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Georgetown Basketball: January 2011 News Archive

Georgetown 62, Louisville 59 1/31/11 

Georgetown began January a team in search of itself, struggling past a bad DePaul team and subsequently dropping its next three. It ends January with five straight wins, as Chris Wright scored 24 points and led the Hoyas to a 62-59 win over #15 Louisville at Verizon Center.

If Saturday's game with Villanova was a game when both teams were playing at its best, the start to this game was anything but. The two teams combined for 17 points and 15 turnovers in the first seven minutes of the first half, as defensive pressure and poor ball handling rattled both teams. Louisville (17-5, 6-3 B.E.) held its only lead of the first half at 18-17 with 2:35 to play before the Hoyas outscored the Cardinals 5-0 to end the half, capped by a Hollis Thompson three with 40 seconds left to lead 22-18. It was Georgetown's fewest points in a half since the season opener with Old Dominion, as the two teams combined to shoot 16-56 from the field and combine for 19 turnovers.

Business began to pick up in the second half. Georgetown pushed the lead to seven early in the half and led by nine on two different occasions in the first eight minutes, successfully forcing the Cardinals into poor shooting sets and helped by efforts in keeping guard Peyton Siva off the ball. Siva, who had scored on 72% of his shots over the last four games and led the Cardinals in its upset at UConn, was scoreless in the first half and had turned the ball over seven times until the 11:15 mark of the game, where he keyed a Louisville run that dropped in three three pointers in just 1:22 to cut the Georgetown lead to four, 45-41. Consecutive turnovers by Henry Sims and Jason Clark led the Cardinals to tie the score with 7:58 to play, and a three pointer by Mike Marra gave the Cards a 54-53 lead at the 6:19 mark, part of a remarkable run where Louisville was 9-11 from the field.

The comeback marked the fourth Big East game in the last 16 days where Louisville had come back from a second half deficit of double digits, in wins over Marquette, West Virginia, and Connecticut, each by one point. Georgetown had other ideas on a fourth straight, however.

Georgetown's defense tightened even if its execution did not. The Hoyas held firm on Louisville's next two possessions, but had nothing to show for it, as turnovers by Austin Freeman and Jason Clark ended Georgetown drives. On Louisville's next possession, Nate Lubick fouled Louisville forward Kyle Kuric on a three pointer. Kuric, a 90% free throw shooter entering the game having missed one free throw all season, unexpectedly missed two of three and the Cardinals led by only two instead of four heading into a key stretch of the game.

After another Georgetown turnover, its 16th, the defense held again, and Wright answered on the next possession with a fall-away layup to tie the score with 2:56 left. Louisville had no answers from outside late in the game, as Siva missed a wide open three with 2:28 and turned the ball back to the Hoyas, where Julian Vaughn found an open Hollis Thompson for another big three, 58-55, with 2:02 left.

Up three, Georgetown needed a stop but gave up three straight offensive rebounds in a single possession before Siva was fouled and sent to the line with 48 seconds left, hitting both to cut the lead to 58-57. With 24 seconds remaining, Jason Clark was sent to the line. Clark had suffered from an 0-6 effort from the field, but sank both free throws to go back up three, 60-57. Louisville could not find an open three on its next series, settling for an inside basket with under six seconds left. Fouled soon thereafter, Wright sank both free throws to maintain a three point lead. Georgetown opted not to foul the Cardinals on the final possession, where Siva's three pointer at the buzzer veered left.

As was the case against Villanova, and throughout much of this recent run, the play of Julian Vaughn at center cannot be overlooked. Vaughn was a perfect 4-4 from the field, with 10 points and five rebounds. With Freeman and Clark shooting a combined 5-17, the Hoyas needed a big effort in the paint and got it. Wright led all scorers with 24 points and 8-8 from the line, followed by 13 for Freeman.

Field goals for both teams,
first half

Turnovers for both teams,
first half

GU offensive rebounds,
first half

GU offensive rebound,
second half

UofL points off
16 GU turnovers

GU points off
16 UofL turnovers

GU shooting,
last 6 mins. of 2nd half

UofL shooting,
last 6 mins. of 2nd half

For Louisville, Siva finished just 1-5 from the field, but GU's defensive damage was really done against leading scorer Preston Knowles, who shot 1-8 in the second half and finished with 11 points overall, four below his average. Terrence Jennings got points inside and led the Cardinals late, but the rest of the team was just 8-24 in the second half, including its late game struggles.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       35   8-11  0-3   8-8   5   3  1   24
Clark        31   0-4   0-2   2-2   5   1  1    2
Freeman      35   3-6   2-5   1-2   3   3  2   13
Lubick       22   1-3   0-0   1-3   3   0  1    3 
Vaughn       26   4-4   0-0   2-2   5   1  1   10
Thompson     23   0-2   2-3   0-0   1   1  1    6
Starks        7   1-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    2
Sanford       2   0-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Sims         14   1-1   0-0   0-2   1   2  2    2 
Benimon       5   0-0   0-0   0-0   2   0  3    0
Team Rebounds                       3
DNP: Dougherty, Caprio, Bowen, Ayegba
TOTALS      200 18-33  4-13  14-19 28  11 12   62

Post game articles follow below.

With his 13 points Monday, Austin Freeman now stands among the top ten career scorers in Georgetown history. Congratulations to Austin for joining this select group:

Player No.
1. Eric Floyd (1978-82) 2,304
2. Patrick Ewing (1981-85) 2,184
3. Reggie Williams (1983-87) 2,117
4. Alonzo Mourning (1988-92) 2,001
5. Othella Harrington (1992-96) 1,839
6. David Wingate (1982-86) 1,781
7. Mike Sweetney (2000-03) 1,750
8. Kevin Braswell (1998-02) 1,735
9. Derrick Jackson (1974-78) 1,673
10. Austin Freeman (2007-11) 1,604
Georgetown 69, Villanova 66 1/30/11 

Time is fleeting for any athlete, none more so in college. And when Austin Freeman takes his bow at Senior Day, less than a month from now, Georgetown fans can justly applaud an outstanding college career, with memorable moments that stand the test of time.

Such were the moments of Saturday's 69-66 win over #8 ranked Villanova, where Freeman scored 10 points and an assist in the final 12 points in the win, giving Georgetown a crucial mid-season win which brought the Hoyas above .500 in Big East play for the first time since Jan. 3.

The 19,914 fans at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center expected a close game, and got it. Villanova (17-4, 5-3 B.E.) opened up strong, leading 10-5, as Georgetown shot 5 for 13 in the first ten minutes and no players other than Jason Clark or Austin Freeman were able to score. Consecutive baskets by Freeman gave Georgetown (16-5, 5-4 B.E.) the lead at 13-12, but strong inside play by Villanova's Antonio Pena drove the Wildcats to a 17-13 lead midway during the half.

During its upset loss to Providence, Villanova's outside shooting failed them, and so was the case at this point of the game. For the next seven minutes of the half, Villanova missed eight straight shots, seven of which were jump shots, as Georgetown took a lead which would hold throughout the game. Free throws by Freeman regained the lead at 19-17, where Georgetown picked up the pace with consecutive baskets by Markel Starks and Hollis Thompson to go up six, 25-19. The Wildcats closed to three in the final minute, but a key three pointer by Vee Sanford with six seconds in the half added to a lead which would need every point it could get in the second half.

Georgetown's six point lead at the break, 35-29, was led by a 50% effort from the field, ten assists on 13 field goals, and an 18-13 edge on rebounds. Villanova's 37% mark from the field, with six field goals in the final 16 minutes of the half, showed the shooting hangover which followed them from Providence, but most knew it would be a matter of time before the Wildcats returned to form.

The Hoyas led by as many as 11 early in the second half, but the Wildcats began to rediscover their offense. The Cats picked up two threes in a 33 second span to cut the lead to five, only for Freeman to get a big layup to push the lead back to seven. Surprisingly, it was the last points by Freeman for nearly ten minutes, as Georgetown began to move the ball inside to take advantage of foul trouble on Villanova center Mouphatou Yarou.

Over the next three minutes, Vaughn was the Georgetown offense, as Yarou picked up his fourth foul and Vaughn, a 68% free throw shooter, sank a basket and went 5-5 from the line to hold the lead at seven.

Two moments for Villanova nearly went unrecognized but may have been the difference in the game. The Wildcats entered Saturday's game the best free throw shooting team in the conference, and went 22-24 from the line against Providence. In two key sequences, free throws netted an eight point swing for Georgetown.

With 6:58 to play, Georgetown was in the bonus, sending Villanova's Maurice Sutton to the line. Sutton missed the front end of the one and one, and Georgetown answered with a drive by Freeman to go up 10 instead of face a six point lead. One minute and 20 seconds later, down seven after a Corey Fisher three, Villanova's Maalik Wayns stood at the line to bring the Wildcats to as close as five. Wayns missed the front half as well, answered with a driving layup by Nate Lubick to go up by nine, 57-48. The Wildcats shot only 68% from the line in the second half, and these two missed one and ones may have been the most critical of the game.

The next two minutes of the game proved a defensive standoff, with both teams combining for one basket as the clock approached 3:00 to play. Two sets of Freeman free throws gave Georgetown an eight point lead with 2:59 to play, whereupon ESPN switched the national broadcast feed to the end of regulation between Louisville and Connecticut. That game went into overtime, and when ESPN switched back, fans were stunned by the resultant scoreboard: the Wildcats were now down three with 2:08 on the line, and shooting free throws to trail by just one. What happened?

Villanova record in 2010-11
scoring 70 or more points

Villanova record scoring under 70;
held to 66 by GU

Avg. points by Austin Freeman
vs. Villanova, last 3 games

GU free throw shooting,
last 10 mins. of 2nd half

VU free throw shooting,
last 10 mins. of 2nd half

Rebounds per game
by Villanova entering game

Rebounds by Villanova
Saturday vs. GU

Pts. from GU bench, 1st half

Pts. from GU bench, 2nd half

Georgetown record vs.
Villanova since 2007

The Wildcats needed to catch fire, and for 51 seconds in ESPN's blackout, they made the most of it. Seven seconds after the Freeman free throws, Wayns drove for a layup, 61-55, whereupon Jason Clark lost the ball at midcourt and Corey Stokes let loose with a three, 61-58. On GU's next possession, Wright was stripped of the ball by Pena, and Wright fouled Wayns as he was going for the basket. Wayns hit both free throws and the game was very much in doubt.

But here comes Austin.

With 2:01 to play, Freeman got the ball but was denied inside; falling back, he picked up his own rebound and laid it in, by itself a remarkable play, but the first of two superlative efforts to come. Georgetown went up three, but was forced to foul Corey Fisher, who sank two free throws to close to one with 1:15 left. The next possession was ever more crucial. With a press enveloping Chris Wright and the shot clock winding down, Wright swung the ball to Freeman in the left corner, who let up a long jumper with three seconds on the shot clock that rallied the Hoyas, now up three. (A subsequent official's review correctly confirmed the shot as a two pointer, not three.)

Villanova was back at the line and scored on both, 65-64, with 34 seconds left. Georgetown was hounded in the backcourt and appeared to be close to losing the ball. As four Hoyas were struggling to get the ball over the half court, Freeman saw differently--literally. In a bold move, Freeman saw Lubick flying down the court unopposed, and his court length pass was a strike to Lubick at the foul line, adding a thundering dunk to quiet the crowd and go back up three, 67-64.

Wayns opted for a quick two with 17 seconds and fouled Freemen with the Hoyas up one. Freeman, a perfect 6-6 from the line to date, sank two more, 69-66. Villanova's final possession saw Pena launch a three that rattled away (the Cats' first miss from the field since the 5:28 mark) , and Dominic Cheek's desperation attempt with time running out was no good as well. For a moment, just a moment, the otherwise laconic Freeman let loose with a smile at game's end.

"Austin Freeman in most situations is unflappable,” said coach John Thompson III. “The last three minutes of the game were only indicative of what he’s done the last four years. They're running, trapping and making it hard to do what you want to do, so you put the ball in his hands because good things happen.”

Freeman's heroics do not detract from a true team effort in this one--10 points from Clark, nine from Vaughn, eight from Lubick, an unsung five points and five rebounds from junior Henry Sims in 17 minutes, and a six assist effort from Chris Wright despite going scoreless for only first time in almost two years. The Hoyas shot 52% on the game, 19 assists in 24 field goals, and 16-17 from the line.

In the Big East, there is no time to sit back and dwell on any game. From 17-4 Villanova on Saturday, meet 17-4 Louisville, entering Verizon Center Monday night winners of four of its last five including a double OT win at Connecticut. Rest assured that Austin Freeman will be the center of Louisville's attention as well.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       32   0-3   0-0   0-0   4   6  4    0
Clark        28   2-4   2-4   0-0   4   1  4   10
Freeman      36   8-15  2-4   8-8   4   6  2   30
Lubick       29   4-4   0-0   0-0   2   3  2    8 
Vaughn       23   1-3   0-0   7-7   3   1  3    9
Thompson     19   1-1   0-1   0-0   3   1  0    2
Starks        6   1-1   0-2   0-0   1   1  1    2
Sanford       2   0-0   1-1   0-0   0   0  3    3
Sims         17   2-3   0-0   1-2   5   0  2    5 
Benimon       8   0-0   0-0   0-0   2   0  0    0
Team Rebounds                       5
DNP: Dougherty, Caprio, Bowen, Ayegba
TOTALS      200 19-34  5-12  16-17 33  19 19   69

Additional coverage follows below.

Austin Freeman's 30 point effort against Villanova is the fourth 30 point game of his career, a number matched by only eight players in Georgetown history:

Multiple 30 Game Games By Player

Player Games
Allen Iverson (1994-96) 13
Jim Barry (1962-66) 8
Reggie Williams (1983-87) 8
Mike Sweetney (2000-03) 8
Victor Page (1995-97) 6
Charlie Adrion (1967-70) 4
Charles Smith (1985-89) 4
Austin Freeman (2007-11) 4
Bowen Out For Season 1/28/11 

Freshman forward Aaron Bowen underwent shoulder surgery Thursday and will be out of action for the remainder of the season, per a release at GUHoyas.com.

Bowen has averaged one point per game in seven games this season and has not played since Dec. 18. Georgetown will request a medical redshirt with the NCAA.

Georgetown 77, St. John's 52 1/27/11

Jason Clark's 16 points rallied 21st ranked Georgetown past St. John's, 77-52, the Hoyas' third straight win en route to a .500 record in Big East conference play.

Clark was strong early in the game, as Georgetown's offense seemed refreshed by the eight day layoff since defeating Seton Hall on Jan. 18, but its zone defense was not. St. John's (11-8, 4-5 B.E.) matched each Georgetown basket in the first eight minutes of the game, and seemed comfortable with the holes in the Georgetown defense, picking up a number of inside baskets and taking a 16-14 lead on a Justin Burrell basket and foul. Coach John Thompson III made the move to a man to man defense and the game quickly turned.

Over the ensuing five minutes, Georgetown went on a 14-4 run, topped by a pair of threes by Austin Freeman and some expert defensive moves by senior Julian Vaughn, who was playing through pain after apparently turning an ankle early in the game. The Hoyas' eight point lead shrank to three, much of it from turnovers, but the defense tightened and the Georgetown guards went to work, shutting out the Redmen in the final 5:01 of the half and carrying a 10-0 run into halftime, 40-27, GU's largest advantage in a game this season dating back to the Dec. 18 game versus Loyola. The trio of Freeman, Wright, and Clark, who had combined for only 20 points in the Jan. 3 game at Madison Square Garden, had 22 at the break and finished with 39.

A key element of the half went unnoticed by many fans--St. John's guard Paris Horne picked up two fouls in the first 1:15 of the game. His absence on defense was clearly noticed by the coaches, however.

"He's kind of a one man press in terms of ball pressure," said coach Steve Lavin in post-game comments. "He helps so well because of his speed to collapse in the post and get back to his shooters and he's a learner and he brings great energy."

The Hoyas opened the second half tentatively, with just one basket in the first 4:35, allowing a veteran St. John's team to post a 9-1 run and cut the lead to five, 41-36. A pair of big baskets from Henry Sims and Jason Clark ended the run and pushed the lead to nine, 45-36, before a second St. John's run cut the lead back to six with under 15 minutes remaining. A missed three by St. John's D.J. Kennedy was answered with a three from Clark, and the Hoyas caught a second wind. The interior defense shut down St. John's and the offense got back into gear, as Georgetown scored the next eight points and St. John's never challenged further. The Redmen, without a true inside presence against Vaughn and Sims, resorted to a number of outside shots that were simply not effective, and Georgetown began to pull away.

"We had some possessions where it could have been cut even closer in terms of cutting the deficit to a closer score but then Georgetown responded well on another run of their own and closed out the game," said Lavin.

From a 15 point lead at the 8:06 mark, the Hoyas outscored the Redmen 15-3, leading by as many as 26 before bringing in the reserves. An intentional foul on freshman John Caprio with under 10 seconds remaining allowed the walk-on to get his first points of the season, as 13 players saw action in the game.

Coach Thompson made a change in the starting lineup with freshman Nate Lubick starting in place of sophomore Hollis Thompson. Lubick had his share of struggles early (four turnovers) but finished with six points and six rebounds. Hollis Thompson was none the worse for wear, scoring 15 points off the bench and a season high six rebounds.

Combined pts. from GU guards vs. St. John's, Jan. 3

Combined pts. from GU guards vs. St. John's, Jan. 26

St. John's shooting,
last 5 mins. of 1st half

St. John's shooting,
last 5 mins. of 2nd half

Free throws by SJ's
Dwight Hardy, Jan. 3

Field goals by SJ's
Dwight Hardy, Jan. 26

St. John's 2nd chance pts., second half

GU rebound advantage

Pts. from GU bench

Pts. from SJU bench

St. John's road record
vs. ranked opponents
since 2002

"I've said it before, it doesn't matter [who starts]," Thompson said. "Nate was out there and Hollis wasn't for the first time, but I thought they both played pretty well."

Thompson was diplomatic about the change. "Coach knows what he's doing," he said. "When he tells you you're not starting, it's for the best of the team, then whatever is for the best of the team I'm going to support."

Julian Vaughn's nine points and eight rebounds does not go unappreciated, as his defensive stands helped stop a number of St. John's drives that could have turned the momentum. Instead, the Redmen struggled all evening as the inside became off limits, thanks to Vaughn and a team effort on both sides of the floor.

The Georgetown motion offense was back in full force, with 12 assists on 15 first baskets and 21 assists in its 26 field goals for the game. The Hoyas shot 51% from the field (26-51), 50% from three (9-18), and held a 39-30 advantage on the boards.

Limited by heavy snowfall in the Washington area, a crowd of only 7,160 attended the game, the fewest at a Verizon Center Big East game since a Jan. 17, 2006 game with South Florida.

A pair of top 25 opponents await the Hoyas this weekend, Saturday at #8 Villanova and Monday hosting #23 Louisville.

"We don't necessarily look at the standings," said Clark. "We watch some games on TV, but we're focused on what we have to do. If we take care of what we have to do we'll be fine."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       32   3-10  1-2   0-0   3   6  3    9
Clark        27   2-2   3-3   3-6   5   2  2   16
Freeman      31   2-5   3-8   1-1   1   2  0   14
Lubick       21   2-5   0-0   2-3   6   2  3    6 
Vaughn       26   3-3   0-0   3-4   8   4  1    9
Thompson     18   3-4   2-2   3-3   6   1  1   15
Starks       11   0-1   0-1   0-0   2   2  0    0
Sanford       3   0-0   0-1   0-0   0   0  0    0
Dougherty     2   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Sims         10   2-2   0-0   0-0   2   2  2    4 
Benimon      13   0-1   0-1   2-2   3   0  2    2
Caprio        2   0-0   0-0   2-2   0   0  0    2
Ayegba        4   0-0   0-0   0-2   1   0  1    0
Team Rebounds                       2
DNP: Bowen
TOTALS      200 17-33  9-18  16-23 39  21 15   77

Post game coverage follows below.

When #1 Met #2 1/26/11

Is Wednesday's game a big one? History would say so.

A generation ago, Georgetown-St. John's was the among the two big rivalries on the Hoyas' annual schedule, and when the two schools met on Jan. 26, 1985, #2 St. John's ended #1 Georgetown's 29 game win streak in a 66-65 win before 19,035 at Capital Centre.

Georgetown opened the 1984-85 season as the nation's top ranked team, but erased all doubts when it destroyed #2 DePaul 77-57 in mid-December, and talk of a possible undefeated season was on. The loss of Fred Brown, Gene Smith and sophomore Michael Graham (under a one year suspension by coach John Thompson) began to impact the Hoyas in December, where a late season tournament in Puerto Rico led to a pair of narrow wins, including a 61-56 win over North Carolina A&T. A pair of overtime scares followed the Hoyas into January, with an 82-80 win over Boston College and a 52-50 nail-biter over Villanova in which Ed Pinckney finished just 2-9 in the two point loss.

Before a national audience on CBS, Georgetown met St. John's, 14-1 and tied at #2 in the Associated Press poll with Southern Methodist. The Redmen were no stranger to Capital Centre, having defeated Georgetown in each of the prior two seasons in Landover on the back of senior All-American Chris Mullin. Mullin averaged 27.4 ppg in the last five meetings with Georgetown, including a 33 point effort in St. John's 75-71 win at Capital Centre on Feb. 21, 1984, Georgetown's last loss heading into the game.

St. John's coach Lou Carnesecca returned to some old tricks in defending Georgetown in the game. Two years earlier, Carnesecca had inserted 6-4 forward Kevin Williams to pester, harass, and (some would say) hack Ewing at every turn, hoping for some quick fouls and otherwise disrupt play. Ewing finished that game 4-14 from the field and the Redmen won by nine, 76-67. Williams had graduated by 1985 but the strategy was back in force--drop two and three men around Ewing to help center Bill Wennington and force the action outside. Ewing got into early foul trouble as St. John's took a surprising 40-30 lead into intermission despite shooting only 33% from the field.

The key to the game for St. John's was junior college transfer Walter Berry. A high school All-American at New York's Ben Franklin HS in 1982, Berry quit school and hoped a GED would admit him to St. John's, but the NCAA ruled him ineligible, whereupon he retreated to junior college in Pasadena, TX. Berry joined the Redmen in the fall of 1984 and was a major factor in this game, scoring 14 points, 13 rebounds, and holding Georgetown's Reggie Williams to 1-6 from the field. Berry, who would follow Ewing as National Player of the Year in 1986, had declared that he wasn't intimidated by the Georgetown center and the numbers reflected it.

St. John's shot over 60% in the second half. "The Redmen watched an enormous lead ebb from a high of 18 points with 10:46 left, to 13 at 8:48, to eight at 2:35, to three at :19, to one at :05, at which time, in the most intelligent play of the game, Mullin cradled the ball in the safety of out-of-bounds after the Hoyas' final basket," wrote Sports Illustrated. "There would be no more ebbing only because there would be no more time. Had the game lasted another five minutes, Georgetown might have won by 15."

"I've been through this before with Georgetown," said Carnesecca. It's not always enough to be up by 18. Thank God we had that cushion."

With SMU upset by Texas Tech the same day, it was now St. John's at #1, symbolized by a lucky sweater worn by Carnesecca in each of his last five wins. For a month or so in 1985, the Redmen were the toast of college basketball.

Georgetown shot just 40% (27-67) from the field and 50% (11-22) from the line--not unexpected in a season where the Hoyas made just 62% from the line in Big East play, but disheartening nonetheless. Ewing finished with 15 rebounds but only nine points, while Williams was 1-6 against the Redmen and 2-11 two nights later in a 65-63 loss at Syracuse.

From the upsets of that three day weekend, Georgetown went on to win its next 17.

As Ken Denlinger of the Washington Post foretold in the game recap: "For all the fuss, this was a get-acquainted game for both teams. In a month, they will met again. Very likely, they will meet after that, in the Big East tournament. And possibly once more, in the NCAA tournament."

They did, and Georgetown won all three by double digits.

Here's the box score from that game.

Moses        27  2-5   2-3   0  1   3    6
Mullin       40  7-12  6-8   8  3   1   20
Glass        29  4-7   3-4   3  2   3   11
Berry        26  5-9   4-5  13  2   5   14
Wennington   38  2-6   4-5   6  0   3    8
Jones        13  1-4   0-0   3  0   2    2
Jackson      13  1-1   1-1   2  2   2    3
Rowan         8  1-2   0-2   1  0   1    2
Stewart       6  0-1   0-0   0  0   0    0
DNP: Bross, Shurina, Comegy
Team Rebounds                2
TOTALS      200 23-67 20-28 38 10  20   66

Jackson      30  5-10  2-4   2  2   1   12
Wingate      25  7-14  2-3   3  1   5   16
Martin       36  5-12  0-2   6  0   4   10
Williams     19  1-6   0-0   0  0   3    2
Ewing        32  3-7   3-6  15  1   4    9
McDonald     23  2-7   4-7   4  3   3    8
Floyd         1  0-1   0-0   0  0   0    0
Broadnax     14  4-6   0-0   0  0   2    8
Highsmith     2  0-1   0-0   1  0   2    0
Mateen        6  0-2   0-0   3  0   0    0
Dalton       12  0-1   0-0   2  0   2    0
DNP: Lockhart
Team Rebounds                3
TOTALS      200 27-67 11-22 39  7  26   65
Freeman Honored By Big East 1/25/11

Austin Freeman (C'11) was named Big East Player Of The Week for his efforts against Rutgers. Additional details follow in this link to GUHoyas.com.

Georgetown 80, Seton Hall 75 1/19/11

"To say the Hoyas saved their season along the Turnpike might be a stretch. But not by much."--Washington Post

When it's March, and the Georgetown Hoyas are sorting out post-season plans, it may be worth looking back to the last four minutes of an 80-75 win at Seton Hall to remind everyone how thin the margin is to be among the eight Big East schools that are NCAA contenders, versus the eight standing on the outside.

A gutty comeback kept afloat a struggling, albeit #23 ranked, Georgetown Hoyas team, battling back from a six point deficit with under 3:00 to play, to earn an important win at Seton Hall, raising its conference record to 3-4 entering an eight day break. The Hoyas took a pounding in a second half that could have knocked out the season, yet the Hoyas came back off the canvas to outscore the Pirates 13-2 in the final three minutes of the game.

The opening minutes foretold a rough game from the field, as the Hoyas opened 1 for 5 but trailed by only one in the early minutes of the game, thanks to the Pirates missing eight straight attempts and allowing Georgetown to pick up the pace and build its lead to 20-13 midway through the half. The improving Seton Hall defenses began to work the middle to pick up easy baskets, and Georgetown's interior fared poorly in a run that saw the Pirates (8-11, 2-5 B.E.) close twice within a point entering the final two minutes of the half. Georgetown roared back to end the half, hitting nine of its final 11, with Austin Freeman scoring the final eight points of the half, a 6-6 effort for 16 points, that gave the Hoyas a 38-31 lead at the half.

A pair of early baskets from Chris Wright and Hollis Thompson pushed the lead to 43-33, but the wheels were coming off the Georgetown rally. Turnovers and poor defense were enveloping the Hoyas, while Seton Hall was as keeping Freeman off the ball and getting no help in return. To the delight of the heretofore quiet crowd of 7,593 at Prudential Center, the Hoyas missed 12 of its next 13 shots over a six minute period as Seton Hall, led by a resurgent Jeremy Hazell, went on a 19-2 run to erase the 10 point deficit. Hazell, who shot just 1-7 in the first half, scored consecutive baskets to give Seton Hall its first lead since early in the first half, 46-45, then the team followed suit with a run of baskets to stretch out the lead to 52-45 with 12:13 to play. Compounding matters was Georgetown's lack of time outs, where earlier frustrations left the team with just one for the remainder of the game.

Georgetown needed a second wind and got if from Chris Wright, whose three with 11:04 left closed to 52-48, and a pair of Hollis Thompson free throws brought the Hoyas back to two, 52-50, and the game was back on. Seton Hall got a big effort from forward Herb Pope, whose basket with 8:35 left pushed the lead back to five, but a missed free throw by Pope foretold a long night from the line down the stretch for the Pirates in this one.

Georgetown as able to take advantage of an early bonus on Seton Hall by getting points at the line, and Seton Hall was unable to extend the lead past five or six heading into the final minutes. A Freeman jumper closed the mark to three, but Seton Hall's Jeff Robinson drove to the basket and picked up the foul, 73-67, with 3:06 to play.

Every possession mattered down the stretch, and the battered Hoyas made the most of it. On its next series, with Herb Pope in foul trouble, Vaughn was matched up with a Pirate guard and leaned in for the basket, 73-69. On Seton Hall's next possession, Jordan Theodore drove inside but was fouled, but missed the front end of the one and one. Freeman drove inside and was fouled by Pope, picking up Pope's 5th with 2:11 to play, up four, whereupon Freeman sank two free throws to close to 73-71.

Theodore narrowly missed a three with 1:44 to play, and Georgetown went back to Vaughn to tie the score. Vaughn who had appeared to hurt his knee minutes before, finished with 11 points but none more important than these last two....and a rebound to come.

GU free throws,
last 4 min.

Seton Hall free throws,
last 4 min.

Offensive rebounds,
Seton Hall

2nd chance pts.,
Seton Hall

Points in paint,
Seton Hall

Georgetown shooting,
last 4 mins. of each half

GU turnovers

SHU advantage,
fast break points

GU 3 pt. shooting
second half

SHU 3 pt. shooting
second half

Shooting from GU bench

Shooting from SHU bench

With a tie score, Hazell launched up an unforced three that went wide, and in the mix Wright got the ball and was fouled. Wright hit the first but missed the second, giving Georgetown a tenuous lead at 74-73. The Pirates went inside on its next possession, with senior Eniel Polynice missing a layup with 27 seconds left to take the lead. Freeman was fouled immediately thereafter off the rebound and hit both, 76-73, but the Pirates weren't done. On its next possession, a wild exchange around the basket, found Theodore open in the corner, but he narrowly stepped into two point territory to hit the basket, which closed the lead to one but did not tie it, 76-75. Wright was quickly fouled with eight seconds left, making two, 78-75, before Georgetown called its final time out of the game and its first in nearly 12 minutes.

The decision was made to foul Theodore instead of letting him launch another three. "“It’s the first time I’ve ever done it,” Thompson said, adding "Julian promised me he’d get the rebound." Theodore, an 82% free throw shooter entering the game, missed the one and one again, Vaughn got the rebound, and Wright closed it out with free throws, 80-75.

"We were talking about how we were going to defend the final eight seconds and when 'foul the ball handler' came up I said I’d get the rebound if he missed, and [Coach] trusted me and I got it," Vaughn said.

Two missed foul shots. A three that stepped into a two. A missed layup, any of which could have legitimately turned the tide for the Pirates. In the Big East, there is just no room for error.

Four Seton Hall starters accounted for 69 of the team's 75 points. Robinson led the Pirates with 21, Theodore 17, Pope 16, and Hazell 15. For Georgetown, Freeman led all scorers with 28, 17 from Wright and 14 from Hollis Thompson. Georgetown's 52% shooting was nearly overwhelmed by 15 turnovers and a defense that allowed the Pirates, ranked last in the Big East in scoring, to get 44 of its points inside and shoot 55% in the second half.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       37   4-6   1-5   6-8   6   6  1   17
Clark        34   3-5   0-3   2-2   6   3  2    8
Freeman      35   7-9   3-4   5-5   5   3  2   28
Thompson     26   3-3   2-4   2-4   3   1  2   14
Vaughn       31   5-10  0-0   1-2   6   2  2   11
Starks        7   0-1   0-1   0-0   1   0  2    0
Sims          9   0-1   0-0   0-2   0   1  2    0
Benimon       3   0-2   0-0   0-0   2   0  1    0 
Lubick       18   1-1   0-0   0-0   4   2  1    2 
DNP: Sanford, Dougherty, Bowen, Caprio, Ayegba
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      200 23-38  6-17  16-23 36  18 15   80

Post game coverage follows below.

How did the teams fare from the field at each four minute break?

Seton Hall Georgetown Score
Start-16:00 mark 4-7 3-7 SH, 8-7
15:59-12:00 2-4 3-4 G, 14-13
11:59-8:00 0-8 3-4 G, 20-13
7:59-4:00 2-8 2-7 G, 27-23
3:59-halftime 3-5 5-5 G, 38-31
Start-16:00 mark 5-10 2-6 G, 43-41
15:59-12:00 5-7 1-8 SH, 52-45
11:59-8:00 3-6 3-3 SH, 59-54
7:59-4:00 5-6 4-8 SH, 70-65
3:59-game 2-7 3-3 G, 80-75
Georgetown 74, Rutgers 65 1/15/11

Austin Freeman scored 25 points as Georgetown began its long climb back up the 2010-11 Big East standings, winning at Rutgers 74-65.

Georgetown needed a strong opening on the road and got it, scoring the first eight points of the game. Senior Jonathan Mitchell, who had scored 45 points in Rutgers' two prior meetings with Georgetown, scored the Scarlet Knights' first five points but was not a major factor thereafter, going 2-9 the rest of the game. Of greater impact was center Gilvydas Biruta, who was left out of the starting lineup by Rutgers coach Mike Rice for his play versus Connecticut, but who played a big role in the first half in keeping Rutgers (10-7, 1-4 B.E.) close.

Biruta entered the lineup at the 16 minute TV time out and scored on a layup a minute later, cutting the Georgetown lead to 10-7. Each team missed jumpers on its next six possessions combined, and Georgetown led by only four midway in the half until Chris Wright scored his first basket with 8:31 remaining in the half. Wright scored seven of the Hoyas' 13 remaining points of the half, steadying a somewhat shaky Georgetown offense that was ineffective from outside (3-10) and inconsistent on the defensive end, allowing 16 of Rutgers' 25 points from inside in the paint, including 14 from Biruta, who led all scorers at the break as Rutgers stayed within six, 31-25.

"I wanted to wake [Biruta] up," said Rutgers coach Mike Rice in post-game remarks. "He felt sorry for himself after the UConn game. I wanted to wake him up by not starting him and I thought he responded very well.”

A 13-3 run to open the second half gave Georgetown a more comfortable 44-28 lead, but it was by no means secure. Rutgers had embarked on a tight defensive set which gave Georgetown few chances inside and took time off the clock--in fact, in the final 15 minutes of the game Georgetown took only four shots inside the three point arc and picked up only three offensive rebounds amidst Rutgers' interior defense.

From the 16 point lead, baskets by Mitchell and Biruta cut the Georgetown lead to ten, 44-34, and a pair of Biruta free throws cut the lead to seven before Austin Freeman stepped up. Despite shooting only 1-3 from three to date, Freeman's three with 12:02 to play began a remarkable run of 11 straight Freeman points to keep the Hoyas afloat during Rutgers' best run of the game. Following a James Beatty three pointer to cut the lead to seven, Freeman answered with a second three, 50-43, then picked up a pair of free throws on the next possession, 52-43, and capped it off with a senior-wise play with the shot clock running down. Following a pair of Dane Miller free throws to close the gap to seven, Georgetown found itself out of options inside with the shot clock running down. Freeman, with only three seconds on the shot clock and beyond the top of the key, put a head fake on Rutgers' Mike Poole, who jumped up, leading Freeman to lean in for the easy foul call and collect three free throws in the process. Freeman sank all three, the Hoyas were back up 10, and a potential run was averted.

"I saw the shot clock and knew I had to make a play,” said Freeman after the game. “He bit on the head fake and I got fouled.”

With 5:58 left, another Rutgers run cut the lead to eight, hoping for a break in Georgetown's resurgent outside shooting to amass the momentum for a home court rally. Once again, Freeman averted the rally, with a three to go up 11, 61-50. Rutgers closed back to nine at the 2:15 only to see Wright answer back with Georgetown's eighth three of the half, the most in a half since the Nov. 30 game versus Missouri.

Freeman paced all Georgetown scorers with 25, followed by 15 from Wright and 13 from Clark, each of whom having been criticized in the print and online press for their scoring troubles over the past two weeks. While the GU defense had its share of struggles with Rutgers, the three point shooting was vital in a game where a few bad shots could have swung the momentum away for good. This was not the Rutgers of old that lost a lead and would fall back in short order, but one which fought through and through. Outscored a combined 18-6 in the first four minutes of each half, Rutgers played close to even with Georgetown the rest of the way, even amidst the three point barrage. Had the shots faltered late, a fifth Big East loss for the Hoyas was not out of the question.

Points by
Austin Freeman

Points by Freeman
in previous 3 games

GU 3-pt. shooting,
1st half

GU 2-pt. shooting,
2nd half

Georgetown threes in last 10 seconds of shot clock

RU advantage,
points in paint

Turnovers, each team

Field goals from GU bench,
2nd half

Field goals from RU bench,
2nd half

Games scoring 70 or
more points in
Big East this season

Georgetown's record
scoring 70 or more points
in Big East

Georgetown's record
scoring 70 or more points
this season

"We basically won the second half, but what we did [earlier] stopped us from winning the game," said Rutgers forward Dane Miller to the Newark Star-Ledger.

"No one ever lost confidence," Wright said after the game in response to the preparation to end GU's worst start in Big East play in 12 years. "We just weren’t putting the ball in the basket. We feel good about ourselves.”

And more work remains to be done. The schedule continues in New Jersey, with the Hoyas traveling north to Newark to meet Seton Hall on Wednesday.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       35   2-4   3-5   2-3   2   0  2   15
Clark        32   4-4   1-6   2-2   2   1  1   13
Freeman      37   2-6   4-6   9-9   9   4  1   25
Thompson     20   1-5   2-3   0-0   2   0  4    8
Vaughn       31   1-3   0-0   2-2   5   2  2    4
Starks        7   0-1   1-2   0-0   0   0  1    3
Sims          8   1-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    2
Benimon       5   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  1    0 
Lubick       25   1-2   0-0   2-3   4   2  2    4 
DNP: Sanford, Dougherty, Bowen, Caprio, Ayegba
Team Rebounds                       5
TOTALS      200 12-26 11-22  17-19 30   9 14   74

Post game coverage follows below.

The 1,500 Point Club 1/15/11

With his 25 point effort versus Rutgers, Austin Freeman (C'11) becomes the 14th Georgetown player to reach 1,500 points in his college career. Here's a list of those players and where Freeman's name now rests among the best of the Hoya greats over the years:

Player Honors Pts Pro
1. Eric Floyd (1978-82) All-American 2,304 NBA
2. Patrick Ewing (1981-85) All-American 2,184 NBA
3. Reggie Williams (1983-87) All-American 2,117 NBA
4. Alonzo Mourning (1988-92) All-American 2,001 NBA
5. Othella Harrington (1992-96) 1,839 NBA
6. David Wingate (1982-86) 1,781 NBA
7. Mike Sweetney (2000-03) All-American 1,750 NBA
8. Kevin Braswell (1998-02) 1,735
9. Derrick Jackson (1974-78) 1,673
10. Mark Tillmon (1986-90) All-American 1,598
11. John Duren (1976-80) All-American 1,587 NBA
12. Brandon Bowman (2002-06) 1,548
13. Allen Iverson (1994-96) All-American 1,539 NBA
14. Austin Freeman (2007-present) 1,520
Charles Smith Indicted Following Attack 1/14/11

Despite being the victim of an assault and home invasion, former All-American Charles Smith (C'89) is the unlikely target of Prince Georges Country officials, who indicted Smith Tuesday on two counts relative to drugs found in the house when Smith was shot twice in the chest during a home invasion on Oct. 21, according to the Montgomery County Gazette.

The investigation regarding Smith's assailant has not produced a suspect, according to the paper.

Iverson: Not Retired 1/14/11

Contrary to claims in the blogosphere Wednesday, Allen Iverson has not retired from pro basketball, according to the Associated Press.

A lesion has appeared on Iverson's leg which requires surgery, according to Iverson's business manager, Gary Moore.

"It has to be removed and tested to see if it's benign or not," said Moore. "Once that's removed, Allen is going to look to rehabilitate his leg because the doctors tell him he'll be out four to six weeks, He's hoping to be able to play in the [Turkish League] playoffs."

"People need to know that Allen is and always has been a fighter," Moore said. "He's got a battle ahead of him."

Digging A Hole 1/13/11

Georgetown's poor start in Big East play marks only the second time in the Big East era that Georgetown has started with a 1-4 record after the first five games of conference play.

In 1998-99, the Hoyas lost its first four conference games under John Thompson before he resigned and eventually dropped to 1-7 under Craig Esherick before splitting the remaining 10 games and finishing 6-12 in the conference. Georgetown finished 15-16, its first losing season in 27 years.

How do these two seasons's Big East statistics compare to date?

FG% 3FG% FT% OR DR Reb Ast TO Points Allowed Margin
Kevin Braswell, G
Anthony Perry, G
Nat Burton, G
Jameel Watkins, F
R. Boumtje-Boumtje, C
37.3% 29.2% 63.6% 18.2 24.6 42.8 12.2 16.9 66.9 68.7 (1.8)
Chris Wright, G
Jason Clark, G
Austin Freeman, G
Hollis Thompson, F
Julian Vaughn, C
45.6% 25.6% 70.5% 10.2 21.6 31.8 11.8 14.0 63.0 68.4 (5.4)
Pittsburgh 72, Georgetown 57 1/13/11

"Preparation beat desperation."--Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Georgetown continued its march to the bottom of the Big East standings in yet another round of poor results from seniors Chris Wright and Austin Freeman, trailing by 17 at the half to #5 Pittsburgh and never recovered, 72-57. The loss marked Georgetown's third straight and the worst record in conference play in 12 years.

The game was close in the first five minutes, but really not much more than that. Georgetown opened the scoring with a Jason Clark three pointer, whereupon he did not make a basket the rest of the game. The Hoyas proceeded to miss five of its next six but suffered when Chris Wright committed two fouls within seven seconds of each other and spent much of the rest of the half on the bench. Georgetown only trailed by four when the team's lack of focus was exposed at the free throw line. It began when freshman Nate Lubick, entering the game shooting 7-8 from the line in Big East play, missed two free throws, and the Georgetown defense took a leave of absence, giving up consecutive layups to trail by six, 13-7, then watched as Pitt guard Ashton Gibbs went to work on Georgetown's increasingly porous perimeter defense.

Off the 12 minute media time out, guard Travon Woodall fed Gibbs for an open three, 16-7. After a pair of Henry Sims free throws, Woodall fed Gibbs again, 19-9. Two missed layups by Georgetown later, Woodall and Gibbs hit for the hat trick and the Hoyas were down 22-9, scoring just three field goals in the first 11 minutes of the game.

Favorable calls from the officiating crew got Georgetown to the line and the Hoyas failed miserably. Three more missed free throws led to a woeful 4-14 from the line in the first half alone. While not the worst free throw shooting in the last 20 years (a dishonor given to the Georgetown team in 1994 that shot 9-26 from the line against Syracuse and lost by one point), it was enough to give the #5 Pitt team the room to step up its game without much concern that Georgetown would mount any early comeback.

A sign of the times has been the play of Austin Freeman, whose first basket came at the 8:12 mark of the first half, down 13. He followed it with a three pointer on his next attempt with 6:32 left to close to 12, but took only two shots the rest of the half. The Panthers continued to pound the ball inside with impunity, part of a 58% shooting effort in the half which saw Pitt take a 17 point lead into intermission amidst a scattering of boos from the 15,712 in attendance. The 41-24 score was the largest lead any Pitt team had earned on the road in 28 years of Big East play, and marked Georgetown's largest halftime deficit at Verizon Center in the John Thompson III era. Guards Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker outscored the entire Georgetown lineup, 25-24, and despite giving up only three turnovers, Georgetown posted as many fouls as baskets (nine) over the first twenty minutes.

Freeman scored the first two points of the second half but Georgetown didn't seem ready to make a serious run at the Panthers. Georgetown kept the deficit from 14 to 16 until the defense lapsed once again, allowing two steals and four straight layups over just 1:19 that pushed the lead to 22, 55-33, with 14 minutes to play. It was all ESPN could do not to cut away to any of the two other Big East games being broadcast.

A stronger game inside by Julian Vaughn (13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks) kept the score from going beyond this point. Improved free throws by the Hoyas and some more aggressive traps at half court stalled the Pitt onslaught, and GU finally whittled down the lead to 11 with 5:22 left, only for Gibbs to end any false hopes by sinking a three to go up 63-49 and put the game out of reach. It was the last basket of the game for the Panthers, who cleaned up at the line (9-12 in the final 5 minutes) to make up for some poor shooting late in the game.

The two teams combined to shoot just 34% in the second half but the outcome was all but decided and none of Georgetown's offensive weapons were much of a factor. Chris Wright had 10 second half points but only one basket, while Austin Freeman had just one field goal in the final 10:12 of the game. The Hoyas finished 5 for 20 from three point range.

Post-game comments were guarded.

"At this point now we can't be worried about missing shots," said senior Chris Wright. "If we're open, we have to have confidence in each other and confidence in ourselves. That confidence should not waiver at this point. We're veterans and if we have an open shot we will shoot it, and we think it's going in. If we're missing than oh well, we've got to go to the next shot. It's part of the next game. Everybody goes through streaks and slumps, and we just have to continue playing."

Margin of victory, Pitt

Missed free throws
in 1st half, GU

Baskets by Austin Freeman,
Last 10 mins. of game

Baskets by Chris Wright,
Last 10 mins. of game

Baskets by Jason Clark,
Last 10 mins. of game

Baskets by Hollis Thompson,
Last 10 mins. of game

GU free throw shooting,
1st half

GU free throw shooting,
2nd half

Assists, Pitt

Assists, GU

Games scoring 60 or
fewer points in
Big East this season

Georgetown's record
scoring 60 or fewer points
this season

"We've got to bounce back, go to practice tomorrow and head out on the road and get two against two very good teams," said senior center Julian Vaughn. Yes, wins against Rutgers and Seton Hall and a home win over the St. John's Redmen "could" get the Hoyas to .500 for a Jan. 29 game at Villanova, but the way this team has been playing, a 1-7 record is not out of the question either, which could literally capsize the season for a team ranked #9 just two weeks ago.

Which team will it be?

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       26   2-4   1-2   7-8   2   4  3   14
Freeman      35   3-8   2-5   0-1   2   1  2   12
Clark        25   0-0   1-4   2-4   4   0  3    5
Thompson     23   1-2   0-5   0-0   3   0  3    2
Vaughn       29   5-9   0-0   3-6   7   0  3   13
Starks       11   0-2   0-2   0-0   0   0  3    0
Sanford       7   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  2    0
Sims         14   2-3   0-0   2-2   5   0  4    6
Benimon      11   1-1   0-0   0-2   1   0  1    2 
Lubick       19   0-1   1-2   0-2   5   0  2    3 
DNP: Dougherty, Bowen, Caprio, Ayegba
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      200 14-30  5-20  14-25 32   5 26   57

Post game coverage follows below.

Former Player Training Rising High School Star 1/12/11

Wednesday's Washington Post has a feature story on rising high school star Mikayla Venson. If the name is a little familiar, her father has a Georgetown connection.

Better known in his Georgetown days as Michael Tate, Michael Venson played one year at GU (1989-90) before transferring to James Madison. His daughter Mikayla practices daily under his father's tutelage.

"She shows the kind of flair and poise and skill set that could elevate her to the status of one of the top point guards to come out of the area," said Oakton Coach Fred Priester.

West Virginia 65, Georgetown 59 Updated 1/8/11 9:20 pm EST

When Chris Wright and Austin Freeman are on their game, there's no telling how far the Georgetown Hoyas can go. When they are not on their game, there's no telling how far down the standings they will go.

Georgetown turned in its worst effort of the season, committing 18 turnovers, including four of its final five possessions in a horrid 65-59 loss to West Virginia, driving the formerly #13 ranked Hoyas to the bottom third of the Big East conference standings.

Both teams were, to put it kindly, inconsistent. Georgetown opened on a 5-0 run to begin he game, only to see West Virginia score 12 of the next 14. Junior Casey Mitchell provided most of the team's scoring output, hitting his first three shots of the game while the rest of his team shot 1-5. Georgetown answered with a 10-1 run on its own, led by jumpers from Hollis Thompson and Jason Clark to give the Hoyas a 19-13 lead with 8:52 in the half. Despite the fact that the Mountaineers had missed eight consecutive shots, a Kevin Jones jumper kept WVU to within four, 19-15, and Georgetown had failed to distance itself from its opponent during the roughest offensive stretch of the game for West Virginia.

The Georgetown lull was imminent. Two jason Clark baskets were the only field goals over the final 8:52 of the half, as three baskets by WVU tied the score with 4:46 to play and its last three possessions of the half were good, giving WVU a 29-25 lead and a 14-4 run to end the half. Georgetown outshot West Virginia 52% to 40%, but coughed up nine first half turnovers and allowed eight offensive rebounds by the Mountaineers.

Conspicuously absent in the first half stat sheet were Georgetown's two seniors, Austin Freeman and Chris Wright. Freeman looked lethargic and missed two shots, while Wright made a layup at the 15:54 mark and missed his next four. Outside of Wright and Freeman, Georgetown shot 75% for the half.

Georgetown got back into the game at the start of the second half, scoring the first seven points of the half and seeing Wright end a 1-15 streak from three to put the Hoyas into the lead, 32-29. The GU defenses, which had struggled to contain Mitchell's outside shot in the first half, failed inside when Mitchell picked up a basket and foul on consecutive possessions to take back the lead, 36-34, and most of the second half was a series of to and fro between two teams desperately looking for the ability to get ahead of the opponent and hang on.

The turnover bug bit the Hoyas again, and WVU converted on consecutive possessions to go up six, 40-34. Austin Freeman got on the board at the 14:00 mark, and freshman Markel Starks helped rally the Hoyas with a pair of baskets to regain the lead, 43-42. The Hoyas seemed poised to distance itself from the wobbly Mountaineers, but Wright fouled Mitchell on a third basket and a foul to tie the score.

The 13,602 at Verizon Center saw the best basketball of the game in a 59 second swing where Mitchell and Freeman traded four threes back to back, and with 8:00 to go the score was tied at 52. Few would have expected it, but Georgetown was to score only two baskets the rest of the game.

A West Virginia turnover gave the Hoyas a brief advantage, but Freeman was unable to hit a third straight three and Kevin Jones answered with a three of his own, 55-52. Freeman tried to drive in traffic and missed a short shot, and the Hoyas lost a valuable asset when Hollis Thompson fouled out with 5:59 to play. A Truck Bryant jumper pushed the lead to 57-54, but Wright missed badly on a three pointer, and WVU upped the lead to four on an accompanying free throw when Wright fouled reserve guard Joe Mazzulla.

Inside four minutes, Wright went inside to Vaughn who stepped on the endline, and WVU pushed the lead to six via fouls, 60-54. Free throws by Freeman and a three point play by Clark closed the lead to 62-59 with 2:35 left, and the Hoyas needed a stop. They got one. Then two. Then three, and nothing to show for it.

With 2:04 to play, Clark blocked a Bryant shot and the Hoyas were in business, only that Wright threw the ball away. Mitchell narrowly missed a three pointer with 1:30 left, only to see Freeman lose the ball on the sideline (though TV replays showed it deflected off a West Virginia defender). Jones missed a three pointer, and GU got another break, only to see Clark throw the ball away again with 35 seconds to play, with WVU connecting on one of two foul shots to go up by four, 63-59.

"I drove to the basket when I should have been running the play that we designed," Clark said. "I saw something different and I didn't see that drift that was open. Austin was open [and] I should have made the extra pass."

3-pt. shooting by Austin Freeman.
non-conf. games

3-pt. shooting by Austin Freeman,
Big East games

3-pt. shooting by Chris Wright,
non-conf. games

3-pt. shooting by Chris Wright,
Big East games

Last basket by Chris Wright,
1st half

Last basket by Chris Wright,
2nd half

Georgetown turnovers

Free throw advantage, WVU

Rebound advantage, WVU

Offensive rebound advantage, WVU

GU shooting, last 5 min.

GU turnovers, last 5 min.

Georgetown's record vs. West Virginia since 2008-09 season

Off Georgetown's last time out, Clark picked up a third turnover, and WVU added two free throws to close it out, 65-59.

"We had the one possession where Chris dropped it to Julian and it went out of bounds," coach Thompson recalled. "Jason went in the lane and whatever happened there happened there. Third possession we tried to get an isolation for Austin on the side, I thought he was fouled, but we ended up losing that one. We had chances, we had opportunities, but it did not work out the way we wanted them to."

It bears repeating that Georgetown made two baskets in the final eight minutes, but it wasn't like WVU was tearing up the nets, either. In the final 8:00, West Virginia made only three, but connected on 7-9 from the line while Georgetown took only three foul shots down the stretch.

Once again, Georgetown out-shot West Virginia in the second half (48%-40%) and once again, nine second half turnovers proved its undoing. Freeman finished with 11 points in the half but Wright was unable to to do anything in the second. Wright made his only basket of the half 53 seconds into the period and missed his last five for the game.

Casey Mitchell led all scorers with 28 points, accounting for 17 of the Mountaineers' 36 points after halftime. Despite shooting 3-12, Truck Bryant had seven big points for the Mountaineers when their shots weren't falling. For the Hoyas, Jason Clark turned in a strong effort with 7-10 from the field and 16 points, but the three late turnovers was a notable stain upon an otherwise strong effort.

Georgetown was beaten badly on the offensive rebounds, 15-4. Four of the five starters had none whatsoever.

"You go through twenty or thirty seconds of a good defense without the understanding that the possession ends when you get the ball instead of when the shot is taken," Thompson said. "That is something that needs to be addressed."

Thompson tried to be upbeat, but knows the hill to climb is not getting easier with #5 Pittsburgh due on Wednesday.

"We're the same group of guys who were in there two or three weeks ago and now we just have to find out how to get back there."

And soon.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       35   2-6   1-7   2-2   3   2  2    9
Clark        31   6-8   1-2   1-1   5   1  2   16
Freeman      33   1-2   2-6   3-4   2   1  4   11
Thompson     20   3-3   0-1   0-0   3   0  5    6
Vaughn       29   2-3   0-0   0-0   3   3  2    4
Starks        8   1-2   1-1   0-0   0   1  1    5
Sanford       3   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Sims         11   1-1   0-0   2-2   1   0  1    4 
Benimon       7   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Lubick       23   1-2   0-0   2-2   3   2  3    4 
Team Rebounds                       3
DNP: Dougherty, Bowen, Caprio, Ayegba
TOTALS      200 17-27  5-17  10-11 23  10 20   59

Post game coverage follows below.

Big East Conference Call 1/7/11

Coach Thompson's comments on the weekly Big East media conference call were posted Thursday to the Hoya Insider blog.

On the 1-2 start, Thompson remarked: "This league is rough. We start off three games in and we're 1-2 in the league. We had a tough stretch to start with a Wednesday, Saturday, Monday and two of those games on the road. It's a long, long season, so you can't get too down even though you are down because it's an unforgiving league. We've got a few days off to rest and we have a tough West Virginia team on Saturday. You have to play well to win against them."

"League play, stating the obvious, you play the first part of the season to get to this. We are in the toughest basketball conference in the country. You have to be motivated, prepared and excited every night because every team and coach we play is good."

Freeman Named To Wooden Award List 1/7/11

Senior Austin Freeman is among 30 players on the mid-season list for the John R. Wooden Award. A national ballot of 20 will be presented to voters in March, with the award to follow in April.

Other Big East players on the list included Marshawn Brooks (Providence), Rick Jackson (Syracuse), Kemba Walker (Connecticut), and Brad Wanamaker (Pittsburgh).

The Sour Citrus 1/6/11

And in this week's "sour grapes", or more accurately, "sour citrus" department, a Syracuse fan blog is complaining that its often unruly fan base won't have free rein to fill Verizon Center for the teams' Feb. 26 game.

Last year's game featured a number of incidents of unsportsmanlike behavior among Syracuse fans following the 75-71 Orangemen win on Feb. 18, 2010. As this site remarked last year, "If a season ticket holder at the Carrier Dome is caught selling his seats to Georgetown fans at mid-court, you know what he is next year? A former season ticket holder. Selling the best seats in the house to opposing fans should no longer be tolerated as a course of doing business."

"We have been in contact with Verizon Center Group Sales as late as this morning," writes the blog. "They indicated to our Club representative that when tickets are released that we will be the only group that will get tickets, and those tickets will be ready the day they are released. They just don’t know when that will be."

Note: Tickets are still available to Georgetown season ticket holders and mini-plan holders through the ticket office and they are encouraged to order seats prior to January 14. Order early and often.

In contrast, Orangemen fans are protesting the requirement of a membership to the Hoya Hoop Club to get tickets, which the blog calls a "dubious plot". Writes the blog, "We don’t feel it is in the best interest of the [Syracuse Alumni] Club to “donate” at least $2500 to the Georgetown Athletic Department to get “blocks” of tickets as small as 2 together."

Dwayne Bryant's New Home 1/6/11

For many years Dwayne Bryant (B'90) was the head basketball coach at Georgetown Prep, helping develop the talents of such players as Roy Hibbert and, more recently, Markel Starks. Last year, Bryant left Prep and talks to the Bethesda Patch about his new role as athletic director at Stone Ridge, a Montgomery County girls school.

"Being the boys basketball coach at Prep, I ran a program and was responsible for every level of the program. It was a lot like running a mini athletic program," Bryant said. "And I've always said, sports are sports. Competitors are competitors. Anyone who laces them up or puts it on, when they step on the athletic field or the athletic court, they're competing to win, whether it's female or male."

"The more success we have, the more opportunities we have to be seen, the more publicity our athletes can get, the more light will be shed on, 'Yes, you can be a great athlete and a great student,'" he said. "And you can come to a school like Stone Ridge and be a great success."

Allen Iverson's New Home 1/6/11

A few thousand miles east, Allen Iverson (ex'98) is settling into the first of a two year contract playing professional basketball in Turkey. Despite averaging an uncharacteristic 3.5 points a game, the 35 year old guard told Philadelphia Magazine he is enjoying his stay there and has not, according to some reports, squandered his fortune.

"I would be a damn fool to blow that much money and have five kids to take care of," Iverson said. "One thing I do have, and I can say, is that I do have money. A lot.”

As to rumors about excessive drinking, Iverson also says otherwise. "How is it a problem for me?," he responds. "I don't remember getting any DUIs or going to jail for getting drunk in public. I've never been reprimanded or anything, with any team or anything like that, because of any drinking.”

His favorite spot in Istanbul? TGI Friday's restaurant, according to the magazine. “I'm not like I was when I was in Philly, when I was 21, ” Iverson said. “I didn't have five kids. I didn't have the responsibilities I have now.”

St. John's 61, Georgetown 58 1/2/11

Another off night for Georgetown's guards cost the Hoyas its second game within the last six days, a 61-58 loss to St. John's before 8,897 at Madison Square Garden Monday night.

The shooter's flu bit the Hoyas early, with no production from its three leading scorers. Austin Freeman hit the first basket of the game for Georgetown, and none thereafter in the half. Chris Wright did not have a basket until the last ten seconds of the half and Jason Clark was scoreless as Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims kept the Hoyas afloat early. Thompson and Sims were a combined 7-9 from the field, with the remaining Hoyas 1-7 as Georgetown lost an early lead and missed five straight midway through the first half, as the Redmen went on a 15-2 run interrupted only by a pair of free throws by Nate Lubick.

St. John's use of man to man defense seemed to tire the Hoya guards and its passing suffered, with many Georgetown possessions running at or near the end of the shot clock. Wright's lone basket of the half closed the period with the Redmen holding a 32-26 lead, with 14 of its points coming off nine Georgetown turnovers.

Freeman opened the second half with a basket, but again he ended the half scoreless thereafter. Wright added two quick baskets (his only field goals of the half) and a Hollis Thompson basket tied the score at 35. Georgetown was getting nothing from the guards and went four minutes without a field goal, relying on foul shots to stay within six, 44-38, until Vee Sanford and Julian Vaughn keyed a 7-1 run to tie the score with 8:45 to play, 45-45.

Much of the rest of the game ebbed back and forth, with Georgetown having no good answers for Dwight Hardy (20 points) and Justin Brownlee (15 points), effectively driving past Georgetown guards in key situations much of the half. Jason Clark got on the board with 6:56 to play to give Georgetown its first lead in almost 25 minutes of play, 49-48, but Hardy helped recaptured the lead after a zone defense wore down the shot clock and turned the ball back to St. John's.

A Hardy basket and two foul shots from Justin Burrell gave the Redmen a 54-51 lead with 2:36 to play, answered by a Vaughn tip-in, 54-53. The Hoyas held the Redmen on its next series, but on the ensuing drive Wright crashed into his defender and was whistled for charging with 1:52 to play.

The Redmen caught a break on the next series, when forward Paris Horne fell while recovering a rebound and Julian Vaughn was whistled for a foul, though replays showed no appreciable contact between the two. Horne made both free throws, 55-53, when Jason Clark drove across the lane for a strong basket and foul, 56-55, to give Georgetown the lead with 55 seconds left.

Clark's good fortune was lost on the next possession: Hardy drove right by Clark to retake the lead with 40 seconds left, 57-56. Looking for an end to his poor shooting, Freeman missed a mid-range shot with 25 seconds left but Clark picked up the rebound and sank two foul shots, 58-57 with 23 seconds to play.

Last basket by Austin Freeman,
2nd half

Last basket by Chris Wright,
2nd half

Combined shooting
Freeman, Wright, Clark

Turnovers forced by St. John's

Turnovers forced by GU

3-pt. shooting by GU,
second half

St. John's record vs. ranked opponents since 2008-09 season

Georgetown's record vs. St. John's since 2008-09 season

On its final series, Hardy blew past Clark again, but his shot was wide. Brownlee got past Vaughn for the offensive rebound for the tip-in and the lead, 59-58. Down the court, Freeman's shot missed badly and Clark's offensive rebound failed when he stepped on the end line. After a quick foul with three seconds left, Hardy sank two free throws thereafter for the 61-58 outcome.

Georgetown opened the half with four field goals in the first four minutes of the second half, and finished with four in the final eight minutes.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       37   2-2   1-7   0-0   1   4  2    7
Freeman      36   1-5   1-5   1-1   4   2  0    6
Clark        30   2-5   0-1   3-3   7   1  4    7
Thompson     26   4-6   2-4   2-3   7   0  2   16
Vaughn       26   3-5   0-0   2-2   5   1  4    8
Sanford       3   1-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  1    2
Sims         15   3-3   0-0   1-2   3   0  3    7 
Benimon       3   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  1    0
Lubick       24   0-1   0-0   5-6   4   3  3    5 
Team Rebounds                       4
DNP: Starks, Dougherty, Bowen, Caprio, Ayegba
TOTALS      200 16-28  4-17  14-17 35  11 20   58

Post game coverage follows below.

No Luck In The Garden 1/2/11

This was the 10th time in the last 25 years between the schools that a game has been by three points or less. St. John's owns an astounding 9-1 record in these games, and an unbeaten 6-0 in close finishes at Madison Square Garden:

1/26/1985 Lost 65 66 Capital Centre
2/10/1986 Lost 58 60 Capital Centre
2/2/1987 Lost 65 67 Madison Sq. Garden
2/21/1990 Lost 62 63 Capital Centre
1/11/1999 Lost 69 71 Madison Sq. Garden
2/21/2001 Lost 70 73 Madison Sq. Garden
4/3/2003 Lost 67 70 Madison Sq. Garden
1/20/2004 Won 71 69 MCI Center
3/3/2009 Lost 56 59 Madison Sq. Garden
1/3/2011 Lost 58 61 Madison Sq. Garden
St. John's Game Attendance 1/2/11

Gone are the days of big crowds at Madison Square Garden for the Redmen, at least as recent games with Georgetown have been. Here's a review of Garden attendance by games in the SJ-Georgetown series since 1982, with sellouts in bold.

Date Attendance Date Attendance
1/6/82 19,591 3/5/95 17,238
1/8/83 19,591 1/27/96 13,888
1/21/84 15,901 2/1/97 13,121
2/27/85 19,591 1/11/99 9,563
1/11/86 19,591 1/12/00 11,882
2/2/87 17,093 2/21/01 14,168
2/24/88 17,892 2/18/04 6,192
2/25/89 19,591 2/20/05 7,464
2/3/90 17,588 1/8/06 5,812
2/25/91 14,029 2/1/07 7,797
3/2/92 16,816 1/30/08 9,924
2/1/93 11,690 3/3/09 9,959
2/19/94 13,378 1/3/11 8,897
Georgetown 86, DePaul 75 1/1/11

Austin Freeman and Jason Clark scored 21 points as Georgetown had to fight past DePaul, 86-75, at Verizon Center Saturday.

DePaul entered the game with a 14 game Big East losing streak in Big East play and it showed early, as the Blue Demons missed seven of its first eight shots and fell behind 11-3 in the first five minutes of the game. Freshman Brandon Young keyed a DePaul comeback that cut the lead to three midway in the first half, and the Hoyas could not quite shake the Demons thereafter. Despite shooting only 37% for the half, DePaul stayed close at the line and trailed 36-29 at the break.

Unlike games earlier this season where Georgetown was able to pick up a spurt from its backcourt or the three point line, neither was in play in the second half, as DePaul was able to cut off Georgetown's outside shot while being much more successful inside. Much of this came from freshmen Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young, whose efforts in the second half were outstanding. Melvin scored six early points to cut the lead to seven, then converted consecutive Jason Clark turnovers into baskets that cut the Georgetown lead to an uncomfortable one at 51-50 with 14:00 to play.

Georgetown needed a boost to its confidence and found it in senior Chris Wright. Wright, who was shut out in the first half, was fouled on the next play from three point range and sank three straight free throws to get the lead to 54-50, as Georgetown managed just one field goal over a five minute period but held back the Demons at the line.

The DePaul freshmen made a second run midway in the half. Keyed by a pair of assists from Young and a pair of jumpers from Melvin, DePaul took the lead down to three before Wright answered the bell a second time. Wright drove for three layups in a 1:08 ruin that extended the lead back to nine, 66-57, only to see the Blue Demons score six of the next eight to close to five, 68-63. Wright fed Austin Freeman for e three pointer with 6:44 to play, to go up eight, and found Freeman at the 4:20 mark to go back up 11. Georgetown held DePaul to one field goal for over four minutes as layups from Jason Clark, Austin Freeman, and Henry Sims pushed the Hoyas ahead by 15 before bringing in reserves.

"I guess we got stops when we had to coming down the stretch," said coach John Thompson III. "Every win is not going to be pretty. To say this was not an ugly win would be an understatement, but every league win is a damn good win, so we'll take it."

Georgetown shot 58% for the second half, but needed every bit of that against a team that was not prepared to fold as previous DePaul teams were known to do. DePaul's press proved effective in the first half, but their shooting failed late. But as its freshmen begin to develop, that will come in time, and the long DePaul losing streak will come to an end.

But at least it didn't end at Georgetown.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       36   5-10  0-2   7-10  1   7  1   17
Freeman      35   5-7   3-5   2-2   6   4  3   21
Clark        31   9-12  0-3   3-5   4   1  3   21
Thompson     25   1-3   1-2   2-2   5   1  1    7
Vaughn       24   2-5   0-0   5-6  10   1  4    9
Starks        8   0-3   0-0   0-0   1   0  0    0
Sanford       4   0-0   1-2   0-0   0   1  0    3
Sims         11   2-3   0-0   0-1   7   1  5    4 
Benimon      14   1-1   0-0   0-0   2   1  1    2
Ayegba        1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Lubick       11   1-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  2    2 
DNP: Dougherty, Bowen, Caprio
TOTALS      200 26-45  5-14  19-26 36  17 20   86

Post game coverage follows below.


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