Georgetown Basketball: January 2008 News Archive
Those who were at Madison Square Garden the night of Jan. 6, 1982 won't soon forget the game known as the "Garden Massacre". Who knew there would be a sequel?
Georgetown held St. John's without a field goal for the first 15:26 of the first half in a 74-42 win at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night, nearly matching the score of that epic 1982 game which featured Patrick Ewing's first appearance on the MSG floor, a 72-42 win.
Georgetown opened with the first 12 points of the second half, with Roy Hibbert picking up three easy baskets and Jonathan Wallace adding a three. As the the ESPN announcers landed Carnesecca for an interview, the pounding continued. The former coach had just finished a brief anecdote about the 1982 season when Patrick Ewing Jr. shredded the Redmen defense for an uncontested dunk, 53-14. Carnesecca promptly gave notice and ended the interview.
St. John's did not get its first field goal of the second half until 14:25 to play, and the teams played even in what was full-fledged garbage time thereafter. Georgetown led by as many as 39 points, but St. John's made some headway late, cutting down its turnovers and bringing the lead below 30 in the final minute before being punctuated by a three point shot by walk-on Bryon Jansen at the buzzer.
Georgetown's defense shone throughout. The Hoyas held St. John's to 12 percent shooting in the first half and 21 percent for the game, with a particular lockdown on forward Anthony Mason, Jr. Mason had scored 29 points in each of his last two games against Pittsburgh and Louisville, was held to 3-12 shooting and nine points. Defensive guard play was especially strong, with the Redmen backcourt (starters and reserves) shooting just 3 for 21.
Despite the margin of victory, Georgetown did not play flawlessly. Free throws continue to be a concern, with an 11-22 mark, and the Hoyas gave up 17 offensive rebounds, two stats that will bite them against stronger opponents. Still, with many starters playing reduced minutes, this was an opportunity for reserves to take the spotlight, and Vernon Macklin did just that.
Macklin scored a career high 18 points on a number of drives inside the St. John's defense; surprisingly, he was listed without a rebound in the stat sheet. For fans who were surprised to see Macklin play as strong as he did, it was no surprise to head coach John Thompson III.
"As a coach, as a staff and as a team, we are comfortable with Vernon being out there," Thompson said. "What he did out there was not a surprise."
What was a surprise was the lack of a St. John's response following the early deficit. "They are a Big East team and this conference is tough," said guard Jessie Sapp. "When they didn't make a run I was surprised."
St. John's has lost six straight and 12 of 15, falling to 1-7 in conference play. St. John's will get a second look at the Hoyas Feb. 27 at Verizon Center.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wallace 22 1-1 2-2 0-0 2 3 3 8 Sapp 26 0-3 3-5 1-2 3 5 1 10 Freeman 28 1-3 0-4 6-8 6 5 1 8 Ewing 22 3-5 1-1 0-0 3 1 2 9 Hibbert 18 5-8 0-0 1-2 6 2 3 11 Reserves: Macklin 26 8-10 0-0 2-5 0 0 4 18 Rivers 27 2-3 0-3 1-5 9 2 3 5 Jansen 2 0-0 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 3 Crawford 24 1-3 0-1 0-0 1 1 4 2 Wattad 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 DNP: Summers, Wright, Mescheriakov Team Rebounds 8 TOTALS 200 21-36 7-17 11-22 38 19 21 74
Additional coverage follows below:
"A basketball game that helped attract a capacity crowd to Madison Square Garden to see an interesting confrontation turned into a rare, stunning exhibition of power and skill last night."--New York Times, Jan. 7, 1982
No one could have predicted Wednesday's game would be a virtual repeat of one of the Big East's most famous games, the "Garden Massacre" of 1982.
The sold-out game featured the first doubleheader featuring three nationally ranked teams at the Garden in over two decades. The opener saw #9 Wichita State defeat Iona, followed by the matchup of #13 Georgetown against #20 St. John's.
The arrival of freshman Patrick Ewing was eagerly awaited by a skeptical New York audience. Ewing did not disappoint.
At one point, St. John's coach Lou Carnesecca called four time outs in the first half to stem the tide of a Georgetown lead that was, at one point, 41-9. The Hoyas took a 41-17 lead at the break and coasted to a 72-42 win.
The game set conference records for margin of victory and rebounding margin, where the Hoyas posted a dominating 43-21 edge on the boards. Unlike Wednesday's game, St. John's shot better (the Redmen shot 34 percent on 18-53 shooting), but Georgetown's shooting and decisive rebound edge was the difference.
Ewing's nine points and six rebounds fell behind that of Eric Floyd's 16 points and 8 rebounds along with 14 points and seven rebounds from Eric Smith, but Georgetown served notice that its freshman center was a future star. No one was ready to predict that Ewing would see his jersey number retired in the Garden rafters someday, but the debut opened the eyes of New York to his future potential.
DaJuan Summers did not suit up for Wednesday's game. On Wednesday, Coach Thompson was more optimistic, telling the the Washington Times in its Wednesday editions. "But the prognosis on DaJuan is much better than we initially expected. It looks like minor sprain. There's nothing broken or torn, no ligament damage. We'll make a game-time decision on him tomorrow, but he's been moving around pretty well, and I'm pretty sure he's going to play." But given the opponent, Summers was rested and watched the game in a suit and tie instead.
Guard Chris Wright, who suffered an ankle injury on Jan. 4, appears to be lost for the season, according to the Washington Post. Wright averaged 6.2 ppg in eleven games this season, but is not eligible for a medical redshirt since he played two games past the redshirt maximum.
"As of right now, I don't think Chris is going to be back this season,"
The Post article also signaled that forward Nikita Mescheriakov may be redshirted. Mescheriakov has not played in any games this season following a 10-game suspension for playing in a professional team in Belarus prior to college.
Missouri State. Troy. Samford. These were the three Division I schools which made scholarship offers to Jonathan Wallace. His first look at Georgetown came not on a recruiting visit, but a debate tournament.
The story of Georgetown's senior leader is well known in Hoya circles, but receives some national attention with this feature in Wednesday's New York Times on his development over these four years.
Having been accepted to the Georgetown Law Center in the fall of 2008, Wallace suggests where he'll be this summer: his family's farm in Alabama. "That's hay-cutting season at the farm,” Wallace said. “From sunup to sundown, you've got to work.”
Jonathan Wallace makes his 121st consecutive start In Wednesday's game, seventh all-time among Georgetown players. Should things continue to plan, Wallace's start in the 2nd game of the Big East tournament would pass Othella Harrington's school record of 132 consecutive games.
A feature in Monday's Washington Post discusses Rich Chvotkin's Chvotkin's emotions when calling the big play, which have ranged from one to as many as 17 calls of "Hoyas Win" to punctuate the final score.
"When you make a shot like that, it kind of releases all the emotion that's pent up for a game like that, " said Chvotkin. "Again, you're just anticipating that that shot is going up there and you're looking and you have a great view and swish! I've seen enough of those shots that I can just see those shots going in..."
And this season, they're right on time.
"From my vantage point at the end of the bench, I feel that the effort Patrick made was tremendous. To put himself in position to get that block was unbelievable."--John Thompson III
He didn't disappoint.
Understandably viewed amidst the shadow of his legendary father, Patrick Ewing Jr. made some history of his own, soaring for a game saving block at the buzzer to preserve an impressive Georgetown comeback over West Virginia, 58-57, breaking a 15 game home court streak for the Mountaineers.
Georgetown opened the game with three inside baskets and a 6-1 lead. The Mountaineers countered from the outside, with three three pointers in its next five possessions, erasing the deficit and given WVU a four point lead. Seven turnovers kept at Georgetown at a distance in the half, but its defense soon contained the Mountaineers' outside attack. From a 14-8 WVU lead with 11:21 in the half, the Mountaineers scored only three baskets the rest of the half, and none in the final 4:40. Georgetown trailed by as a many as six before Jessie Sapp keyed a Georgetown run with a three pointer at the 4:09 mark and four points from Roy Hibbert late in the half to close to one, 24-23, with 1:58 left. When WVU guard Joe Mazzula missed an inside shot, Georgetown set up Hibbert inside for a basket to take the lead with 1:07 left in the half, 25-24. Both teams traded possessions, with WVU center Jamie Smalligan holding the ball at the end of the half.
West Virginia stood ready to knock the game open, but fell into a pattern that ultimately cost them the game. After a middling 4-9 mark from the foul line in the first half, WVU fell apart at the line in a four minute stretch of the half.
At the 13:01 mark, up seven, DaSean Butler was fouled going to the hoop. He went one for two, and the Hoyas answered with a Jeremiah Rivers layup, 40-34.
At the 11:44 mark, Wellington Smith was fouled while shooting, and missed both free throws. Twenty seconds later, Butler was back on the line, made one of two, and saw the Hoyas answer as Ewing found Austin Freeman down the lane, 41-36. WVU's 2-6 shooting opened a narrow door for the Hoyas to regroup, and by the midpoint of the half, a Freeman dunk closed the gap to three, 41-38.
West Virginia then went cold, missing four straight shots, but the Hoyas weren't much better. In a half where the G-men missed ten consecutive three point attempts dating back to the first half, two missed threes failed to cut into the lead until Ewing picked up a steal at the 8:30 mark and fed Sapp for the basket and the foul to tie the score, 41-all. A pair of GU layups were answered by consecutive threes to pick up WVU's game, 47-45.
Much like the Syracuse game, as WVU drove forward, they left their shooting in the trenches. Darris Nichols' three with 6:40 left gave the Mountaineers the aforementioned lead, but West Virginia would score only one field goal over the next six minutes. Free throws extended the lead to five with 4:38 to play, answered by a strong move inside by DaJuan Summers, 50-47. The Hoyas looked to close the gap even further off a Sapp steal, but could not convert. A Joe Alexander basket pushed the lead back to five at the 3:35 mark, answered by a Jonathan Wallace drive that sent him to the line.
Wallace's free throws were not without its share of controversy. After Wallace hit the first free throw, WVU coach Bob Huggins approached the scorer's table and argued that Wallace was not the eligible shooter to take the free throws. A discussion followed that took nearly two minutes, but the replay was clear that Wallace, not Ewing, was fouled. Any hopes by Huggins of icing Wallace failed as he hit the second shot, 52-49.
On its next series, forward John Flowers's pass was picked off by Ewing, who was fouled. Ewing missed both shots, and WVU responded with two FT's of its own to build the lead back to five, 54-49. Ewing was fouled again on the next series, where he shook off the raucous WVU crowd by sinking both shots, 54-51.
ON its next series, WVU missed a pair of shots, but off a Sapp miss, Roy Hibbert picked up a key offensive rebound and went inside to close to 54-53 with 1:22 to play. The teams traded layups into the final minute, 56-53, when Sapp was fouled by DaSean Butler with 39 seconds to play. Sapp, who had missed two free throws earlier in the game, sank both shots, 56-55.
With 39 seconds to play, West Virginia might have run much of the clock out, but Darris Nichols was fouled by Jeremiah Rivers with 31 seconds to play. Nichols hit the first shot but missed the second, setting the stage for another Georgetown comeback.
Georgetown took over with 25 seconds to play, but with WVU employing a fierce defense, no one was getting open. With the inside cut off and the perimeter play at risk, Jonathan Wallace could not make inroads and got the ball to Sapp, who drove to the edge of the key and launched a three with about eight seconds to play. In Georgetown's only three point goal of the entire half, Sapp matched the feat of his late three against Syracuse and gave the Hoyas a 58-57 lead with 6.2 seconds left.
The 6.2 seconds remaining afforded time for West Virginia to run a play, and it did. Off the inbounds from Nichols, Alexander found DaSean Butler at the baseline, who proceeded to drive left of the basket and put up a soft jumper. From nowhere, Ewing rose to swat the ball away at the buzzer, as the WVU coliseum gasped and then looked to the referees for a whistle that did not come. Even Rich Chvotkin wasn't quite sure, putting aside a boisterous "Hoyas Win!" for the more quizzical "I believe the Hoyas are going to win! I believe the Hoyas are going to win! And Bob Huggins is chasing the referees!"
And chase he did. When the goaltend call did not come and the impact settled into the sold out crowd, the officials quickly made their way to the tunnel, Huggins raced behind them to no effect. Across the court, Thompson ordered the players off the court at all deliberate speed, as items began to be thrown on the court in response. It mattered little to the fans, who were equally stunned and mystified by the call, and the presence of West Virginia state troopers that appeared on the floor was a sign that any hard feelings would not go any further onto the court.
Any hopes of a replay review were futile, as goaltending calls are not subject to review. Whether in real time or in numerous slow motion replays, Ewing's block was at or near the apex of the shot and, while unpopular, was the right call.
Huggins tried to mask his emotions following the game.
"I'm not allowed to make a comment," Huggins told the media, mindful of Big east rules against criticizing officials. "But I think it was obvious. Everybody can watch it and make their own decision.”
For the homestanding fans that feel WVU was robbed by the call, WVU really gave away the store at the foul line, shooting 52 percent in a game where they entered shooting 67 percent for the season.
"What were we from the line, 12-for-23?" asked Huggins. "If we make free throws at the end, then it’s a three-point game instead of a two-point game. That makes a big difference."
"We really hang together and this team doesn't seem to get rattled," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III. "We've been through a lot of these kinds of games and, while we'd rather not fall behind and have to come back, we're comfortable playing in them.
Despite a poor game in many statistical categories, the Hoyas found yet another way to win late and continue its run as one of the nation's best last-minute crunch teams. In each of its last six games that went to the final possession in regulation or in overtime, Georgetown has won all six.
"There is no such thing as an ugly win -- any time you can get a 'W,' particularly on the road in this league against an excellent basketball team that is obviously very well-coached, it is always pretty," said Thompson. "Road wins have been few and far between as you look across this country, so ugly or not, this is a big win.
At game's end, Ewing looked up at a pair of hecklers, whose sign "Daddy's Disappointment" was in sight during the game, and waved goodbye. In his last collegiate game at the Coliseum, the junior Ewing left an indelible mark upon this rivalry that his father would be proud of.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wallace 24 2-4 0-3 2-2 1 2 2 6 Sapp 34 1-3 3-7 4-5 1 2 3 15 Freeman 32 4-6 0-2 0-0 7 1 1 8 Summers 21 4-5 0-2 0-0 3 0 3 8 Hibbert 27 4-6 0-0 4-4 10 1 2 12 Reserves: Macklin 9 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 1 2 Rivers 22 1-1 0-1 0-0 2 0 2 2 Crawford 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 0 Ewing 27 0-2 1-2 2-4 6 4 3 5 DNP: Wright, Mescheriakov, Jansen, Wattad Team Rebounds 1 TOTALS 200 17-28 4-17 12-15 32 11 19 58
Additional coverage follows below:
If anyone was prepared to hit the three pointer that earned Georgetown the lead against West Virginia, it was Jessie Sapp. Once known more for his defensive abilities, Sapp has stepped up the offense this season, with a penchant for the right shot at the right time of the game.
In three of the last four wins, Sapp has been responsible for key last minute plays, including the defensive rebound that led the Hoyas to set up Hibbert for the game winner versus Connecticut. Add that to the team leader in assists and steals, and third in rebounds, and Sapp is a go-to guy on both sides of the ball.
"On this team, we don't back down. If you come at us, we're going to come at y'all," Sapp told the Washington Post. "Even if we have a weakness, we're not going to show it. We want to win just as bad as you want to win, so if you're going to attack us, we're going to attack you.
"A lot of our teams would be better off to have a Jessie Sapp on our team, trust me," said Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun. "And we'd win more games because of what he brings to the table."
At 32 years old, Allen Iverson (ex-'98) is an old man in the world of the NBA, but he isn't showing signs of slowing down. A USA Today cover story followed Iverson to Denver and provided some perspective from the nine time NBA ALl-Star on his career to date, and to come.
"I'm a lot happier here — that's an understatement," said Iverson on his trade to the Denver Nuggets. "I don't want to become a journeyman. Hopefully this is my last stop. But that probably won't end up being up to me."
Still among the top three in points, Iverson's ability to dominate games at 6-0 continues to be a topic of conversation. To his former coach, it's not a question of size.
"What tickles me most is when people say, 'For a player his size.' … Hell with that — if he were Paul Bunyan-sized, this (dude) would be phenomenal, the way he plays, his longevity, how hard he plays," said former Georgetown coach John Thompson. "There are Allen Iverson imitations, but I haven't seen a duplication."
Thompson added: "When you talk about a kid who came from hard knocks and difficult times, he is what a lot of African-Americans try to make believe they are. "It's 'in' to say, 'I'm from poverty, I came up hard.' But that kid pulled himself up. Allen is a survivor."
Iverson, a married father of four, is mindful of his past, but looking forward for the future.
"Every day, I pray to get better as a person and a player," he said. "I think I am better because I don't have the surroundings I [did]. I actually thought my friends cared about Allen Iverson the person — before the NBA, the money, the fame. That's a cold reality...I'm totally different from what I used to be [with] the company [I keep], the decisions I make."
For many years, the last weekend in January was a mine field for Georgetown teams. From 1985 to 2005, Georgetown lost 13 times on that weekend, including eight in a ten year period.
January 26 was especially grim, beginning with St. John's win over the #1-ranked Hoyas on Jan. 26, 1985 and following with consecutive losses in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004.
Georgetown has won each of the last two weekends in January, defeating Cincinnati in 2006 and 2007.
The contentious battle between Ball State University and former coach Ronny Thompson (C'92) has apparently been settled, as the school will pay Thompson $200,000 to settle possible claims against the school, according to the Muncie Star-Press and other sources.
Thompson resigned in July 2007 after a 9-22 season in which he cited a hostile racial environment at the school. The school's payment is for "Thompson's relinquishment of certain contract, tort, civil rights, employment and other rights and claims" not to sue the school, according to the Ball State Daily News.
A pair of former Georgetown players were featured this past week in articles about competing in basketball's minor leagues.
The Fredericksburg News-Post published an extensive feature on Harvey Thomas, who played one year at Georgetown before two junior college stops and a year at Baylor during the Patrick Dennehy tragedy. Thomas, 25, left Baylor after his junior season but was not selected to an NBA roster, and currently plays in Yakima, WA in the Continental Basketball Association.
Closer to home, former Georgetown forward Lonnie Harrell is playing for a new team in a new league. The Montgomery Gazette talked to Harrell, 35, as a member of the Maryland Nighthawks, playing in a new circuit titled the Premier Basketball League.
"I've played in every minor league possible,” Harrell said. "This is nothing new to me."
Just like old times.
For those Big East fans who wondered out loud if Georgetown-Syracuse was still a rivalry game, wonder no more, as the #9-ranked Hoyas held Syracuse without a field goal for the last 7:21 of the game in a 64-62 overtime thriller at Verizon Center.
Georgetown did not start the game crisply, hitting two of its first seven shots and opening the door for Syracuse to establish the tone of the game. The Orange(men) led early but could not hold the lead, as Jonathan Wallace paced the Hoyas to a 22-18 lead. As Syracuse freshman Jonny Flynn was soaring, freshman Donte Greene was in a tailspin, shooting 1-12 in the first half.
The Hoyas rediscovered Roy Hibbert inside with a quick jumper, 55-51, but Greene stuck a three to extend the lead to seven, 58-51, with 4:33 to play. Georgetown couldn't buy a basket, but they could cash in at the line, where Rivers and Hibbert each added two free throws to close the deficit to three with 2:54 to play. On the next series, Patrick Ewing Jr. picked up a steal, but on the possession Austin Freeman picked up an offensive foul. Donte Greene's basket with 2:21 to play extended Syracuse's lead to 60-55, part of a 4-6 shooting effort for Greene in the second half.
Georgetown needed a hero, and Jessie Sapp stepped forward. Despite missing all three outside attempts for the game, Sapp hit the big three with 1:49 to play to close to 60-58.
Georgetown's defense held on the next series, as a Freeman steal set up Sapp for the tying basket, 60-60. With 40.2 seconds to play, Flynn missed a long three, but Onauku picked up yet another offensive rebound. Rivers stuck tight to Flynn, whose 18 foot shot fell short with less than five seconds to play. On its final try in regulation, Georgetown's Austin Freeman was not able to develop a play in 3.3 seconds and his hurried shot went wide, sending the teams into overtime. Syracuse ended the half missing 8 of its final 10 shots.
Defense was the order of the evening in overtime. Rivers missed on a long three, but the Orangemen could not convert. Off a steal, the Orangemen were sent to the line, where Onauku missed both free throws. Sapp got the Hoyas on the board in OT with a pair of free throws at the 3:29 mark, 62-60. Greene looked to drive on SU's next play, but was frustrated by tight defense by Patrick Ewing Jr. The Hoyas looked to extend the lead, but Hibbert missed a short shot and Onauku was sent to the line with 2:18, still down two.
Onauku missed both free throws. Again. And Syracuse got the offensive rebound. Again.
Sill down two, Greene coughed the ball up to Ewing, but Sapp missed on a long three with just under two minutes to play. Flynn went for the long three and missed with 1:28 to play. On its next series, Georgetown went inside for Hibbert, who got the basket and extended the lead to 64-60.
On its next series, Georgetown wound the clock down, but Summers took an ill advised three, sailing long. With 10.8 seconds left, despite having been shut out in overtime from the field, Syracuse stood at the verge of the win.
Jonny Flynn took over the ball for the final play. Despite guard Scoop Jardine getting open on the wing, Flynn looked to take the game winner. Twice in the final seconds, Rivers kept Flynn from driving, and Rivers got Flynn to slightly back away on the last shot, as he heaved the shot from 25 feet.
In and out. Literally.
Georgetown's defensive effort proved decisive. Sapp and Rivers earned game honors with their relentless defensive efforts on Flynn, whose 24 points led all scorers but who was held without a field goal for the final 13:57 of the game (8:57 in the second half, plus five minutes in overtime). The Hoyas held Syracuse as a whole to just two field goals over the final 4:43 of regulation, and none in the overtime.
I think a key part was during the latter part of regulation and in overtime, Jeremiah and Patrick's defense was unbelievable," said coach John Thompson III in post-game comments. "I think those two guys made a huge difference tonight at the defensive end of the floor. That being said, [Syracuse] missed some shots that they normally make, but I think those two, the effort and the work was terrific. Spark would be an understatement; what they did was terrific. "
To its credit, Syracuse's defense was effective in shutting down Hibbert inside while keeping Summers off stride and Wallace quiet in the late games. Four Syracuse players played 40 or more minutes in the game, a fifth played 39. It is a testament to Syracuse's young talent that amidst so much playing time and many misses late, they were that close to a win. That close.
"You're going to make great plays, you're going to make some turnovers in a game like this, with the intensity like this, but I couldn't be prouder of the way we competed tonight," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. "I think Georgetown has a great basketball team. We have struggled in our two road games in the league, we weren't in either game really and to come down here and play the way we did is a good sign for our young guys."
The two teams will meet again on Feb. 27 in Syracuse in what is sure to be another memorable chapter in the best college rivalry in the East.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wallace 31 1-1 4-7 1-1 2 4 1 15 Sapp 37 3-5 1-5 2-2 7 5 2 11 Freeman 34 2-4 1-5 0-0 2 1 4 7 Summers 29 1-4 1-5 0-0 2 0 2 5 Hibbert 37 5-10 0-0 5-6 9 1 4 15 Reserves: Macklin 12 0-1 0-0 0-2 1 0 1 0 Rivers 22 2-2 0-1 2-2 3 0 1 6 Crawford 3 0-0 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 3 Ewing 20 1-1 0-1 0-1 3 3 1 2 DNP: Wright, Mescheriakov, Jansen, Wattad Team Rebounds 4 TOTALS 200 15-28 8-25 10-14 33 14 16 64
Additional articles follow below.
The win ended a 20+ year run of overtime losses to Syracuse. Extra period games in the rivalry include the following:
January 21 has been a productive day over the years for Georgetown basketball, not the least of which was its 87-84 win over #1 Duke two seasons ago.
Georgetown is 15-4 (.789) all time in games played on January 21 and 8-1 in the Big East era (1979-present). However, the lone loss took place on Jan. 21, 1991 in a Monday night game against Syracuse. On that evening, forwards Dave Johnson and Billy Owens combined for 31 points and 15 rebounds to lead the #8-ranked Orangemen to a 58-56 win over #19 Georgetown before 19,035 at Capital Centre, despite the Hoyas holding Syracuse scoreless for the final 3:19 of the game.
Surprisingly, this was the last time the two teams played before a sold out crowd in the Washington area, at least until (hopefully) Monday's game.
Washington Post columnist Dan Steinberg introduces his readers to the redesigned Georgetown bulldog mascot in this link to his Sports Bog column.
The mascot, not to be confused with the four legged Jack normally seen at home games, saw a redesign of its oversized head in the off-season, albeit to mixed reviews.
At least one alumnus kept it in perspective. "We come here more to watch the games than to worry about what Jack looks like," said Lawrence Kelleher (C'04, G'07). "It's better than an orange going across the floor, I can tell you that."
"We couldn't score, we couldn't get into a rhythm and then they got every loose ball to end the half and it was really hard to recover from that." --Notre Dame coach Mike Brey
A big first half run sparked #6 Georgetown to a convincing 84-65 win over Notre Dame at Verizon Center, countered with a impressive second half effort that renewed Georgetown's stature at the top of the Big East standings.
The Hoyas (14-2) enjoyed success from inside almost from the start, led by a strong game on both sides of the floor by center Roy Hibbert. The 7-2 senior scored 13 of Georgetown's first 22 points of the game, which was vital in the midst of another early drought from the three point line. After going 3-20 in a nine point loss at Pitt, Georgetown missed its first six outside attempts, allowing ND (shooting 3-6 in that same span) a 17-16 lead. Hibbert scored six straight points to return the lead to the Hoyas, 22-17, and the rest of the team began to respond. DeJuan Summers fought through two offensive rebounds for a score, 24-17, and Austin Freeman opened the three point bank to increase the lad to 27-17. baskets from Jessie Sapp and Vernon Macklin pushed the lead to 31-17, and the Irish could narrow the score to closer than nine thereafter, as Georgetown took a 38-25 lead at the break.
Defense proved the story of the first half, holding ND's Luke Harangody and Kyle McAlarney (averaging a combined 34 points per game between them) to just 3-13 in the first half, as Georgetown held the Irish to just 30 percent shooting. But as Pitt taught Georgetown a lesson last week in the art of the quick second half spurt, the Hoyas were not about to return the favor to the Irish.
After a Harangody jumper closed the count to 11, 38-27, Georgetown scored on each of its first four second half possessions, extending the lead to 21 at 48-27. With the interior closed off by Hibbert and alert defensive sets crowding McAlarney, ND reverted to the three point shot with ill effect. The Irish missed its next nine shot attempts, four from three point range, before a McAlarney three broke the run at 48-30 with 14:43 to play. Notre Dame never got within 16 the rest of the game, due in part to Georgetown's ability to match each ND score. If the Irish hit two free throws, Georgetown would pick up two on the next series. If the Irish picked up a jumper, Georgetown would answer with a three.
And yes, the three was back. After a 2-11 first half from outside, the Hoyas shot 6-9 in the second half, effectively dousing any chance that ND could get hot and mount a comeback. So effective was this counter-punch that when Georgetown led by 19 at the midway point of the half, that's exactly the margin of victory at the end.
Numerous players for the Hoyas had superb games, but it begins with Roy Hibbert. His 21 points led all scorers and while three rebounds seems understated, he affected nearly every ND possession, from taking a charge in the lane to forcing ND to go outside, with inconsistent effect (7-25). His early offensive efforts keyed the run, his defensive efforts in the second locked down the win.
DeJuan Summers also came up big. Following a 0-7 shooting effort at Pitt, Summers responded with 17 points and 11 rebounds, keeping the Irish forwards off the ball and responding well in early matchup zone coverage on McAlarney. Austin Freeman (17 points, 7-10 shooting) continues to grow and impress, while Jessie Sapp's 14 points and six rebounds was another encouraging sign of renewal following some rough outings with UConn and Pitt.
"DaJuan is a cerebral player and he's a thinker," said coach John Thompson III in post game comments. "The last couple of games, he's been trying to think through too many situations and today he just came out played hard. It's amazing how good things happen, how the chips fall in place, when you play hard. He was extremely aggressive, his energy level was high, he worked. He brought his lunch pail today and he worked. It was great to see that."
Georgetown's bench also made its presence felt. Patrick Ewing Jr. proved a valuable asset in providing defensive help off the ball, while Vernon Macklin helped maintain the intensity in his 12 minutes backing up Hibbert. Senior guard Tyler Crawford saw his most minutes in a Big East game in over a year, picking up three points and contributing to more tight defense. Georgetown shot 56 percent for the half and held ND to 35% from the field and 25% from three. Had it not been for GU's early three point troubles and a 18-22 free throw effort by the Irish, this game could have been a full-fledged rout--and that's not a knock on Notre Dame, but a recognition of how strong the Hoyas were in the game.
Harangody and McAlarney's stats tell the story: a combined 7 of 28. Forwards Rob Kurz and Ryan Ayers, each of which have been able to get hot in big games, were 2 for 10. The Irish could not make inroads against the Georgetown defense and were left with a lot of low-percentage shots that Georgetown simply took and ran with.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wallace 28 2-4 0-3 4-4 2 2 1 8 Sapp 32 1-1 3-5 3-4 2 6 3 14 Freeman 28 5-7 2-3 0-0 4 2 2 16 Summers 29 3-5 2-5 5-7 11 2 3 17 Hibbert 26 7-11 0-0 7-9 3 5 3 21 Reserves: Macklin 12 2-2 0-0 0-2 3 0 3 4 Rivers 12 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 1 2 0 Jansen 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Crawford 10 0-0 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 3 Wattad 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0 Ewing 15 0-0 0-1 1-3 4 1 1 1 DNP: Wright, Mescheriakov Team Rebounds 4 TOTALS 200 20-33 8-20 20-29 34 19 20 84
Post-game articles follow below.
Georgetown recruit Greg Monroe is only a high school senior but feeling some college-style scrutiny in a feature from the Washington Times for his play to date this season.
A number of recruiting experts are cited in the article, some disparaging Monroe for two nationally televised games on ESPN where his team was not dominant. Still, some may be jumping to conclusions.
"I know people have been a little disappointed in my production," Monroe said. "People are always asking why I don't score any more. Well, being a target every night, being surrounded by double- and triple-teams, the best play for me is usually a pass, setting my teammates up for easy buckets. What's most important is winning. And our best chance to win usually comes if I pass."
Four years ago, injuries dampened the promising career of Georgetown guard Matt Causey, who transferred shortly after the 2003-04 season ended. A walk-on senior at Georgia Tech, Causey has started in eight games for the Yellow Jackets this season despite three different injuries over his college career.
"I've gotten used to the pain," Causey said in this link to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "Once you've played with something for so long, it's not a factor. I don't want to give up my basketball days, so if I can fight through it, I'm going to."
Causey is averaging 5.1 points per game at Tech, and leads the team in assists. He will graduate with a biology degree this spring.
While Alonzo Mourning's possible retirement got some attention last week in the NBA press, no such uncertainty exists for Dikembe Mutombo (SLL'91), who previously announced this would be his final season. Mutombo has scored only seven points in 13 games this season.
"I am going to enjoy the remaining time that I have in the league," said Mutombo in this link to BlackAthlete.net. "It doesn't matter if I play three minutes or not at all, if I’m suited up I will be supporting my teammates and contribute to the success of the Houston Rockets in any way that I can.”
Two days after the three point shot lifted its sails, the outside shot was an anchor for the #6 ranked Georgetown Hoyas, missing 17 of 20 attempts in a 69-60 loss at #15 ranked Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh (15-2) never trailed in the game, taking an early 8-4 lead and even when its shots were failing, they managed to keep Georgetown off center. The Panthers missed nine straight shots in the first half that saw Georgetown get no closer than 13-12. The Panthers led by as many as six at 21-15, where Georgetown made a run in the final two minutes of the half to close to 23-21, but with a chance to tie, threw the ball away with 0:52 to play. Pitt built a 27-23 lead in the final seconds before Jonathan Wallace connected on a half court shot at the buzzer to close to 27-26, and the signs pointed to a Hoya comeback in the second.
After each team traded a pair of free throws, 54-47, a long three point miss by Wallace was answered with a Blair jumper, 56-47. Hibbert and Blair exchanged baskets, 58-49, before a Jessie Sapp jumper and a pair of Hibbert free throws cut the lead to five, 58-53, with 3:15 left. Down the stretch Pitt connected on 6-6 from the line while Georgetown went 0-4 on its next four possessions, putting the game out of reach.
The Panthers proved especially strong early on the offensive boards, leading to numerous second chance attempts. In the first half, it held an 11-0 advantage on offensive rebounds, and a 37-33 advantage overall. Pitt shot 50% for the half and 10-15 (67%) from inside the arc.
The stat sheet was grim for Georgetown's guards, as they were 8-20 from the field and gave up 36 points to the Pitt backcourt of Ronald Ramon and Keith Benjamin. DaJuan Summers turned in a career low with no points on 0-7 shooting, fouling out late. Vernon Macklin had a solid game (5-5 FG, 10 pts) to complement a 12 point, 10 rebound effort from Hibbert and seven points off the bench from Ewing.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wallace 33 3-4 2-7 2-2 2 0 4 14 Sapp 31 1-3 1-4 0-0 4 3 4 5 Freeman 29 4-4 0-4 0-0 4 3 2 8 Summers 24 0-3 0-4 0-0 4 5 5 0 Hibbert 30 3-7 0-0 6-7 10 2 1 12 Reserves: Macklin 12 5-5 0-0 0-0 0 0 3 10 Rivers 18 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 2 Crawford 3 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 2 Ewing 20 3-4 0-1 1-2 5 1 2 7 DNP: Wright, Mescheriakov, Jansen, Wattad Team Rebounds 3 TOTALS 200 20-32 3-20 11-13 33 15 21 60
Additional articles follow below.
Big East teams are only 7-22 (.241) in road games within the conference--outside Georgetown, that's 5-20 (.200) for the rest of the league.
In the wake of questions surrounding the injury to freshman guard Chris Wright, a release at GUHoyas.com announces no specific timetable for its return.
"While practicing last week in preparation for the Connecticut game the symptoms reoccurred. At that time the decision was made to stop him from playing to avoid unnecessary risk. There is no timetable for his return to play," reads the release.
The NBA's Miami Heat caught some heat Monday in posting a story which ran on the news services that 15 year veteran Alonzo Mourning (C'92) had retired. The team retracted the story a few hours later, according to the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
Mourning, 37, was lost for the season with a knee injury in what he had previously called his final NBA season; however, no retirement announcement is pending at this time.
For those who missed the last seconds of Saturday's Connecticut game, video clips of the last 30 seconds have made its way to YouTube. Here's the ESPN call of Roy Hibbert's game winner as well as Rich Chvotkin's radio call of the play.
Also from Saturday's game: Big East Hoops reviews the final two plays of the game.
Saturday's attendance was 20,035, a sellout. It's the first sellout at Verizon Center for a non-ranked team in the 11 seasons the Hoyas have played downtown, and only the fourth sellout against a non-ranked team since 1982.
"That's not a fluke, that's not a shocker, that's not a once-in-a-lifetime thing that Roy makes that shot. If you leave him open he has shown every day in practice and this year that he can make that shot."--John Thompson III
In 116 games, Roy Hibbert had taken just one three point shot. The second one will not soon be forgotten.
The 7-2 senior sank a three pointer at the top of the key with four seconds left to earn Georgetown a hard fought 72-69 win over Connecticut before 20,035 at Verizon Center Saturday. The shot capped an 11-2 run in the final 4:21 for the Hoyas, who saw their Big East lead challenged at nearly every turn by the hungry Huskies.
UConn (11-4) entered the game without head coach Jim Calhoun, who stayed in the locker room due to flu-like symptoms. The Huskies seemed rattled early, as the Hoyas collected seven rebounds to open the game 9-1. Connecticut went to its guards to turn the early tide, turning three steals into points as the Hoya lead was cut to 12-8 with 13:20 in the half, and a 14-14 tie by the 12:41 mark.
In a season where Georgetown has been challenged by the rebound, the Hoyas came out with intensity on both sides of the ball, holding the Huskies to just one offensive rebound in the half. UConn held its own offensively, shooting 50 percent in the first half and answering every Georgetown charge, particularly with DaJuan Summers sidelined early with fouls. Down 40-31 in the final three minutes of the half, UConn cut the lead to four at halftime, 42-38.
The game picked up considerably in the second half. The UConn starters, which had gone 7-18 in the first half, stepped up its game, shooting 50 percent from the field and out rebounding the Hoyas 17-14. The Hoyas' lead never went beyond four points, as the Huskies began to poke holes in the Georgetown defense. After ties at 51 and 54 all, Stanley Robinson picked off a Georgetown pass and Wiggins cashed in, 57-56 followed by a transition dunk to go to 59-56 with 8:08 to play.
Georgetown's guards were unusually silent in the half from long range. The Hoyas missed four straight threes, including all three from Jonathan Wallace, as the Hoyas fell behind 63-58. Needing a spark, they got it, thanks to freshman Austin Freeman. Off a DaJuan Summers steal, Freeman hit a three with 5:20 to play to cut the deficit to 63-61, answered with a Jeff Adrien jumper and a Jerome Dyson dunk, 67-61, with 4:21 to play. After Georgetown missed two close in shots, Freeman answered with another three, 67-64.
After a UConn turnover with 3:24 to play, Georgetown picked up two offensive rebounds in a key stretch punctuated by a Jessie Sapp three, tying the score at 67 with 2:22 to play. After a pair of free throws by UC's Hasheem Thabeet, Georgetown caught a break on a Patrick Ewing Jr. drive to tie the score with 1:43 to play. Driving to the basket, Ewing lost control of the ball, foregoing who at appeared at first to be a traveling violation, and his off-balance shot attempt was swatted by Thabeet, which was tagged as goaltending.
Georgetown defense forced a turnover with 1:39 to play, but Freeman's hope for a fourth straight three in the half sailed wide. UConn brought the ball downcourt with under a minute, but failed inside and turned the ball back to Georgetown with 0:39 to play. With the Huskies playing Georgetown tight inside, Summers found Hibbert unguarded at the top of the key. The Verizon Center crowd drew a collective gasp as Hibbert spotted up for the three and watched it sail through the nets. UConn's last run failed when Jerome Dyson lost his dribble in the backcourt and the ball (and game) slipped away.
Hibbert's 20 points and 8 rebounds supported a fine defensive effort, particularly in the frontcourt. Patrick Ewing Jr. came up big, with 11 first half points and 14 overall, along with 13 from Freeman and 12 from Summers. The Hoyas did not shoot well in the second half (9-27), but were 4 for 5 in the final four minutes. Jeff Adrien, A.J. Price, and Jerome Dyson accounted for 22 of the Huskies' 31 second half points, while center Hasheem Thabeet was held to just one shot and forward Stanley Robinson as held scoreless.
The game may have been won on the boards. After a number of recent troubles allowing opponents to build up big rebounding numbers, Hibbert and the Hoyas held the Huskies to just 29 boards, 17 below its season average. Thabeet, the Big East's tallest player, was held to just two rebounds all day, while UConn posted only five offensive rebounds compared to 12 for Georgetown.
The parallels with the Dec. 22 game with Memphis, where the Hoyas faded late, were not unnoticed by head coach John Thompson.
"We're up, they make a run, we end up down six or seven, it was an identical situation to Memphis," Thompson said in post-game comments. "All of a sudden against Memphis we ended up down by 12, this group (today) kind of settled in and responded."
"I thought that at 67-61, we had a pretty good chance to win the basketball game," said Connecticut assistant coach George Blaney, filling in for coach Calhoun. "They hit three three-pointers on us, after not shooting the ball that well. We played zone very well against them in the second half, holding them to only 33% shooting for the half. However, we probably played the zone defense for one possession too long down the stretch."
Next time someone sees Roy Hibbert out on top, go man to man.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wallace 29 1-1 1-7 0-0 1 4 3 5 Sapp 36 1-4 1-4 1-2 6 4 2 6 Freeman 34 2-3 3-5 0-0 2 2 2 13 Summers 23 1-5 2-4 4-4 5 2 2 12 Hibbert 20 6-13 1-1 5-7 8 2 3 20 Reserves: Macklin 4 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 0 Rivers 15 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 2 Ewing 23 2-3 2-2 4-6 5 0 3 14 DNP: Wright, Mescheriakov, Jansen, Crawford, Wattad Team Rebounds 4 TOTALS 200 14-34 10-23 14-19 32 16 15 72
Additional articles follow below.
Mike Krzyzewski showed up in a limousine. John Brady brought a film projector. Rick Barnes discussed training schedules. But what distinguished John Thompson III in the eyes of high school senior Greg Monroe was something completely different.
An interesting feature in Thursday's Washington Post discusses Georgetown's recruiting visit with the nation's top-ranked recruit for 2008, as Thompson's straight talk won over the 6-10 forward.
"The stuff they were saying, I wasn't comfortable with it," said Monroe, who will join the Hoyas in the fall of 2008. "You get a sense of their actual personality when you meet them in person and they are sitting in your home. All of them really had different attitudes...I felt like [Thompson] was telling me the truth and was concerned about me as a person."
The online version of Washingtonian magazine has a brief feature with senior Roy Hibbert.
The low-key Hibbert realizes he is instantly recognized off the court, but doesn't let it to him. "People will come up to me and give me high-fives, but I’m just a guy that’s real quiet. I don’t like to be the center of attention.”
Despite an 8-13 record, head coach Horace Broadnax (B'86) and the Savannah State Tigers are catching some media heat this week after its 85-25 loss to Kansas State, a game where the Tigers shot 1-23 in the second half and were outscored 48-4 after halftime. Basketball columnists such as Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News has gone so far as to question of Savannah State should be playing in Division I at all.
"I don't think this is the worst-case scenario in these guys' lives." said Broadnax after the game. "I don't like it, it doesn't feel good, but I'm going to move on." The Tigers were 2-28 last year as an independent, as the school must travel nationwide to pick up the so-called "guarantee" games to make ends meet. In 2006-07, Savannah State's basketball budget was just $362,038.
Similar struggles exist for Savannah State in football, where the Tigers compete as an independent. Its football budget is about a third of Georgetown's football spending at the Division I-AA/FCS level.
The polls closed early on DePaul.
The #7-ranked Georgetown Hoyas scored the first 11 points of the game and never looked back in a 76-60 throttling of the Blue Demons in Rosemont, IL, a game that was frankly not as close as the score indicated.
After a pair of games where the Hoyas' inside game was subject to question, Roy Hibbert answered in a big way. Hibbert went inside early and often, picking up eight points and five rebounds within the first ten minutes of the first half, as Georgetown extended its lead to 28-11 with 7:19 to play, shooting 12 for 17 from the field. At that point of the game, Hibbert and guard Jonathan Wallace were a combined 7-7 from the field in the game.
DePaul was ineffective inside and outside, unable to assert itself on the mid range jumper and nearly shut down from the perimeter, neutralizing any home court advantage from its season high 11,252 in attendance Tuesday night. The Blue Demons offense relied on three pointers to get them back in the game to no effect, as DePaul missed 12 of 14 three point attempts in the first half, giving Georgetown a 22-7 edge on defensive rebounds. Georgetown led by as many as 24 in the first half, 44-20, where a technical foul and a putback after a missed free throw gave DePaul a five point spurt late in the half. But before the Allstate Arena crowd was ready to consider it a rally, Tyler Crawford hit a jumper at the buzzer to extend it back over 20 at 46-25. The Hoyas ended the half shooting 65% from the field.
Georgetown's shooting dropped back to more familiar numbers in the second, but the defense continued to keep DePaul at a distance. Hibbert picked up his third foul at the 15:00 mark with the Hoyas up 19, 54-35, but the Blue Demons could make up no ground. Hibbert returned with 10:43 to play with Georgetown now up 21, 61-40.
Hibbert's jumper with 7:34 to play gave Georgetown its biggest lead of the evening at 28, 70-46, whereupon Georgetown got its reserves in the game for good and scored only three baskets down the stretch with the outcome in place.
One of the keys to the win was a strong defensive effort, particularly from guard Jessie Sapp, in limiting DePaul's means for a comeback. Sapp's play against guard Draelon Burns was outstanding, limiting Burns (who averages 18.5 points per game and scored 20 on the Hoyas in a game last season), to just 2-9 from the field and six points overall. Forward Wesley Green, who was expected to leverage his 6-9, 300 lb. frame for points in the paint, was 0-7 in the first half and 1-9 overall. The DePaul starting five was a combined 0-10 from three point range in the game, in large part due to Georgetown's defensive pressure on the outside shot.
Hibbert led the Hoyas with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and a personal best five assists. Three other starters finished in double figures, as Georgetown used its outside game to make the lead, but stayed inside to keep it.
Georgetown's schedule takes another step up this weekend with two games in three days versus Connecticut and Pittsburgh. The resurgent Huskies (11-3) ran past St. John's, 81-65, behind a career high 25 points from A.J. Price.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wallace 30 2-3 2-4 2-2 4 1 0 12 Sapp 32 3-4 1-4 3-3 5 4 1 12 Freeman 33 5-7 1-2 0-0 2 1 1 13 Summers 22 3-6 0-1 0-0 3 3 5 6 Hibbert 24 7-9 0-0 3-4 11 5 3 17 Reserves: Macklin 17 2-6 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 4 Rivers 17 0-3 1-1 0-1 0 1 3 3 Jansen 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Crawford 3 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 2 Wattad 2 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 Ewing 19 3-3 0-1 1-1 10 1 3 7 DNP: Wright, Mescheriakov Team Rebounds 2 TOTALS 200 26-43 5-14 9-11 40 17 16 76
Additional links follow below.
The development of freshman Austin Freeman is the subject of a feature posted late last week at The HOYA's web site.
"He plays above his age,” said senior Jonathan Wallace prior to Saturday's game, where Freeman led the Hoyas with 13 points. “He’s not out there trying to force and make plays by himself. He really has an understanding of the concept of how to play the game, and that helps us out.”
“He's a player that if you tell him something once and he kind of looks at you and he understands what you're telling him and why you're telling him and how to apply it and does not make the same mistake twice,” said coach John Thompson III. “It's uncanny.”
Also from last week: an article from Forbes outlining its most valuable college basketball programs.
"We base our valuations on what the basketball programs contribute to four important beneficiaries: their university (money generated by basketball that goes to the institution for academic purposes, including scholarship payments for basketball players); athletic department (the net profit generated by the basketball program retained by the department); conference (the distribution of tournament revenue); and local communities (incremental spending by visitors to the county during the regular season that's attributable to the program)," wrote the magazine.
Louisville (3rd) and Syracuse (18th) were the only Big East schools cited among the top 20, mostly for revenues from ticket sales.
Entering its Big East home opener on Jan. 12, Georgetown is sixth among conference schools in average attendance:
"I thought we did everything today that we needed to do to win the game [but] when you miss free throws, lay-ups and dunks, it's tough. When you get a guy on a fast break and he misses a dunk, what are you suppose[d] to do? "--Rutgers coach Fred Hill
Four players scored in double figures as Georgetown steered past Rutgers in a 58-46 finish Saturday in New Brunswick, NJ, holding their opponents to 31% shooting on the afternoon. The homestanding Scarlet Knights had plenty of chances to tighten the game, but failed to take advantage of a inconsistent inside effort from the #7-ranked Hoyas.
Rutgers opened the game with a different strategy, sitting leading scorer J.R. Inman and utilizing quicker guards on the inside. The strategy allowed Rutgers to attack the basket on offense, while compressing its defense against Georgetown inside. From an 8-8 tie, Inman entered the game and contributed an offensive rebound, dunk and three pointer to give Rutgers a 13-8 lead. Georgetown answered with a Ewing three and a Hibbert basket, which at the 10:51 mark was Hibbert's last field goal of the game.
The teams traded field goals throughout much of the first half, which seemed strange given that Georgetown was shooting over 50% from the field and Rutgers was between 25-30%. The difference was in rebounding, where the Knights, ranked 15th of 16 Big East teams in rebounding margin, owned a 12-4 rebounding advantage early and extended it to 21-12 by half's end, with 30 shot attempts to Georgetown's 23.
Rutgers's last lead came at 18-17, where the Georgetown defense held RU without a basket for the next 4:56, as GU led 24-18 entering the final minute. A dunk by Rutgers' Hamady Ndiaye closed the count to 24-20, then Rutgers coach Fred Hill took the unusual move of rapidly fouling the Hoyas in its last series. With both teams under the foul limit, Rutgers picked up three fouls in 12 seconds, all for nought when Jonathan Wallace sank a three pointer at the buzzer to close the half, 27-20.
Georgetown opened the half with three three pointers and two baskets in a six possession run, quickly extending the lead to 41-25. For its part, Rutgers' shooting failed it time and again. After opening the second half 2-3, Rutgers missed seven straight shots amidst three turnovers.
At the 12:41 mark, Georgetown led 41-29, and the teams generally traded baskets for the rest of the game. With Hibbert held scoreless in the second half, the Hoyas kept up the pace from the three point line, shooting 6-12 from outside versus just 3-7 inside the arc. Both teams failed to build any second half rhythm, with Georgetown carrying a 50-36 lead in the final seven minutes, but scoring only one more field goal down the stretch as the game deteriorated into a free throw shooting contest.
Georgetown shot 48% for the game, with Austin Freeman leading the team with 13, followed by 11 from Wallace and 10 each from Jessie Sapp and DaJuan Summers. Center Vernon Macklin got an enthusiastic cheer from the sizable Georgetown contingent for his 2-4 free throw shooting effort--prior to Saturday's game Macklin was 3-19 from the line this season.
The stat sheet was not kind to the Hoyas today, even if the final score proved more comfortable. Rutgers had a +18 in points in the paint, 12-1 in second chance points, and outrebounded the Hoyas 43-26 (including an humbling 22-4 in offensive rebounds). With all these trends, it is still surprising that Rutgers was out of the game in the entire second half, a by-product of its inability to score on a consistent basis. The Scarlet Knights shot 31% for the game and 44% from the line, and while they had 19 more field goal attempts, they netted only one additional field goal.
Georgetown managed just four offensive rebounds, second fewest since 1987.
"I don't approach coaching by looking at stat sheets, and maybe that's a negative thing," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III in post-game remarks. "I know how I feel about us and what we should do and how we should do it every possession at the offensive end and every possession at the defensive end. It is something the guys have to expect from each other and we didn't do that at either end of the floor today."
On Tuesday, Georgetown travels to Chicago to meet DePaul, which earned its first ever 2-0 start in conference play following Saturday's 70-65 win over Providence. The Blue Demons upset #17 Villanova 84-76 on Thursday evening.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wallace 31 1-1 3-3 0-0 2 1 0 11 Sapp 30 2-4 2-5 0-0 5 2 2 10 Freeman 32 3-4 2-5 1-1 3 2 0 13 Summers 32 1-2 2-8 2-2 4 1 2 10 Hibbert 28 2-7 0-0 2-6 4 1 4 6 Reserves: Macklin 11 0-1 0-0 2-4 0 1 2 2 Rivers 19 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 1 0 Ewing 17 0-0 2-2 0-0 3 1 2 6 DNP: Wright, Jansen, Mescheriakov, Crawford, Wattad Team Rebounds 4 TOTALS 200 9-19 11-23 7-13 26 10 13 58
Additional articles follow below, more to follow Sunday morning.
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