combination of Big East TV scheduling and the priority given to MCI's NBA and NHL tenants to play games on Saturday evening.

Here's a quick look at the overall record of all Big East home games played at MCI Center since December 1997 by start time:

1997-98 To Present Since 2001-02
Start Record Start Record
12:00 10-12 12:00 2-6
1:00 0-1 1:00 0-1
2:00-4:00 6-3 2:00-4:00 2-0
4:00-7:00 0-2 4:00-7:00 0-2
7:00- 11-14 7:00- 6-6
Total 27-32 Total 10-15
 
Fourth Verbal Commit For 2005 1/10/05

Jessie Sapp, a 6-3 guard from National Christian Academy in Ft. Washington, MD, has verbally committed to the Class of 2009, as per reports at the Washington Times and Maryland Prep Hoops.

Sapp, originally from New York, NY, is ranked #55 in the Rivals.com Top 150 survey, joining other Georgetown recruits Octavious Spann (#120) and Josh Thornton (#130), with Marc Egerson not placing on this list.

Here's a quick view of the scholarships awarded by class. One scholarship remains open if the staff chooses to offer it in 2005.


2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Ross (G/F) Bowman (F) Dizdarevic (F) Crawford (G) Egerson (F)
Owens (G/F) Cook (G) Reed (G) Green (F) Sapp (G)
      Guibunda (F/C) Spann (F)
      Hibbert (C) Thornton (G)
 
Connecticut 66, Georgetown 59 1/9/05

"Whether they have a few bumps in the road or whatever, that's to be expected. They're a very young team. But I think they have a chance to be very, very good. It's remarkable to see what John's done. It takes two or three years to really learn that offense. Then you take breaking down all the bad habits that his older players learned before he got here, and I'm just incredibly impressed with how far he's already brought this team. They are going to be a very tough out for anybody in this league." --Jim Calhoun

Denham Brown scored 19 points off the bench as the #10 Connecticut Huskies defeated the Georgetown Hoyas 66-59 before 11,363 at MCI Center; or as dubbed by one fan, the "MCI Civic Center", where Connecticut is 9-1 all-time, including four NCAA post-season wins.

Georgetown missed eight of its first nine shots and fell behind early, 13-4. UConn extended the lead to 23-11 with 7:57 to play in the first half, as GU had extended its misery to 4 of 17 from the field. The Huskies owned the offensive glass, outpointing Georgetown 11-2 on the offensive boards. Defensively, once Georgetown had closed to 25-17, the Huskies shut down the Hoyas, holding the G-men to one basket in the final five minutes and without any second chance points in the entire half to build a 39-19 halftime lead. Charlie Villanueva had a big first half en route to a 19 point, 13 rebound effort.

UConn led by as many as 22 early in the half before Georgetown regained its composure. Returning to a motion offense which had become rattled in the first half, the Hoyas methodically went on an 18-4 run over the first six minutes of the half, closing to 45-37 with 13:48 to play. A key weapon in the run was the three point shot--after going 2-11 in the first half, the Hoyas hit on four straight in the second half. The lead narrowed to as few as six, 47-41, but at this point the Hoyas' threes began to fail them and Brown's play off the bench steadied the Huskies. After Georgetown had closed back to nine at the 3:00 mark, Brown answered back with a long three that put the lead out of reach again, 59-47. A pair of late threes by Ashanti Cook kept the Hoyas close at the end.

Jeff Green led all Georgetown scorers with a career high 22 points.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

         MIN  2FG  3FG    FT  REB   A  PF  PTS
Starters:
Wallace   37  0-1   3-5   0-0   4   3   5    9
Cook      29  0-6   3-5   0-0   3   2   0    9
Bowman    35 4-10   1-6   3-5   8   4   4   14
Green     38  6-8   2-3   4-8   6   3   2   22
Hibbert   17  0-5   0-0   0-0   5   1   3    0
Reserves:
Reed       8  0-0   0-1   0-0   0   0   1    0
Ross       1  0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0   2    0
Owens     33  1-1   1-5   0-0   2   4   2    5
Crawford   1  0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0   0    0
Kilk.-Diaw 1  0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0   0    0
Team Rebounds                   4
DNP: Izzo, Guibunda, Beal, Dizdarevic
TOTALS   200 11-31  10-25 7-13 32  17  19   59

Additional post-game links follow below. Articles from the Hartford Courant require prior registration and are not included--visit Bugmenot.com for a password.

Green Makes A Statement 1/9/05

Freshman Jeff Green is the subject of a feature in Sunday's Washington Times in a possible run for Big East rookie of the year honors.

"Jeff had a good game, and I didn't have a good game," said Connecticut's Rudy Gay, the presumptive rookie of the year selection. "Anything can happen on any day. I'll score a lot on some days and he'll score a lot on some days. It just didn't happen [for me] today."

"A lot of responsibility has been put on our freshman class," said coach John Thompson. "In order for us to be successful, he has to be successful, but Jeff comes to play every day, every game."

An Uncomfortable Streak 1/8/05

Saturday's loss marked the eighth straight loss to Connecticut, tied for fifth in school history for consecutive losses to an opponent:

Opponent Streak Started Ended
1. Navy 0-15 1909 1927
2.Maryland 0-12 1953 1960
3.St. John's 0-10 1948 1967
4.St. Joseph's 0-9 1956 1967
5. NYU 0-8 1929 1935
5. Navy 0-8 1953 1962
5. Connecticut 0-8 1997 Current
8. Seton Hall 0-7 1915 1952
8. Fordham 0-7 1925 1942
8. St. John's 0-7 1997 2004
 
Georgetown 67, Pittsburgh 64 1/6/05

Inauguration Day came two weeks early.

The Georgetown Hoyas served notice to the Big East conference (and at least one columnist) that they are to be reckoned with in the 2004-05 season, stunning #16 Pittsburgh 67-64 Wednesday night. The Panthers, who entered the game 43-2 at the Petersen Events Center since it opened in 2002, suffered only its second loss in three years against a Big East opponent at the new facility.

A 16 point favorite in the game, Pitt took an early 6-5 lead with 17:25 to play, but Georgetown (9-3, 1-0 Big East) silenced the sold out crowd with an offensive firestorm from three point range. Georgetown hit six of six from three point range in the first ten minutes of the game, outscoring the Panthers 23-3 to build a 19 point lead, 28-9, with 9:16 to play.

Just as quickly, though, the hot shooting Hoyas began a cold snap that erased its formidable lead. In the next eight minutes, Georgetown managed one field goal as Pittsburgh (10-2, 0-1) cut the lead from 19, to 14, and down to two, 33-31, with 1:21 to play, thanks to 12 straight points by Carl Krauser. A three in the final minute by Darrel Owens and a three at the buzzer by Ashanti Cook kept the lead afloat, 39-34.

Georgetown's shooting troubles nonetheless continued in the second. The Hoyas managed one field goal in the first eight minutes of the second half, as Pitt took the lead at 46-44 with 11:54 to play. A 9-0 Georgetown run took the lead 53-49, but was answered by a 10-0 Pitt run, 59-53. Needing a spark, an Owens three with 5:00 got the Hoyas back into range at 59-56. From there, the two teams battled on each possession.

The Hoyas tied the game at 62-all with 2:00 to play, then fell behind on Chris Taft's dunk with 1:42 to play. On its next series, Jeff Green found Darrel Owens on a back door play, 64-64. The Hoyas held the Panthers on its next possession with 1:03, then grabbed a key offensive rebound with :37 to play to keep the ball and extend the shot clock. With eight seconds remaining, Brandon Bowman drove the lane for the basket, 66-64, whereupon Pitt's Chevon Troutman sailed a pass into the seats three seconds later.

Ashanti Cook was quickly fouled with 5.2 seconds to play, hitting the first but missing his first free throw of the season on the second, giving Pitt one more chance. Bowman tipped a cross court pass to end the game, 67-64.

Numerous superlatives follow from the game. Ashanti Cook turned in a career high 23 points, off 7 for 12 shooting (4-4 from three). Despite a 1-5 effort from three, Bowman turned in 18 points, 9 rebounds, and zero turnovers in 40 minutes of play. Darrel Owens came off the bench to score three threes and 11 points overall.

Defensively, the Hoyas held Carl Krauser to just three points in the second half while keeping the Panthers off the free throw line. Pitt was 10-13 at the line in the first half (versus 0-0 for Georgetown), but was held to just three attempts in the second. For Chevon Troutman, who needed just 10 points to reach 1,000 points for his career, he was held to only five points on 2-5 from the field and 1-2 from the line due to illness in the first half. Troutman entered the game having an incredible run of 17 of 21 from the field and 11 for 11 from the line in his last two games against the Hoyas.

The win is the first by a Georgetown team over a ranked opponent since January 28, 2002, a 75-60 win over #14 Syracuse, ends a five game losing streak to the Panthers, and officially ends an eight game losing streak in Big East games back from last season.

Next up for the Hoyas: #10 Connecticut, another team with a sizable streak on the G-men. Things are about to get interesting.

The Georgetown half of the box score follows below.

         MIN  2FG  3FG    FT  REB   A  PF  PTS
Starters:
Wallace   39  0-1   3-5   0-0   1   3   2    9
Cook      35  3-8   4-4   5-6   2   1   2   23
Bowman    40  7-10  1-5   1-2   9   3   1   18
Green     37  3-7   0-3   0-0   2   5   3    6
Hibbert   19  0-2   0-0   0-2   2   2   3    0
Reserves:
Reed       1  0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0   1    0
Owens     29  1-1   3-4   0-0   6   2   3   11
Team Rebounds                   2
DNP: Izzo, Ross, Crawford, Guibunda, Beal, 
Kilkenny-Diaw, Dizdarevic
TOTALS   200 14-29 11-21  6-10 24  16  15   67

Post-game links follow below.

Post-Gazette: No Room For Georgetown? Updated 1/6/05

On Wednesday, columnist Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette weighed in on the pending 16 team Big East, suggesting that Georgetown and six other schools without Division I-A football be dropped from the conference.

"These schools have many things in common, most notably they've all seen better days as basketball powers," Smizik writes. "They all are going downhill and most don't figure to stop." (The article was posted before Wednesday's game.)

It might be worth seeing where these schools actually are in a few years before suggesting such radical surgery. In the fall of 2000, what would this columnist have said about the future of a school whose men's basketball team endured six losing seasons in its last seven, four straight years of no higher than a #10 seed in the Big East tournament, and only one post-season bid (NIT) since 1993?

That school was the University of Pittsburgh.

St. John's Ineligible For Big East Tournament 1/4/05

The Big East conference confirmed Monday that St. John's University, which self-imposed a post-season ban in 2005 pending NCAA investigation, will not participate in this year's Big East basketball tournament.

The 2005 format, with 11 teams instead of 12, will feature three first round games on Wednesday instead of four and byes to the first five seeded teams.

Additional coverage follows below:

NY Post Picks The Big East 1/3/05

The New York Post has updated its Big East picks in advance of the conference season. No change for Georgetown, though, as the Post predicts a 4-12 record for the 2004-05 Hoyas.

"Unlike St. John's, Georgetown can rebuild without the burden of an NCAA investigation and [a] sullied reputation," writes the Post.

A similar article follows in this link to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

 

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