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Georgetown Basketball: January 2010 News Archive

Georgetown 89, Duke 77 1/31/10

"I think that this group can beat any team in the country if we do what we're supposed to do. And if we don't, we can lose to everyone else on our schedule. That's not the plan. But I think we can beat anyone in the country, and they know that."--John Thompson III

Talk about a separation of powers.

Among a list of dignitaries that included the President and Vice President of the United States sitting just off center court, the #7-ranked Georgetown Hoyas pulled away from #8 Duke in a frenetic 89-77 win at Verizon Center. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and 20,037 of their closest Georgetown friends saw the Hoyas turn in a near historic shooting effort, shooting 71 percent from the floor, a number that had not been seen by a Duke opponent since UCLA shot nearly 74 percent in December, 1965.

For Georgetown to set the pace for the game it needed an early start and got it. The Hoyas scored on two layups and a short jumper to open an early 6-3 lead, followed by an Austin Freeman three to extend the lead to 9-3. Duke's inside game was particularly vulnerable to Georgetown's sets and the Blue Devils surrendered four fouls within a 46 second period, including two quick fouls on 7-1 reserve center Brian Zoubek which saw him play less than one minute in the game thereafter.

What the Devils could not do inside they soon ventured for outside, with some success. A pair of missed shots By Georgetown's Greg Monroe and Austin Freeman were converted in consecutive three pointers by Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer to tie the score, 9-9, and the teams traded shots for the next three minutes, with Duke holding a 17-16 lead midway through the half.

Julian Vaughn's second foul brought in freshman Jerrelle Benimon at the 9:27 mark, and the Georgetown interior defense began to shut down Duke's coverage inside the arc. Where Duke was matching the Hoyas from the outside, the shots started to fall short, and with it, the Hoyas began a first half run that will long be remembered.

Down 17-16, Freeman sank a long three to retake the lead, 19-17. A Duke free throw was answered by a Chris Wright jumper, 21-18. After Duke cut the count to 25-20, the Hoyas forced turnovers on three consecutive Duke possessions and converted on every one of them.

A Benimon steal, a Clark layup.

A Monroe steal, a Freeman layup.

A Scheyer turnover, a Clark three pointer.

Suddenly, Duke was down 14 to a boisterous Georgetown crowd in a span of less than two minutes. The Blue Devils took advantage of some tight foul calling by the officials to whittle away the lead at the line, hitting four straight free throws to cut the lad to nine, 37-28, with 4:26 to in the half.

Enter a big effort from the bench, beginning with freshman Hollis Thompson. Shooting just 25% from three point range (3-12) in Big East play, Thompson answered with a top of the key three to end the Devils' rally and push the lead to 12, 40-28. When Duke picked up more free throws to cut the lead back to nine, 42-33, freshman Jerrelle Benimon answered with a pair of free throws and a big rebound late that fed Greg Monroe for a driving dunk and a wildly unexpected 13 point halftime lead, 46-33.

"It's easy to talk about the shot that Hollis hit, but he contested a few on the defensive end and he had a few where he was working and fighting with Kyle Singler in the post," said coach John Thompson III in post-game remarks. "I think Jerrelle came in and was a presence in there."

The story of the first half was Georgetown's remarkable shooting prowess. Following a Benimon miss with 10:33 to play, Georgetown scored on 11 straight baskets and 12 of its last 13, to end the half shooting 77 percent, a number unseen in a Big East game for the Hoyas since the 1979-80 season. Shooting 77 percent from the field (17-22), 71 percent from three (5-7), and 100 percent from the line (7-7), it was as close to perfect a first half as anyone could have hoped for, holding the Blue Devils to nine field goals, nine turnovers, and zero fast break points.

Duke's best weapon in the first half was its three point shooting, as Singler and Scheyer were a combined 4-7 from three in the half while the rest of the team shot a combined 5-17 from two point range. The Blue Devils wasted no time going outside and converted two Georgetown turnovers into consecutive three point baskets, bringing the 13 point lead to just seven at the 18:02 mark of the second half. But as Duke had learned from its strengths at intermission, so had Georgetown, and the G-men went inside on three of its next four possessions, adding two dunks in a 21 second run that extended the lead back to 13, 52-39.

Duke made another run off a pair of steals, cutting the lead back to seven before Monroe answered with a driving layup, 54-45. "That was a terrific spin move and he didn't get any help coming back," noted President Obama, who took a few minutes at courtside with the CBS announcing crew.

For the next four minutes and 35 seconds, the game morphed into a foul and free throw shooting effort, as Georgetown managed only one field goal and Duke missed all eight of its shots, reduced to fouling when out of position. The Blue Devils accumulated eight team fouls over the span, and Georgetown converted eight of nine free throws to push the lead to 14.

GU's record while a sitting U.S. President is in attendance

200th win of Thompson's coaching career

Consecutive sellouts in DC for GU-Duke

Georgetown points in the paint

Georgetown assists

Georgetown second chance points

Duke fast break points

Georgetown fast break points

GU two-pt. shooting by its starters

Duke two-pt. shooting by its starters

Points from Duke bench

Points from GU bench

"The start of the second half, I thought we played our best defensively for about 8 minutes and put us in a position to get it into single figures and we made about 3 really bad decisions on the offensive end of the court and could have knocked it to seven or five if you put them in a row and that's what we needed to do and once we past that point, they took over again, said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski in post-game comments. "That was our window of opportunity and we didn't take advantage of it."

The teams traded layups (Georgetown) and free throws (Duke) to the 6:43 mark, when Julian Vaughn took the first half cue from Jerrelle Benimon and helped put the game away. Up 16, Vaughn picked up GU's only offensive rebound of the day and drove for a layup, 76-58. He blocked a shot from Duke's Lance Thomas which set up Wright for a driving layup, 78-58. In the next two series, Vaughn picked up two more assists on driving layups and the Hoyas were in overdrive, leading 82-61 over the #8-ranked Blue Devils, to the delight of the crowd.

By the time Austin Freeman drove to the basket with 4:13 was left, Georgetown owned a 23 point lead, 84-61. Duke had shot just 8-27 in the half to date, but helped its statistics by hitting six of its final nine shots with the outcome already decided.

The President and his entourage departed Verizon Center at the 1:52 mark to a loud ovation and plenty of handshakes from the Georgetown student section. Duke added seven points in the final 50 seconds to close the deficit to 12, but the damage was done.

"The place was electric, their team was electric, and they played that way for forty minutes," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski in post-game comments.

While offensive fireworks were the story of the first, Georgetown's dynamite defense simply blew up the Duke game plan in the second. The Blue Devils were 4-5 in the first five minutes of the half and 7-11 in the final five, but shot just 15 percent (3-19) in the remaining ten minutes of the half when the outcome was in the balance. In that same period from the 15:00 mark to the 5:00 mark, Georgetown shot 75 percent (9-12), with seven layups against a very good Duke defense allowing just 39.5% shooting this season.

"Last year we noticed that they weren't really getting back as much as we though they would usually get back and transition," said Monroe. "We went into this game saying especially off the rebounds we just want to push the ball and get as many easily as we could and I don't think it was anything out of the ordinary we just were playing solid defense and we came up with play and transitioned well."

"I just think that we wanted to be aggressive on the defensive end," Freeman said. "We knew they were gonna make a few but we knew if we made them take more contested shots the percentage of them making shots would go down."

Three Georgetown players scored 20 or more points in the game, the first game in nine years where Georgetown had posted 20 or more from three players, and its 71.7% shooting figure tied a 1984 Big East semifinal game with St. John's for the third best scoring effort in school history.

Nearly every man on the team made a big contribution. Chris Wright's 21 points were from 8-9 shooting, including four rebounds, three steals, and two blocks, a career high for the 6-1 guard. Austin Freeman finished with 21 points on 8-11 shooting with five assists, Greg Monroe had 20 points and five assists, Jason Clark had nine points on 4-5 shooting, and Julian Vaughn had eight points and three blocks.

Duke held a big lead in offensive rebounds (17-2), but to be fair about it, there weren't that many misses for Georgetown to rebound. Outside of this stat, however, everyone on the Duke sideline had a rough day. Singler and Scheyer combined for 35 points but it took a 9-27 effort to do it. Duke's inside game was thoroughly outmatched, with Zoubek and the Plumlee twins combining to go for 10 points and five rebounds. Duke managed almost as many free throws (22) as field goals (23) and gave up an astounding 18 layups and five dunks among GU's 33 field goals.

As the clock wore down, there was no rush to the floor. No need, really. This was not the shocking upset of 2006, but an athletic work of art that fans were happy just to enjoy and see to its conclusion. And while both teams have a busy month ahead of it, Saturday's combination of politics and precision basketball will long be remembered in the history of big games at Verizon Center.

Or,as Mike Wise of the Washington Post aptly put it, "A game in which the building shook, the leader of the free world applauded and Georgetown won going away -- a game where 40 measly minutes of college basketball mattered more here than it has in four years."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       40   7-7   1-2   4-5   4   2  3   21
Freeman      38   6-8   2-3   2-2   3   5  3   20
Clark        28   3-3   1-2   0-0   0   3  4    9
Vaughn       20   4-4   0-0   0-2   3   2  3    8
Monroe       28   7-9   0-2   7-10  5   5  3   21
Thompson     13   0-0   2-3   0-0   2   0  3    6
Sanford       1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Benimon      20   0-2   0-1   4-4   2   3  4    4 
DNP: Dougherty, Stepka, Sims
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      200 27-33  6-13  17-23 22  20 23   89

Post game links follow below.

Commitments To Keep 1/30/10

From the New York Times, a look behind the scenes of sophomore Greg Monroe's life growing up in New Orleans and the commitment to family that is an important part of his life. Recommended reading.

Syracuse 73, Georgetown 56 1/26/10 

"When you're 14 down on a good team and you can come back and win by 17, that's like a 31 point turn around. That's pretty good."--Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim

The 30 year Big East rivalry between Syracuse and Georgetown has had its share of memorable comebacks. Monday's game was no exception.

Down 14-0 in the first 3:05 of the game, the 4th-ranked Syracuse Orangemen stepped on the gas and drove right over the #7 Georgetown Hoyas, 73-56, employing a physical and trapping zone defense which drove the Hoya offense off the road.

Georgetown opened the game shooting 5-5 from the field with four three pointers, stunning the Carrier Dome crowd of 26,508. The Orangemen (20-1) did not score its first point until a free throw with 16:36 left, by which time coach Jim Boeheim sat two starters for reserves Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph.

Georgetown's game plan was stalled by a tight Syracuse zone defense which the Hoyas had no good answer for. Georgetown went scoreless in its next four possessions and the Orangemen answered with four straight field goals to close to 14-8. Over its next seven possessions, the Hoyas committed four turnovers and added only four points to an 18-10 lead.

Midway through the half, Syracuse scored inside on three straight possessions to erase the lead at 20-18, but a three pointer by Jason Clark and a Greg Monroe layup pushed the Hoya lead to 25-21. Georgetown led 29-23 with 3:55 to play when Syracuse went to work and the Hoyas stood by and watched.

Andy Rautins' three closed the GU lead to 29-26, while Clark's three point answer was off the mark, answered by an Arinze Onuaku dunk, 29-28. Four missed shots over the final 2:38 gave Syracuse the room it needed to finish an 11-0 run and taken an unlikely 34-29 lead at halftime. From an 0-4 start, the Orangemen shot 70 percent (13-20) to end the half, most with short distance dunks and layups. From a 5-5 start, Georgetown shot just 31 percent (6-19) and picked up 10 turnovers which converted into 12 Syracuse points.

Whatever corrections GU made at halftime proved of little use in the second. The lead was four at 37-33 when a miss and consecutive turnovers by Greg Monroe and Julian Vaughn were converted to three straight baskets by forward Rick Jackson, 43-33, before the first media time out. In the 20 minutes between the 16 minute time out in the first half and the 16 minute time out of the second, the Hoyas had made only eight baskets and were outscored 43-29.

A Jason Clark three pointer cut the margin to seven before the Hoyas' shots fell silent once again. Over the next four minutes, three misses and two turnovers paved a path for Syracuse to go on an easy 9-1 run and a 52-38 lead at the 12:00 mark. The teams traded baskets and Syracuse held a 59-45 lead with 8:01 to play. Over the next four minutes, neither team scored, but the gap was particularly painful for Georgetown, with four misses and two turnovers in six key possessions.

By the time Greg Monroe fouled out with 6:27 to play, the Hoyas had nothing in reserve, and failed to score for the next four minutes. The Georgetown stat sheet can thank the fact that Syracuse's cold streak prevented a historic rout, as GU did not score another field goal until the 1:41 mark, whereupon the Hoyas made four of its final six in garbage time, trailing by as much as 20. GU opened the game 5-5 and finished it 4-6; in-between Georgetown managed just 31 percent shooting (12-38) and an inability to run its offense against the taller and more aggressive Syracuse zone.

John Thompson III's record in games at the Carrier Dome

Georgetown's record at the Carrier Dome since 1995

Syracuse points in the paint

Assists from Greg Monroe

Georgetown second chance points

Syracuse second chance points

Georgetown turnovers in first half

Syracuse points off GU turnovers

Syracuse fast break points

Syracuse free throw shooting

Georgetown free throw shooting

Points from Syracuse bench

Points from Georgetown bench

Avg. points from GU bench in Big East play

Wes Johnson led the Orangemen overall with 14 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks. But amidst the widening score and the more than usual plaudits about life at Syracuse from announcer and 1984 grad Sean McDonough, the ESPN audience saw an outstanding performance by the Syracuse reserves, including 15 points from Kris Joseph and nine from Scoop Jardine. The SU bench was a combined 9-11 in 51 minutes of action, while the Georgetown bench turned in another poor effort that gave John Thompson III no options as Chris Wright and Greg Monroe struggled. Hollis Thompson and Jerrelle Benimon combined for two shots in 34 minutes, with Henry Sims adding a rebound and turnover in just three minutes of action. Vee Sanford played just one minute, which was slightly more airtime than ESPN gave a Syracuse student sideline reporter seen at the opening of the game and who was not heard from thereafter.

Austin Freeman (23 points) and Jason Clark combined for 13 of GU's 21 field goals and all eight three pointers. Chris Wright went 0-from outside for a total of seven points, marking the fourth straight time this season that a single digit scoring output followed a Georgetown loss. Greg Monroe was ineffective as fouls added up, finishing with eight points and six turnovers.

The 17 point loss is the largest in the series dating back to a 84-66 Syracuse win at US Air Arena in 1998, and marks Syracuse's sixth straight win against Georgetown in the Carrier Dome since 2002, and 11 of 12 since 1996.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       37   3-4   0-6   1-3   2   7  4    7
Freeman      39   5-11  4-7   1-2   6   0  1   23
Clark        33   0-3   4-7   3-4   3   3  3   15
Vaughn       25   1-2   0-0   1-2   3   1  3    3
Monroe       28   4-7   0-0   0-0   4   0  5    8
Thompson     15   0-0   0-1   0-0   1   1  1    0
Sanford       1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   1  0    0
Benimon      19   0-1   0-0   0-0   2   1  2    0 
Sims          3   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  1    0
DNP: Dougherty, Stepka
Team Rebounds                       2
TOTALS      200 13-28  8-21   6-11 24  14 20   56

Post game articles follow below.

Georgetown's performance by four minute increments:

Time Possessions FG Turnovers Score
20:00-16:00 7 5-6 1 14-1
16:00-12:00 7 2-5 4 18-10
12:00-8:00 5 1-3 2 20-18
8:00-4:00 8 4-7 2 29-23
4:00-Half 4 0-3 1 29-34
20:00-16:00 7 1-2 3 33-43
16:00-12:00 8 1-4 2 38-52
12:00-8:00 7 3-7 2 45-59
8:00-4:00 6 0-4 1 45-61
4:00-Half 10 4-8 1 56-73
Two Top 25 Teams Updated 1/26/10 

Monday's game marks the first time since 2001 that both teams enter the Carrier Dome in the top 25.

Date        Score      Georgetown   Syracuse
02-09-81 L  64-66      --           --
03-06-81 L  53-57      --           --
01-17-82 L  70-75      #8           --
01-10-83 W  97-92      #17          #9
01-30-84 W  80-67      #4           #20 
01-28-85 L  63-65      #1           #11
02-23-86 L  63-64      #13          #9
02-22-87 W  72-71      #11          #9
01-24-88 W  69-68      #15          #14
03-05-89 L  76-82      #2           #6
03-04-90 L  87-89(OT)  #7           #10
03-03-91 L  58-62      --           #6
02-23-92 W  72-68      #25          #17
02-08-93 L  61-76      --           --
03-06-94 L  75-81      --           #14
02-26-95 W  81-78      --           #22
02-10-96 L  64-85      #8           #18
02-08-97 L  74-77      --           --
03-01-98 L  72-77(OT)  --           #22
02-27-00 L  52-67      --           #13
01-29-01 L  63-70      #10          #12
02-24-02 W  75-69      --           --
02-03-03 L  80-93      --           #19
01-18-05 L  73-78(OT)  --           #7
02-26-07 L  58-72      #12          --
02-16-08 L  70-77      #8           --
02-14-09 L  94-98(OT)  --           #23
01-25-10 L  56-73      #7           #5
Georgetown 88, Rutgers 63 Updated 1/24/10

"That's it, I’m out of answers.”-- Rutgers center Hamady Ndiaye, after his team's 8th consecutive loss

Greg Monroe's 21 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists led a balanced effort in a 88-63 win over Rutgers at Verizon Center Saturday afternoon.

Monroe scored his first basket 13 seconds into the game and Georgetown never looked back. Despite Rutgers getting off to a good start (4-4 shooting), the Hoyas forced early turnovers and scored on its first seven possessions, taking an early 14-8 lead. The Scarlet Knights closed to 17-14, but Georgetown's application of a 2-3 zone seemed to half the Knights in its tracks, as RU missed five of its next seven shots and the Hoyas went on a 12-0 run over a four minute stretch, taking the score up to 29-14.

Rutgers answered with an 8-0 run to close back to eight, 29-21, but Georgetown pushed the lead back to double digits soon thereafter. Monroe was 7-7 in the half, as the Scarlet Knights did not react well to Georgetown's offensive sets which opened the door to Monroe inside. The Hoyas enjoyed a 22-8 advantage in the first half on points in the paint, 16-3 in points off turnover, and took a 17 point lead into intermission, 46-29.

Georgetown opened the half with baskets in its first three possessions to quickly push the lead to 24, but returned the favor with turnovers in its next three which saw RU cut the lad back to 16. Greg Monroe's three point jumper with 16:29 to play ended with Rutgers run and with it, Georgetown began a 12-3 run to further extended the lead. Both teams exchanged 8-0 runs thereafter but the outcome was not in doubt. The Hoyas led by as many as 33, 85-52, before going to the reserves, whereupon Rutgers narrowed the lead with 11 of the final 14 points scored.

Head coach John Thompson III was not pleased with the late game coast, noting it on both the post-game TV interview as well as the post-game press conference. "I thought that we were focused for the most part, until the very end," he said. "They came out with a cohesiveness and an energy that was good for us. That's something we stressed and something we want to maintain. "

Georgetown pct. shooting, 2-point range

Georgetown edge on turnovers, 1st half

Consecutive losses by Rutgers to ranked teams

GU's last basket of game, up 32

Georgetown bench points, first half

Georgetown bench points, second half

Monroe turned in a solid game on both sides of the court, with 14 rebounds to go along with 21 points. Four starters were in double figures, and the GU bench got some valuable minutes, with freshman Hollis Thompson leading the reserves with eight points in 24 minutes of action.

"In the second half we were getting a little careless at times," Thompson added. "Our timing of the rotations in our offense weren't what they were supposed to be, but we'll work on it, we'll watch it and we'll fix it, so I think we'll be OK."

The game was another frustrating effort for the Scarlet Knights. Forward Dane Miller, who had scored 26 in Wednesday's loss to Villanova, finished 0-6 in 29 minutes of play. Guard Mike Rosario scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half with the outcome decided, and missed 12 of 18 shots in the process. Had the Scarlet Knights not made ten three pointers, the score could have been considerably more lopsided, as Rutgers had no defensive answer for Georgetown, which shot 60% in the first half and 63% for the game.

"I told the guys, I can't fault your effort, I can't fault you missing shots, we got to get into the gym and get better at that," said Rutgers coach Fred Hill.

The Rutgers game was an intermission between a two week run against four Top 10 opponents. After a split with #4 Villanova and #9 Pittsburgh, the Hoyas go on the road Monday against #5 Syracuse and return home Saturday versus #7 Duke. The Hoyas have struggled in the Carrier Dome in recent years, with only one win in the Dome since 1995 and none since 2002. But with the kind of play seen in the last two games, Georgetown will be a formidable opponent for the #5 Orangemen in the nationally televised game.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       32   1-5   4-5   2-3   4   6  2   16
Freeman      26   5-7   1-4   1-2   2   3  1   14
Clark        24   2-3   1-3   2-2   2   2  2    9
Vaughn       22   4-5   0-0   4-4   5   3  1   12
Monroe       34   9-11  1-1   0-0  14   7  1   21
Thompson     24   1-2   2-3   0-2   1   0  1    8
Sanford      11   1-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  2    2
Dougherty     2   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  1    0
Benimon      15   0-0   0-0   1-2   3   1  1    1 
Stepka        1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Sims          9   2-4   0-0   1-4   0   0  0    5
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      200 25-38  9-16  11-19 34  22 12   88

Post game coverage follows below.

Meet Jerrelle Benimon 1/23/10

Saturday's Washington Post features a profile on freshman Jerrelle Benimon, who is beginning to assert himself this season.

"Jerrelle goes up there really hard," said forward Julian Vaughn on his rebounding. "[It's] his niche, it's his thing. He loves to do it."

Meanwhile, the Associated Press looks at the pressure on the starting five to deliver points with the lack of bench strength.

“We're 20, 21 years old, it ain't no time to be worn out," said junior guard Chris Wright. "We're still kids. We'll be worn out when we get to 35, 40.”

Georgetown 74, Pittsburgh 66 1/20/10 9:15 pm

"Chris Wright runs Georgetown's Princeton-style offense like Will Ferrell performing King Lear."--Mike DeCourcy, The Sporting News

The 11th ranked Pittsburgh Panthers entered Wednesday's game with Georgetown owning a 31 game home court win streak, an undefeated Big East record, and a defensive plan to lock down Greg Monroe and Austin Freeman. What they did not have was an answer for Chris Wright, whose 27 points led the Hoyas to a 74-66 upset Wednesday night, an outcome which served as only the 11th home loss for Pitt in the last 136 games.

The game was widely forecast as a defensive struggle but the Hoyas opened up big from the outside, connecting on three 3-pointers in the first four minutes to open a three point lead. Georgetown shot 50 percent in the opening 10 minutes and built an eight point lead at 25-17, but the defense tightened on both sides of the court. Early Georgetown fouls and Pitt's increasing ability to slice the GU matchup zone allowed the Panthers to cut into the lead. Pitt tied the score at 27-all with 4:24 to play and the teams played to a standoff at halftime, 31-31.

Much like the opening minutes of the first half, both teams opened up tentative on defense and the points added up quickly. Georgetown scored 13 points in the first four minutes of the half, rebuilding a 44-40 lead. For its part, Pitt opened 6-7 from the field and began to close off easy opportunities in the middle. Shooting 67% in the second half, Pitt tied the score at the 12:00 mark, 49-all, shooting 67% in the half. Pitt extended its lead to 53-49 with 10:39 left, as Austin Freeman picked up his fourth foul. From this point of the game, the Georgetown defense absolutely locked down the Panthers, and points were at a premium.

Following an intentional foul on Pitt, Georgetown briefly regained the lead at 54-43 before Dixon hit a three at the 7:48 mark, 56-54. It was the first Pitt field goal since the 10:28 mark and the last for the next four minutes, as Wright and the Hoyas methodically went to work on the Panthers' defensive sets.

Monroe tied the score at 56 on a pair of free throws, and following a GU defensive stand, Wright sank a three, 59-56. Pitt's Brad Wanamaker missed the front end of a one and one, answered by Wright with a drive, 61-56. The Panthers went inside on its next series, only to be blocked by monroe, who found Freeman streaking to the basket, 63-56.

Georgetown took an eight point lead on a Monroe pass inside to Vaughn for the dunk and the foul, 66-58, but Brad Wanamaker closed the lead to six, 66-60, and forced a Georgetown turnover with under three minutes remaining. Both teams could not convert on its next possession, and Georgetown found themselves inbounding the ball with 1:15 to play and :01 on the shot clock.

Pitt was one second and one three pointer away from being right back in the game, but Monroe found Wright going to the basket for a back door basket that beat the clock and deflated the Panthers, 68-60. The Hoyas connected on six of its final eight from the line to close out the scoring.

Pitt shooting, first 10 mins. of 2nd half

Pitt shooting, last 10 mins. of 2nd half

Straight misses by GU before Wright layup with 1:15 left

Pitt 3-pt. shooting after hitting opening three of second half

Points from Pitt bench

Points from GU bench

Pitt home record since 2001 against ranked teams

Number of teams with more than one win at Petersen Center (Georgetown, Louisville)

Wright turned in a stellar effort, shooting 11-17 from the floor, 3-3 from outside, for a game high 27 points. Monroe struggled in the second half (1-7) but finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. "It was more or less me fighting through the double teams and fighting to get shots," Monroe said.

Julian Vaughn recovered from his limited play against Villanova for a strong 11 points and five rebounds, with some key defensive stops. Georgetown's 7 for 10 effort from the three point line was its best three point effort against a Big East opponent, and fourth best overall.

Defensively, Georgetown shut down an opponent's leading scorer for the third time in its last four Big East games. Pitt's Ashton Gibbs entered Wednesday's game at 17 points a game and was held to 3-16 shooting by Chris Wright, with Gibbs only 1-8 inside the three point arc. Gilbert Brown came off the bench with 16 second half points and a career high 20 to lead the Panthers, as its starting lineup shot just 36% from the field.

"Pitt is so meticulous with what they do," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III. "They are so good at looking for their first, second, and third options. They put pressure on you, and they have terrific players. Our guys did a good job of fighting through their screens and getting to the shooter. There was a stretch in the first half where they got too much penetration and easy baskets around the hoop. I thought that our guy's effort and communication was the key to stopping them.”

The Georgetown win snapped Pitt's 31 game home win streak. A year ago, Pitt ended Georgetown's 29 game home streak at Verizon Center.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       35   8-14  3-3   2-2   3   2  2   27
Freeman      27   2-4   2-2   3-4   4   3  4   13
Clark        36   0-4   2-2   1-2   2   2  2    7
Vaughn       31   4-9   0-1   3-5   5   6  0   11
Monroe       38   4-13  0-1   5-7  11   1  3   13
Thompson     18   0-1   0-1   0-0   2   0  2    0
Sanford       1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Benimon      12   1-1   0-0   1-1   4   0  2    3 
Sims         31   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
DNP: Dougherty, Stepka
Team Rebounds                       2
TOTALS      200 19-46  7-10  15-21 33  14 15   74

Post game coverage follows below.

President Attends Awards Ceremony 1/19/10

Georgetown's presentation of the John Thompson Legacy of a Dream Award to Dikembe Mutombo (SLL' 91) on Monday welcomed some special guests, as President Obama and his family attended the Kennedy Center event, reports ABC News.

"In his remarks, Obama commented that the 18-year NBA veteran who played college ball at Georgetown was fighting problems in Africa with the “same tenacity he used to block shots in the NBA,” said the report.

A Second Look At The Bench 1/19/10

Georgetown's bench is a source of continuing discussion in the sports community--a Top 20 team ranking just 344th of 347 teams in per minute play. Howard Megdal of SNY.TV discusses this paradox.

"There are a pair of truths that emerged from Georgetown's epic game against Villanova on Sunday, a battle won by the Wildcats, 82-77, at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia," said Megdal. "The first is just how little the Hoyas are getting from the four reserves who play: Hollis Thompson, Henry Sims, Jerelle Benimon and Vee Sanford. This gap was on display Sunday, when the four combined for 1-of-12 shooting and four turnovers in a combined 45 minutes. But the second truth is every bit as evident, and far more encouraging for Hoyas fans who hope Georgetown can play deep into March: They don't need all that much more from the four reserves in order to do so."

AP: Men #12, Women #19 1/19/10

Following its loss to Villanova, Georgetown is ranked 12th in the Monday Associated Press poll, down from 11th last week.

Other conference teams in the Top 25 include Villanova (4), Syracuse (5), Pittsburgh (9), and West Virginia (11). Connecticut, ranked 15th last week, finished just outside the top 25 teams his week.

Also of note: Georgetown is 19th in the AP women's basketball poll--the first time in the program's 50 year history that the Hoyas have been nationally ranked in consecutive weeks.

Villanova 82, Georgetown 77 Updated 1/17/10

"Monroe is just awesome. I love his game. He is going to another level in terms of his ability to take over a game. He would make great plays, but now he just takes over the game. We didn't have an answer for him. We played three different guys on him."--Villanova coach Jay Wright

Georgetown had been there before, just a week ago. Still, it was a surprise to most of the 20,016 at Wachovia center that the Hoyas battled back from a 15 point halftime deficit but fell just short at #4 Villanova Sunday, 82-77.

Villanova entered the game having won six straight, but picked up six team fouls in the first five minutes of action. It also picked up a dominating first half effort from senior guard Scottie Reynolds, who scored 12 straight points to erase a 7-0 Georgetown run and retake the lead from the Hoyas at the 12:53 mark, 16-15. Junior guard Chris Wright was not able to handle Reynolds on the fly and picked up two early fouls, forcing John Thompson III to fill the gaps with freshmen Jerrelle Benimon and Hollis Thompson. The Wildcats seized on the tentative nature of the Hoyas' patchwork defense and went to work, outscoring GU 12-0 in a run which extended the lead to 26-15 at the 8:03 mark.

Greg Monroe connected on a basket and three free throws to close to ten, 30-20, but the Hoyas had no offensive rhythm, with Benimon and Julian Vaughn joining Wright with two fouls. Thompson chose to shuttle Wright and freshman Vee Sanford in the lineup, but as Reynolds was better contained, the Wildcats went to work across the board. Two threes, a long jumper and an inside dish pushed the lead to 40-23, and it wasn't until the 2:56 mark that a Jason Clark three pointer at 40-26 represented only the second GU field goal since the 13:18 mark.

Villanova pushed the lead to 16 before Clark answered with a late three and free throws pushed the lead to 15 at the half, 46-31, the most points GU had given up all season, and 12 points its single game average for the season. The Wildcats shot 53 percent for the half, 5-10 from three, and forced nine turnovers. The Hoyas had almost as many foul shots (8) as baskets (9), shooting just 32 percent.

Resurrecting a comeback as they had against Connecticut seemed an unlikely turn of events given the passion Villanova had been playing in the first half, but the Hoyas made believers out of the Wachovia Center crowd thanks to a Reynolds-like second half burst from junior Austin Freeman. Freeman, who shot only 2-8 in the first half, opened the second half with a three at the 19:28 park and proceeded to shoot 4-4 for 10 points as GU shot 6-7 to open the half and cut the lead to seven at the 16:22 mark, 53-46. A Freeman three at the 14:46 mark closed the lead to three, and the comeback was all but complete, until Julian Vaughn picked up his 4th foul and Clark his 3rd, returning the Hoyas to some awkward substitutions given its bench. Chris Wright picked up his fourth foul at the 12 minute mark, and the lead was back to seven midway in the half.

Combined shooting by Monroe, Clark, Freeman

Combined shooting by rest of GU team

GU 3-pt. shooting, first 7 mins. of second half

GU 3-pt. shooting, last 13 mins. of second half

GU shooting, final 4 minutes of game

Fouls called between teams

Villanova advantage in bench scoring

Freshman Jerrelle Benimon rallied the Hoyas with a last-gasp three as the shot clock was winding down, 62-58, the first three of his career. Benimon added a foul shot and played some good interior defense before picking up his 4th foul with 7:23 to play, down 66-59. From this point, sophomore center Greg Monroe played some of his best basketball of his career, taking over the interior game and helping GU grind its way back into contention.

Monroe added two free throws to close to five, 66-61, and after Vaughn fouled out with 5:07, again drove to the basket and again picked up two more on the line, 67-65. The Hoyas held Villanova scoreless in 10 attempts from the field, and a second chance left-handed layup from Monroe tied the score at 67-all and thirty seconds later at 69, now with 4:01 to play.

Villanova went back to its bread and butter, with Scottie Reynolds going inside for a basket, 71-69. On its next possession, the Hoyas missed a layup and coughed up a turnover, with the Cats adding a free throw, 72-69. A Benimon airball at the 2:35 seemed ill advised, but an alert timeout by Reynolds on the rebound prevented a held ball and a change of possession for the Hoyas.

Off the timeout, the Cats could not convert, and a pair of Wright free throws closed to 72-71 with 1:46 to play. A Reggie Redding jumper then pushed the Villanova lead to 74-71, but Wright then heaved up a three, Hollis Thompson gave up a turnover, and the Hoyas were forced to foul, with Reynolds adding two at the line, 76-71. Austin Freeman drove the lane for two with 0:26 left, 76-73, but Reynolds converted two more at the line, 78-73. At 80-75, Monroe was fouled going to the basket, but airballed the free throw at 80-77; the Wildcats closed out the scoring at the line, where they made nine straight in the final 2:57 to seal the win.

Georgetown's efforts from Monroe, Freeman, and Clark, were superb, albeit in a losing cause. Monroe posted a career high with 29 points and 16 rebounds, while Freeman scored 22 and Clark 16.

"I think in the second half [Georgetown] scored a lot more so they got in their set defense", said Villanova coach Jay Wright. "In the first half we were turning them over and they were missing shots so we were getting a lot of points in transition. In the second half when they're scoring- it's like us when we score and can get into our press we're good- when they score and get set up in their half court defense they're great. I thought that was a big difference in the second half."

Scottie Reynolds finished with 27 points, the most he has scored in six prior meetings against Georgetown, five straight of which were won by GU.

"Scottie can't be contained," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III. "I don't say that in jest, he's just too good of an offensive player and they do too good of a job at making sure he gets in where he needs it and getting him and edge with the ball screens that they have. He's been doing it for four years now." While the Wildcats were held to 31 percent shooting in the second half, they connected on 16-21 from the line in the second half and 23-30 for the game.

Chris Wright had a poor day on both sides of the court--burdened by fouls, Wright shot 1-7 in the game and finished with six points. (Georgetown's record when Wright scores in double figures is 12-0, when scoring less than 10, 1-3.) Julian Vaughn never got over the early foul trouble and finished with no points and two rebounds.

The thin GU bench was front and center in this one, with Hollis Thompson missing all seven shots he took and Vee Sanford finishing 0-2. Benimon's second half three was the only points scored by the bench in a combined 44 minutes.

Georgetown continues on the road for their second of five tough games, meeting 16th ranked Pitt (15-2) on Wednesday night. Pitt joins Villanova as the only undefeated teams in conference play.

"But there is no shame in this loss for Georgetown," wrote Dana O'Neil at ESPN.com. "A year after they were a team with an identity crisis, the Hoyas have a very definitive identity: They play hard and tough and have a guy in Monroe who is a bona fide superstar. Villanova tried everyone but the guy in section 124 on him but no one could stop him."

Once again, for the sixth time in seven games, the outcome was decided by five points or less. A similar finish could be in store in three weeks, as the Wildcats return the game at Verizon Center on Feb. 6. With upcoming games against Rutgers, St. John's, Notre Dame and Seton Hall, it is conceivable Villanova will be 20-1 entering that game, but when it comes to this conference, there are no guarantees.

"It's the Big East. Every night is going to be just like that, no matter who," said Thompson. "It is Big East basketball."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       24   1-2   0-5   4-4   0   5  4    6
Freeman      39   5-10  3-5   3-4   4   6  3   22
Clark        38   1-3   4-8   2-2   4   2  4   16
Vaughn       17   0-3   0-0   0-0   2   1  5    0
Monroe       38   8-12  1-1  10-15 16   2  3   29
Thompson     17   0-2   0-5   0-0   4   2  1    0
Sanford       5   0-1   0-1   0-0   0   0  1    0
Benimon      21   0-1   1-2   1-2   6   0  4    4 
Sims          1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
DNP: Dougherty, Stepka
Team Rebounds                       9
TOTALS      200 15-34  9-27  20-27 37  18 25   77

Post game articles follow below.

Mourning Joins Relief Effort In Haiti 1/15/10

Various media, including Fox News and the AP, report that Alonzo Mourning (C'92) has joined a relief effort on the ground in Haiti.

"I'll do manual labor or any other kind of labor. I'm here to help them", Mourning told the Palm Beach Post.

Nathalie Paramskas (1916-2010) 1/14/10

Following a recent obituary notice forwarded by a reader to the site, we report of the passing of a pioneer in Georgetown athletics, Nathalie Paramskas, who died this week at the age of 93.

Paramskas arrived at Georgetown in 1952 to provide part-time coaching for the School of Nursing, as the all-male College did not offer women's sports programs. In 1961, competition in the Nursing School's basketball and volleyball clubs were opened to students in the SFS, SLL, and Business schools as field hockey and basketball teams began intercollegiate play under Georgetown's name, and Paramskas was named as an assistant athletic director for women's sports.

Even following the arrival of women to the College, women's sports were a challenge at Georgetown--as late as 1973, reported The HOYA, the combined budgets for the women's basketball, field hockey and volleyball teams totaled $1,500. Before she retired in 1986, however, Paramskas worked with athletic director Frank Rienzo to lead women's sports at Georgetown into an era of unprecedented growth, with varsity-level competition in 11 sports, the addition of scholarships, and the move to full-time coaches.

Paramskas was named to the Georgetown Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989, the first woman so honored.

Georgetown 85, Seton Hall 73 1/15/10

For those who see the 2009-10 Georgetown Hoyas as a three man team, Thursday's 85-73 win was a team effort, and a remarkable one at that.

Despite foul trouble and some spotty defense, the Hoyas turned in its best shooting effort in a Big East conference game in over a quarter century, shooting 68.2% for the game in the win. But as any opponent knows when playing Seton Hall, every game can be wildly unpredictable.

The Pirates (10-6) held early leads at 3-2 and 7-6, but Georgetown's inside game soon began to overwhelm the Hall. Within the first seven minutes of the half Georgetown shot 6-9 and led by seven, 14-7, and by the 12:18 mark the Hall had committed seven turnovers and trailed by 14, 21-7, giving up layups in three straight possessions.

An knee problem temporarily sidelined sophomore Greg Monroe with the Hoyas leading 23-12 at the 10:01 mark, but with the hot shooting even that didn't seem to stop the run. Consecutive threes by Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson extended the score to 29-12 with 8:46 to play.

A renewed Seton Hall offense began to get back in the scoring column, benefiting from three straight Georgetown turnovers that sent the Pirates on a 10-1 run over four minutes in the first half, closing the 29-12 lead to just 30-22 with 3:40 to play. Georgetown responded with some of its best play of the half, effectively working the ball inside for layups or fouls, converting on the line with precision (6-6), and shutting down the Pirates and leading scorer Jeremy Hazell. Hazell, who entered the game averaging over 30 points a game in conference play, hit the opening three of the half but missed five of his next six to end the first half with just five points as the Pirates saw an eight point deficit double to 16 at the half, 44-28. Georgetown shot 69% in the half, most of which were at short range, forcing 10 turnovers. Georgetown's advantage against a more up-tempo Seton Hall unit was no less surprising, as the Hall could not generate any consistent offense with Hazell in a slump.

Any faint hopes of a runaway after halftime were short lived, if at all. The Pirates have challenged in every Big East game this season and Thursday would be no exception. Even though Georgetown led by as many as 19 with 13:47 to play, foul trouble for Greg Monroe and Julian Vaughn opened up opportunities inside for the Pirates and they took advantage.

In another four minute stretch not unlike the first half, the Pirate guns caught fire as the Hoyas went cold, with the G-men connecting on just one field goal as the Pirates cut the 17 point lead to seven, 61-54, with 7:54 left, many with driving layups and second chance points.

GU shooting, first half

GU shooting, second half

GU 3-pt. shooting

Points, Seton Hall bench

SH offensive rebounds

The key to the Pirates' comeback was ball control--after ten turnovers in the first half, it lost the ball only twice in the second, while forcing the Hoyas into eight turnovers of its own. But as junior Julian Vaughn had a solid first half (7 points, 4 rebounds), sophomore Jason Clark came up big in the second. A pair of Clark free throws pushed the lead back to nine, and a pair of three pointers pushed the margin out of reach for the Pirates.

"We knew Austin Freeman was capable and Chris Wright’s a good player,” Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez said. “But Jason Clark surprised us. He had an incredible night."

The Hoyas connected on eight of nine shots in the final seven minutes to put the game away, even as the Pirates' shooting was suddenly reawakened late, as Hazell scored eight of his team-high 17 points in the final minute of play with the outcome already decided.

It was a great team effort throughout. Chris Wright (9-14 FG) was effective on both sides of the ball, particularly in keeping Hazell off hiss stride. Wright's 21 points and six assists led all scorers, with Clark scoring 20 points (including 4-4 from three) and Vaughn with 13 points, including 6-6 from two point range.

Despite only two field goals from the bench, reserves Hollis Thompson and Jerrelle Benimon came up big in defensive sets, while Henry Sims picked up a pair of big blocks to stem the Pirate attack at two key points of the second half.

For the Pirates, a team more than accustomed to tough losses this season, this one is a case if "what if". The Pirates shot a respectable 43% from the field, put up 44 points in the paint against the Hoyas, had an 18-4 advantage in second half points and 22-8 on fast break points. Surprisingly, it was Hazell who sat for eight minutes of the half when the Hall rallied, but entering the final minute he had shot 1-4 in the second half. The Pirates' second leading scorer, Herb Pope, shot just 3 for 9 in the game but picked up a game high 10 rebounds.

The next six games figure to be the toughest test of the season, with five games against top 25 teams, three on the road. Tonight's game provided the Hoyas a good test of what to expect, and identified some areas for improvement when the scoring isn't as strong and the opponents aren't as forgiving inside. Either way, it's a win, and there aren't enough of those to go around for teams in the Big East this season.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       37   8-12  1-2   2-5   1   6  2   21
Freeman      36   5-6   1-2   3-4   4   4  1   16
Clark        28   1-2   4-4   6-7   2   0  3   20
Vaughn       31   6-6   0-1   1-3   4   2  2   13
Monroe       29   2-4   0-0   4-6   9   4  4    8
Thompson     16   1-1   1-1   0-0   1   0  1    5
Sanford       2   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Dougherty     1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Benimon      10   0-0   0-0   2-2   0   0  3    2
Sims         10   0-2   0-1   0-0   4   0  0    0
DNP: Stepka
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      200 23-33  7-11 18-27  28  16 16   85

Post game articles follow below.

Freshman Adjustments 1/13/10

From GUHoyas.com, a feature on the team's four freshman discusses the adjustments on and off the court each is making.

"The college level is tremendously different than high school because you go up against people that are better than you every day," said forward Jerrelle Benimon. "You have no option but to learn quickly. If you don't, then you be set behind so quickly in the college system...I have learned quickly that a lot of things I do won't work in the college level."

AP: #11 (and #24) 1/11/10

Following its win over Connecticut, Georgetown is ranked 11th in the Monday Associated Press poll, up from 12th last week.

Other conference teams in the Top 25 include Villanova (4), Syracuse (5), West Virginia (10), Connecticut (15) and Pittsburgh (16).

Also of note: Georgetown is 24th in the AP women's basketball poll--the program's only previous ranking was one week in February 1993.

Freeman's Half--Where Does It Rank? 1/11/10

Austin Freeman's second half versus Connecticut was something to behold, and something rare in Georgetown's basketball history.

The 28 points in a half is only the seventh time a Georgetown player has scored more than 25 points in a half. Freeman's points accounted for 59.5% of the team's second half output and his 33 points was 45.8% of the team's overall scoring.

Freeman's effort trails only a 29 point second half by Gerald Riley in 2004, but ranks ahead of Riley as a percentage of his team's overall scoring during the half. Here's a look at the players that have accomplished this milestone:

Gerald Riley
(Feb. 7, 2004 vs. Miami at MCI Center)
12-18 FG, 10-10 FT,  37 pts.
8 points in first half, 29 points in second
Georgetown wins, 80-64
Austin Freeman
(Jan. 9, 2010 vs. Connecticut at Verizon Center)
12-20 FG, 4-4 FT,  33 pts.
5 points in first half, 28 points in second
Georgetown wins, 72-69
Charles Smith
(Mar. 19, 1989 vs. Notre Dame at Providence C.C.)
10-14 FG, 10-11 FT,  34 pts.
6 points in first half, 28 points in second
Georgetown wins, 81-74
Jaren Jackson
(Mar. 5, 1988 vs. Seton Hall at Capital Centre)
12-17 FG, 11-12 FT,  38 pts.
11 points in first half, 27 points in second
Georgetown wins, 102-98
Bob Ward
(Dec. 11, 1965 vs. LaSalle at The Palestra)
15-21 FG, 5-8 FT,  35 pts.
9 points in first half, 26 points in second
Georgetown wins, 101-99
Frank Hollendoner
(Feb. 5, 1966 vs. NYU at McDonough Gymnasium)
28 points (boxscore not available)
26 points in first half, 2 points in second
Georgetown wins, 104-73
Jim Barry
(Feb. 27, 1965 vs. FDU at McDonough Gymnasium)
17-27 FG, 12-14 FT,  46 pts.
21 points in first half, 25 points in second
Georgetown wins, 91-70
Georgetown 72, Connecticut 69 Updated 1/10/10

"It's the most heartbreaking loss this year. It's not even close. I had no control over what happened with seven-tenths of a seconds left against Cincinnati...I had no control when John Wall made a play of plays to get to the rim. This one, we had control because we had the lead.
--Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun

"The first couple of years (at Georgetown) I really wasn't as focused as I am now. Now, I want to win. I'll do whatever I have to do to win. "
--Georgetown forward Austin Freeman

Saturday's Washington Post feature discusses leadership in the context of responsibility. And while the article speaks to junior Chris Wright, it was a fellow classmate that rose to the mantle of leadership in a second half that will long be remembered in Georgetown annals.

Following a grim first half where the #13-ranked Connecticut Huskies were running over them, the #12-ranked Hoyas rallied back with 28 second half points from Austin Freeman in a stunning 72-69 victory before a season high 15,564 at Verizon Center Saturday. The finish was notable not only for the result, but for the mirror images displayed by the two teams over the course of the game.

To say that the first half belonged to Connecticut is, on its own, gracious. Employing an up-tempo game and aggressive inside play, the Huskies built an early 18-14 lead, with five of its six field goals by layup or dunk, and forcing five turnovers in the Hoyas' first 15 possessions.

That Georgetown had 15 possessions within the first seven minutes of the half spoke to a style of play better suited to the Huskies, and after an Austin Freeman three (his only basket of the half) to give Georgetown a 19-18 lead at the 10:14 mark of the half, the Huskies turned on the jets.

Stanley Robinson started the UConn run with a dunk and a three pointer in consecutive possessions, having accounted for 12 of the Huskies' first 25 points and a six point lead, 25-19. A pair of threes by reserve forward Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and a Gavin Edwards dunk pushed the lead to eleven, 30-19. Every Georgetown attempt was met by a push to the UConn basket, and the Hoyas were ineffective against the onslaught.

Georgetown hoped to make inroads on the lead via the outside shot, but every miss extended the misery. After a UConn free throw, Coombs-McDaniel extended the lead to 14 with a three, 34-19, and the Huskies answered three failed GU possessions with layups and a stunning 19 point lead with 1:16 in the half, 40-21. When Chris Wright hit a jumper with 49 seconds remaining, the Hoyas had ended a run of 11 straight misses and no field goals in over nine minutes. Wright added a jumper in the final seconds, 40-25, but the halftime numbers looked grim.

The Hoyas were left with 28% shooting, with two offensive rebounds and with as many turnovers as field goals (eight). UConn, shooting 50% from the field with a 24-14 rebound advantage, was seemingly in control.

First Half:

UConn advantage, rebounds

UConn advantage, assists

GU three point shooting

1-3, 5 pts
Points, Austin Freeman

17-34, 40 pts
Points, UConn team

"In the first half, our execution, I thought, was horrible. And that's the only way to put it," coach John Thompson III said. But the team never lost composure and returned for the second half with the resolve to win this game.

Georgetown had already missed the first three shots of the second half when UConn guard Eric Dyson was cited with his third personal foul at the 18:28 mark. A mere 36 seconds later, Freeman got open and hit a jumper, 44-29. Twelve seconds later, Freeman was back with the ball and a layup followed, 44-31. UConn's Kemba Walker made one of two free throws, and Freeman answered with a three, 45-34.

By the time Jim Calhoun received a second timeout within a 1:11 period, Freeman had hit another three and Julian Vaughn had added a layup, and the 19 point UConn lead was now six, 45-39, with over 15 minutes left in the game. After Georgetown had wandered through the first half missing 11 straight, UConn had now missed five straight with three turnovers.

A key to UConn's struggle in the second half was forward Stanley Robinson. By halftime, Robinson had 12 points and eight rebounds, but as Freeman challenged, Robinson had no answer. Following the first basket of the half, Robinson had one basket the rest of the game at the 13:41 mark, and no rebounds. Then again, with Freeman's hot hand, there weren't as many to go around.

UConn extended the lead to 50-43 where Freeman answered with five straight points to close to two, 50-48. Georgetown tied the score on a Chris Wright at the 8:11 mark, and took the lead with a Freeman jumper 18 seconds later, 57-55. Of the Hoyas' 12 field goals in the half, Freeman had eight of them.

As the teams entered the stretch drive, no team led by more four. GU took a 63-59 lead at the 5:08 mark on a Freeman jumper, but a pair of Dyson layups and an Alex Oriakhi dunk rallied the Huskies to a 65-63 lead. Georgetown needed a response and...guess who: Freeman's three pointer, his last points of the afternoon, brought the house down and the Hoyas took the lead back, 66-65.

Second Half:

GU advantage, rebounds

GU advantage, assists

GU three point shooting

11-17, 28 pts
Points, Austin Freeman

11-25, 29 pts
Points, UConn team

Connecticut's foul shooting suffered all afternoon but they got the shots they needed late. A pair of Kemba Walker free throws retook the lead, 67-66, with 1:55 to play, and after Freeman had done so much, a pair of alert offensive plays by Julian Vaughn proved vital at critical points of the game. Off a Freeman miss with 1:30 to play, Vaughn tipped the offensive rebound to Greg Monroe for the basket, 69-68, with 1:11 to play. After two more UC free throws retook the lead, 69-68, Freeman picked up an offensive rebound off a Monroe miss for a basket, 70-69, with :52 left.

With 41 seconds remaining, UConn set up for its final possession. In a wild sequence, Dyson missed a long jumper, but the Huskies picked up the offensive rebound and Walker went outside for a three point miss. Off an Alex Oriakhi offensive rebound, Chris Wright intercepted the pass with 13 seconds left, only to nearly lose it twice at half court. Regaining control of the ball, Freeman found Monroe open under the basket, 72-69. A last moment UConn attempt narrowly missed an overtime, and Georgetown had successfully battled back for the win, one of the biggest comebacks in the Big East era.

Freeman finished with a career high 33 points, 28 in the second half. The Hoyas shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and finished with one turnover in the second half. Chris Wright had 14 points, much of it in the first half, while Greg Monroe overcame a 2-6 start to finish with 15 points and 10 rebounds, showing a stronger finish in the pivot.

"I needed to become more active everywhere," Monroe said. "It's never just an offensive game. Basically, getting more active on defense and make hustle plays, get rebounds."

By contrast, the second half Huskies shot 44 percent, missed all four three point attempts, and were outrebounded 21-14, including 10-5 on the offensive boards. For the game, UConn missed 8 of 17 free throw attempts, but 5 of 7 in the first half.

A year ago, a big win over UConn proved illusory amidst the grueling Big East season to come. Head coach John Thompson III played down the significance of this game, noting "it was a terrific game, they're a terrific team. Where it ranks, I don't know."

"Part of the thing is you hear sometimes about Georgetown, 'They run a five-man system. Nobody is a star.'", Calhoun said. "Austin Freeman was a star today, I'll tell you that."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       37   3-11  2-5   2-2   1   4  4   14
Freeman      36   7-11  5-9   4-4   7   2  0   33
Clark        26   0-1   0-4   0-0   3   0  4    0
Vaughn       31   3-7   0-0   0-0   6   3  1    6
Monroe       36   6-12  0-1   3-7  10   2  3   15
Thompson     22   0-2   0-0   2-2   1   3  2    2
Benimon      12   1-1   0-1   0-0   4   0  2    2
DNP: Sanford, Dougherty, Stepka, Sims
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      200 20-45  7-20 11-15  35  14 16   72

Post game articles follow below.

Emerging Leadership 1/9/10

A profile of junior guard Chris Wright and his emerging leadership on the team is the subject of a feature in Saturday's Washington Post.

"It's one thing to say, 'Hey, I'm the leader.' But what does that mean?," said head coach John Thompson III. "That means you are responsible not only for yourself but for others. There is a burden of leadership. And I think Chris is starting to understand that. He has grown into that idea that it's not just about whether he's in the right place at the right time, but being able to place his teammates where they should be -- whether that's in terms of a specific play or specific set or specific action on the court or all the many facets that come along with college athletics."

Mescheriakov to Wake Forest 1/9/10

In other news items, former Georgetown forward Nikita Mescheriakov will enroll at Wake Forest, reports the Winston-Salem Journal. Mescheriakov would become the third GU transfer over the years at Wake, where Anthony Tucker (1987-88) and Charles Harrison (1990-92) each completed their eligibility.

Athletics Study Posted Online 1/8/10

The online report paints a cloudy picture for athletics: "While the cost of athletics is substantial, [it] currently spends much less than its peer institutions in the Big East. Intercollegiate athletics generates much less revenue...primarily due to the following: a) A historical lack of interest in [sports], b) Obstacles to revenue production due to inadequacies in the facilities, c) Lower benchmark levels of spending to build revenues..."

The report may sound like Georgetown, but it's a report from the University of Cincinnati on efforts to reverse a $3.5 million annual deficit in athletics that even bowl bids have not addressed. With the cost of athletics continuing to outpace inflation across Division I, it's an interesting read to see how it is being addressed at other conference schools.

Marquette 62, Georgetown 59 Updated 1/7/10

"We don’t ever talk about ‘we’re small’ or ‘we play seven guys and we’re tired.’ We just wake up and go to work.”-Marquette coach Buzz Williams

A season high 12 three pointers paced Marquette to a second half lead, but it was a pair of free throws that proved the difference in the Warriors' 62-59 win over Georgetown Wednesday at the Bradley Center.

The Hoyas started off cold, hitting one of its first six shots and giving up three early turnovers as MU built leads of 10-3 and 17-9 within the first eight minutes of the half. Georgetown responded with a 7 for 8 run of its own, led by junior forward Julian Vaughn hitting six straight to close to 21-19.

A Dwight Buycks jumper at the 6:40 mark gave Marquette a four point lead, 23-19, and it would mark the last two point basket the Warriors would score for the next 13:45 of the game. In almost any possible scenario, this would spell doom in a Big East game, but not tonight.

A Jason Clark basket and foul shot closed to one, 23-22. Senior guard David Cubillan, who had scored three points, came back into the game with 5:08 to play and went to work on Chris Wright and the GU perimeter defense. Cubillan hit three straight threes, all of Marquette's points down the stretch, as the Warriors took a 32-30 lead into intermission, despite giving up a 16-2 advantage in points in the paint.

Second half two point goals for MU

MU assists in 21 field goals

Shots by GU's Greg Monroe in second half, 1 in final 7:51 of game

Bench scoring, GU

Marquette's inside shooting was ineffective to start the second half. Cubillan's fourth three of he evening was the only MU field goal among its first nine attempts, missing seven straight as Georgetown tied the score at 37 and picked up a three point lead following a bench technical on MU coach Buzz Williams. Cubillan answered with a three of his own, 40-40. The Warriors did not get a two pointer for the first seven minutes of the half.

No team led by more than three points for the rest of the game. Georgetown held a 50-48 lead at the 6:46 mark until a Marquette three gave the Warriors a 51-50 lead, and the last tie of the game came from a Jason Clark three with 4:44 to play, 53-53. A Cubillan three extended the lead to 56-53 at the 4:08 mark, where the MU lead stood solid until the final minute, when a driving Austin Freeman shot closed the score to 60-59. Off a missed free throw by Marquette's Maurice Acker, the Hoyas had the ball down one with 29 seconds to play, but Freeman's driving jumper fell short and the Warriors closed out the game at the line.

Freeman led all scorers with 20 points, while Greg Monroe and Chris Wright were each held to just nine points by the Marquette defense. The Hoyas shot 45% from the field in the second half but missed three of four attempts over the final three minutes. The one stat that speaks to Marquette's extra effort in this game: a 17-6 advantage on second chance points.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       35   2-5   1-3   2-2   3   7  2    9
Freeman      38   4-9   2-4   6-6   3   6  1   20
Clark        36   1-3   1-3   2-3   4   0  3    7
Vaughn       27   6-8   0-1   0-0   2   1  2   12
Monroe       34   4-6   0-0   1-2  10   3  3    9
Thompson     24   1-1   0-1   0-0   2   0  2    2
Benimon       3   0-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  2    0
Sims          3   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
DNP: Sanford, Dougherty, Stepka
Team Rebounds                       4
TOTALS      200 18-33  4-12 11-13  28  17 15   59

Post game articles follow below.

Jack The Bulldog: #8 1/6/10

 From the Georgetown Voice blog, news of an online poll conducted in December from the American Kennel Club ranked Jack The Bulldog as number eight on the "125 Top Dogs In Pop Culture".

Other dogs cited in the unscientific poll included animated dogs Snoopy (1), Brian Griffin (10), Goofy (29) and Dogbert (97), along with movie canines such as Lassie (11), Benjy (27), and Cujo (69).

Not included in the top 125 is Jack's mascot ancestor, Stubby (1916-26), the Georgetown mascot that was the only canine ever to receive an actual military promotion in wartime.

AP: #12 1/5/10

Following its win over DePaul, Georgetown is ranked 12th in the Monday Associated Press poll, up from 13th last week.

Other conference teams in the Top 25 include Villanova (6), Syracuse (7), West Virginia (8), Connecticut (13) and Pittsburgh (23).

Georgetown 67, DePaul 50 Updated 1/4/10

As the Big East season evolves, Georgetown's upperclassmen will be counted upon to lead this still young team through the challenges of conference play. This was the case Sunday, where juniors Austin Freeman and Chris Wright combined for 35 points as the Georgetown Hoyas picked up a 67-50 win at DePaul.

Like a number of games, Georgetown started off crisply, hitting its first four shots and racing to a 9-2 lead. And, like a number of other games, the Hoyas hit a lull, as DePaul (7-7, 0-2 B.E.) tied the score three minutes later at the 14:07 mark. Georgetown took care not to give the Demons a lead, scoring six straight over the next 1:27, 15-9. Key to the early lead was the three point shot (two each from Chris Wright and Jason Clark, one from Freeman) that kept the Demons in the rear view mirror during the first twenty minutes. Clark's three pushed the Georgetown lead to 27-19 before the Demons successfully closed off the Hoya offense with a zone defense, closing the lead to two, but a 7-0 Georgetown shutout in the final 3:04 extended its lead to ten at the half, 35-25.

"It's really hard to keep defending and hang in there when you don't score," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright in post-game comments. "You've got to make a basket to create momentum, and we've had scoring droughts that were incredible."

In the second half, the Hoyas never let the lead go below eight, despite shooting 1-4 to begin the second half. Georgetown's defense kept DePaul's offense at a simmer, with the Blue Demons shooting 1-7 to open the half and just 40% for the half. Georgetown led by as many as 17, 53-36 with 7:20 left, before GU picked up turnovers on three straight possessions and DePaul had closed to 11, 53-42. In response, Clark and Wright each hit threes on consecutive possessions and the Hoyas never looked back.

Straight wins by GU over DePaul

Straight losses in Big East play for DePaul

GU assists in 24 field goals

Bench scoring, DePaul

Bench scoring, GU

Georgetown's defense was especially effective on DePaul's two leading scorers, guard Will Walker and center Mac Koshwal. Walker entered the game averaging 16 points a game and was held to 3-14 shooting, while Koshwal, who accounted for nearly half of the Blue Demons' 25 first half points, took only two shots after intermission.

"We didn't lose because Will Walker was 3-of-14 shooting. It's not fair to Will," said Wainwright. "What's bad is that he had to take 14 shots."

"As a group, we were very attentive to Will tonight," said head coach John Thompson III. "He puts a lot of pressure on you, is very poised, and you have to contain him."

For the half, Georgetown shot 61 percent from the field, 75% from two point range. DePaul suffered nine second half turnovers, many coming at key opportunities to close the lead, which kept them from mounting a more serious charge.

Four Hoyas were in double figures, while Julian Vaughn picked up five points but led the team with seven rebounds. The Hoyas gave up only eight fouls, its fewest in a game dating back to a Jan. 17, 2006 game versus South Florida, which limited any DePaul comeback at the line.

DePaul continues to be troubled by depth--with only two proven scorers, any down game by either puts the entire team at a disadvantage. Walker and Koshwal combined for 25 points, the remaining starters only 16.

"Those two guys are the heart and soul of that team," said Thompson. "Night in and night out, they are probably the most dangerous."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       34   5-5   2-5   2-3   3   3  0   18
Freeman      37   4-7   3-5   0-0   3   4  0   17
Clark        31   1-2   3-6   2-4   2   2  3   13
Vaughn       23   1-3   0-0   3-4   7   1  1    5
Monroe       36   3-6   0-0   4-5   4   5  3   10
Thompson     20   2-2   0-1   0-0   4   1  1    4
Sanford       1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Benimon       9   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   1  0    0
Sims          9   0-0   0-0   0-2   1   1  0    0
DNP: Dougherty, Stepka
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      200 16-25  8-17 11-18  28  18  8   67

Post-game articles follow below.

Georgetown 66, St. John's 59 Updated 1/1/10

Georgetown held an improved St. John's team to two field goals over the final 8:38 of the second half, gutting out a 66-59 win in the Big East opener Thursday before 9,376 at Verizon Center.

From a 1 for 5 start, the Hoya offense moved into high gear midway through the half, thanks to 12 early points from junior guard Chris Wright. Georgetown took a two point lead after the 16 minute time out and went to work, hitting five of its next six to go up nine, 21-12, then a run of three straight baskets to go up 12, 27-15, with 6:46 in the half.

St. John's got back in the game from long distance. Junior Dwight Hardy began to open holes in the GU perimeter defense, and allowed the Redmen to catch a second wind. St. John's cut the 12 point lead to eight just over a minute later, and connected on four of its next five shots in the final 3:40 to cut the lead to two, 29-27, thanks to two turnovers and three missed shots in four Georgetown possessions. An Austin freeman three proved critical in stemming the red tide, opening a five point lead at intermission, 32-27. The Hoyas finished the half shooting 48 percent, but missed seven of its final nine at the half.

St. John's managed only two offensive rebounds in the first half, and rediscovered the inside game to open the second half. Three offensive rebounds in the first four Redmen possession whittled the lead to two, 34-32. A Greg Monroe layup pushed the lead to four, but consecutive St. John's turnovers allowed the Hoyas to push the lead to eight, 40-32.

The lead waived between six and nine until midway in the half, where reserve forward Justin Brownlee began to make an impact. As Georgetown committed four consecutive turnovers over a 1:32 period, Brownlee scored five points and opened the door for a Hardy three to give St. John's a one point lead, 52-51. Chris Wright responded with a three point play to regain the lead, 54-52, but Hardy nailed a three in return, 54-53.

St. John's shooting, last five minutes of game

Georgetown shooting, last five minutes of game

Bench scoring, St. John's

Bench scoring, GU

Georgetown's record in Big East openers in John Thompson III era

A three point miss by Jason Clark began up a critical stretch for the Redmen, who missed two jumpers and a layup over the next minute, failing to build the lead. At the 7:30 mark, a Georgetown timeout told the Hoyas just what to do.

"What this group is appreciating and getting much better is in tight situations there was a point (in the game) where we were in a time out and Chris (Wright) starts yelling at everyone, "Hey, this is a key point. This is a key next four minutes. You got to play well right now," coach John Thompson III said after the game. "I think this group has an appreciation and understanding that when the game gets tight, when the clock is running down, when there is not much time, that point is when we have to believe in each other and stick with our stuff and grind it out and that's what we did."

GU went inside with baskets from Julian Vaughn, Greg Monroe, and Jason Clark to give GU a six point lead, 60-54, with 5:11 to play. A D.J. Kennedy three closed the gap to 60-57, but the Redmen could not get the jumpers to fall and GU built out its lead on the line. A Justin Burrell basket with 47 seconds closed the lead to four, 63-59, but the Hoyas hit three of its next four to close out a tough, hard fought game.

Georgetown's defensive adjustments forced St. John's into less effective jumpers, and it showed. "I hate zone. We're a man to man team," said St. John's coach Norm Roberts in post-game comments. "When you get down, you've got to up the tempo and we couldn't up the tempo."

Despite six three pointers, SJU shot just 34 percent in the half, including just 29 percent (6-21) from two point range. The Redmen owned the offensive boards, humbling the inside game for the Hoyas with a 12-3 advantage on offensive rebounds. In the end, the shots that fell early failed to score late.

Georgetown was well served by free throw shooting, shooting 12-15 for the game. By contrast, St. John's was just 2 for 5, a major turnaround from last season's games where the Redmen basically won those games on the line. In two games last season, SJ was 39 for 46 from the line (.847) against the Hoyas in a pair of games settled by a combined eight points.

The Hoyas also enjoyed a better showing inside, outscoring the Redmen 24-10 in the paint. Chris Wright had 21 points, 14 in the first half, while Greg Monroe and Austin Freeman had 15 each, but the Georgetown bench was nonexistent, as only two reserve players seeing action, missing its only shot taken in a combined 33 minutes of play.

"It was a terrific Big East basketball game," said Roberts. "We let them get out to too much of a lead. The ball kind of fell their way a little bit."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       38   5-8   2-3   5-5   2   4  1   21
Freeman      37   5-7   1-1   2-2   1   1  1   15
Clark        35   2-3   1-5   0-0   4   0  4    7
Vaughn       26   3-5   0-0   2-4   9   1  2    8
Monroe       39   6-15  0-1   3-4   8   5  2   15
Thompson     25   0-1   0-0   0-0   3   0  0    0
Sims          8   0-0   0-0   0-0   2   2  2    0
DNP: Sanford, Dougherty, Benimon, Stepka
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      200 21-39  4-10 12-15  32  13 12   66

Post-game articles follow below.

Top 20 Games Of The Decade 1/1/10

With the 2000's at a close, HoyaSaxa.com has gone back through its archive of game recaps over the years. We took the opportunity through the month of December to look back at 20 memorable games of the 2000's, and now announce the #1 game:

Mar. 25, 2007: Georgetown 96, North Carolina 84 (OT)

This may be among the two or three greatest single games of the modern era. Georgetown needed almost a perfect game against a top seeded North Carolina team that was moments away from the first of three straight Final Fours, culminating with the 2009 title. Amidst the backdrop of the 25th anniversary of the NCAA title game, it took a 11 point second half rally by Georgetown to force the game into overtime, capped by a shot by junior guard Jonathan Wallace that was as big as any jumper since Derrick Jackson sank West Virginia 32 years earlier. In the overtime, Georgetown shut down the mighty Tar Heels as no other team had done in NCAA post-season play since Georgetown knocked off Kentucky in the 1984 national semifinal.

In three years, Georgetown had gone from a sub-.500 team to the Final Four, and it remains to this day an singularly amazing coaching and player performance. Visit the game recap to recall this classic game.

Previous games:
2. Jan. 21, 2006: Georgetown 87, Duke 84
3. Mar. 10, 2007: Georgetown 65, Pittsburgh 42
4. Mar. 19, 2006: Georgetown 70, Ohio St. 52
5. Mar. 24, 2006: Florida 57, Georgetown 53
6. Mar. 15, 2000: Georgetown 115, Virginia 111 (4OT)
7. Mar. 15, 2001: Georgetown 63, Arkansas 61
8. Mar. 8, 2008: Georgetown 55, Louisville 52
9. Feb. 9, 2002: Notre Dame 116, Georgetown 111 (4 OT)
10. Mar. 9, 2007: Georgetown 84, Notre Dame 82
11. Mar. 1, 2008: Georgetown 70, Marquette 68 (OT)
12. Mar. 23, 2007: Georgetown 66, Vanderbilt 65
13. Dec. 29, 2008: Georgetown 74, Connecticut 63
14. Jan. 5, 2005: Georgetown 67, Pittsburgh 64
15. Mar. 9, 2000: Georgetown 76, Syracuse 72
16. Jan. 26, 2008: Georgetown 58, West Virginia 57
17. Jan. 14, 2005: Georgetown 66, Villanova 64
18. Nov. 30, 2004: Georgetown 76, Davidson 51
19. Jan. 24, 2006: Georgetown 85, Notre Dame 82 (2 OT)
20. Jan. 6, 2001: Georgetown 78, Seton Hall 66


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