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Georgetown Basketball: February 2004 News Archive

Pittsburgh 68, Georgetown 58 2/24/04

"Chants of "Let's Go Pitt ... Let's Go Pitt," echoed through the MCI Center. And, if you wouldn't have known better, you might have sworn it was a home game for the Panthers. "That got us going," Krauser said of the crowd. "We didn't want to disappoint all those cheering fans."--Joe Bendel, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

For the second straight game, Georgetown threw a scare into a nationally ranked opponent, but could not hold a lead.

A 17-0 Pitt run paced the #3-ranked Panthers past the Hoyas, 68-58, the fifth straight loss by a Georgetown team needing only one win to qualify for the Big East tournament, and its fourth straight game scoring fewer than 60 points.

Georgetown opened the game with a strong effort, shutting down Pitt's outside shooting and picking up turnovers. Pitt gave up five turnovers in the first nine minutes as Georgetown built a 17-8 lead off of 7-13 shooting. The Hoyas held the Panthers to one field goal in its next 4:20, as a pair of Brandon Bowman jumpers and an Ashanti Cook three pointer paced the Hoyas to a surprising 26-13 lead with five minutes to play in the half.

The Georgetown coaching staff did not substitute freely in the game, and the starters began to slow down towards the end of the half. From its 26-13 lead, Georgetown missed five of its final six shots as Pitt closed to 28-20 at the half. Pitt had surrendered turnovers on seven of its final 10 first half possessions, and had given up more turnovers in the half (14) as they average per game.

The Panthers continued to struggle entering the second half. Numerous three point attempts were wide, so it moved inside. Freshman center Chris Taft scored eight straight points on dunks and short jumpers to close the lead to 37-31 with 13:19 to play, but gerald Riley answered back with five of his own to extend the lead to 39-31 with 12:55 to play. A pair of Bowman free throws with 11:55 to play gave Georgetown a 41-33, whereupon Krauser and the Pitt defense (and fans) woke up.

Still struggling on shooting, the Panthers climbed into the game on the foul line scoring four from the line to close to 41-37, followed by a Carl Krauser three to narrow the lead to 41-40, part of a 17-0 run where the Hoyas scored one field goal in eight minutes. But unlike previous droughts where the Hoyas couldn't hit the side of a barn, this streak was primarily a result of defense. For a four minute run from 8:54 to 4:49, Georgetown took only four shots, but more importantly did not get a rebound on any of the possessions (more on that below). By the time Jaron Brown connected on free throws with 2:15 to play, Pitt was up 56-44 and MCI Center lived up to its reputation as the "Friendliest Road Arena In The Big East", with Pitt cheers bellowing across the empty arena.

The Hoyas didn't give up, forcing three Pitt turnovers in a 47 second span and closing the gap to 56-51 with 1:28 to play. The Panthers closed out the game at the free throw line, with 10 of its final 12 coming from the free throw line. Krauser scored 19 of his game high 26 points in the second half.

Gerald Riley led all Georgetown scorers with 25 points. For the game, Georgetown shot 42 percent, gave up only 10 turnovers, and picked up 11 steals. Its three point shooting was poor, as usual, but that didn't cost them the game. Frequent fouls gave Pitt a huge advantage at the foul line, with 33 attempts to Georgetown's 10. These stats didn't tell the tale of the game, either. What did? Rebounds.

Pittsburgh outrebounded Georgetown 40-20. Yes, by twenty.

In the second half alone, Georgetown was outrebounded by a stunning margin of 24-8, including a 16-4 edge on defensive rebounds. In the middle, fifth year senior Courtland Freeman was outrebounded by freshman Chris Taft 12 -3. With no second chances to score, the Pitt defense would prove too much at the end.

The Georgetown half of the box score follows below. The bench again provided little help (no shots, one rebound, six fouls), but the coaching staff opted to go with the best it had: the starters averaged over 36 minutes each.

          MIN   2FG  3FG   FT  REB  A   PF  PTS
Cook      39   4-5   2-7   1-2   1   4   0   15
Bowman    39  4-12   0-3   2-2   9   1   3   10
Freeman   36   2-6   0-0   0-0   3   2   4    4
Owens     31   2-3   0-0   0-0   1   1   4    4
Riley     38  8-14   2-7   3-4   2   0   4   25
Faulkner   3   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0   2    0
Reed       3   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0   0    0
Causey     6   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0   4    0
Kilk.-Diaw 5   0-0   0-0   0-2   0   0   2    0
Team Rebounds                    3
DNP: Izzo, Beal, Dizdarevic  
TOTALS   200 20-40  4-17  6-10  20   8  23   58

Post-game articles follow below.

Syracuse 57, Georgetown 54 2/21/04

"That was an incredible shot. I was getting ready for overtime." -Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim

Spoiling Georgetown's best defensive game of the season, Gerry McNamara hit a three pointer at the buzzer to lift #24 Syracuse past Georgetown, 57-54, before 5,389 Georgetown fans and another 10,000 from Syracuse at MCI ("The Friendliest Road Arena In The Big East") Center.

Georgetown arrived on the court wearing gray uniforms for the first time since the 1996-97 season, and opened with another blast from the past: defense. Following a 3-2 Syracuse lead, the Hoyas took control by forcing turnovers--Syracuse spotted GU seven turnovers in the first eight minutes of play, but 3 for 13 shooting gave the Hoyas only a one point lead, 8-7. The Hoyas led by as many as five early, 22-17, thanks to a combined 2 for 9 shooting by Syracuse's Hakim Warrick and Gerry McNamara, its leading scorers. Utilizing an effective mix of interior and exterior defense, the Hoyas held Syracuse without a field goal for the final four minutes of the half, while its offense sputtered to a surprising 25-22 lead at the half.

The Hoyas maintained the shutout for the first 3:10 of the half, extending the lead to 30-24 before SU got into the scoring column. The Orange whittled the lead down to three points midway in the half, whereupon a Hakim Warrick jumper gave Syracuse a 37-36 lead. To its credit, the Hoyas bent but did not break, and a Gerald Riley three renewed the Hoyas confidence and regained the lead, 39-37.

Georgetown turned the surprising lead back to six, 47-41, as freshman Matt Causey led the drive at point, with Ashanti Cook moving to a shooting guard position. Cook struggled from the field, but also struggled against McNamara during a critical stretch where McNamara, 1 for 7 from three point range, hit consecutive threes to narrow the lead to 49-48 with 4:20 to go.

On its next series, Georgetown connected on one of two free throws, and each team traded a pair of free throws to a 52-50 score with 2:12 left. On the possession, Cook turned the ball over and Josh Pace went in for the tying score, 52-52. On its next series, Darrel Owens lost the ball on the inbound pass with :57 to play, and Syracuse took the lead thirty seconds thereafter, 54-52.

On its final possession, Matt Causey missed a three pointer that was scooped up and put in by Courtland Freeman with :05 to play, 54-54. On the ensuing play, Warrick was surrounded by Bowman and Freeman, but found McNamara cutting away from Owens to the top of the key. With Owens and Cook swarming in, McNamara launched the three with 0.6 seconds left for the win.

There was considerable consternation from those watching on TV arguing that Georgetown should have immediately fouled Warrick, as the ESPN broadcast showed that Georgetown had two fouls to give. However, game statistics noted that the Hoyas already had six fouls and the next would have given Syracuse the bonus.

The much improved defensive effort over St. John's did not obscure another poor shooting effort from the field. Brandon Bowman shot a career low 3 for 16, followed by Gerald Riley (3-13) and Courtland Freeman (2-8). Bowman and Riley combined for a miserable 4-24 (16%) from inside the three point arc. The bench supplied only two field goals.

The coaching staff continues to be frustrated by the poor shooting. "We definitely missed some shots again, and that's been a common refrain of mine the whole season," coach Craig Esherick said after the game. The Hoyas are shooting at a league-low 31 percent rate heading into the stretch run of the season.

The loss, its fourth in a row and seventh of the last eight, leaves the Hoyas only a game ahead of Miami for the 12th and last spot in the Big East Tournament. Next up: #4-ranked Pittsburgh.

The Georgetown half of the box score follows below.

           MIN   2FG  3FG   FT  REB  A   PF  PTS
Cook        33  5-10  0-3  3-4   5   3   1   13
Riley       35   1-9  2-4  5-6   4   0   3   13
Owens       27   2-6  1-2  0-0   5   0   1    7
Bowman      38  3-15  0-1  1-2  12   4   2    7
Freeman     24   2-8  0-0  2-2   5   1   4    6
Faulkner    4    0-0  0-0  0-0   0   1   0    0
Reed        1    0-0  0-0  0-1   1   0   0    0
Causey     21    0-1  1-3  2-2   0   4   3    5
Kilk.-Diaw 17    1-3  0-0  1-2   8   0   1    3
DNP: Izzo, Beal
TOTALS    200  14-52 4-13 14-19 40  13  15   54

Post game links follow below. A photo of McNamara's shot is found in the link to The HOYA.

Where's the Bench? Stats Updated 2/21/04

One of the troublesome stats during the Hoyas' Big East run has been the lack of scoring from the bench.

With RaMell Ross injured, only one of the six remaining reserves entered the season with prior conference experience. However, with 23 games into the season, the six man bench has nonetheless combined to average just over six points in Big East play this season:

    Ray Reed: 12 games, 44 points (3.7 ppg)
    Amadou Kilkenny-Diaw: 12 games, 15 points (1.3 ppg)
    Matt Causey: 12 games, 10 points (0.8 ppg)
    Omari Faulkner: 9 games, 3 points (0.3 ppg)
    Sead Dizdarevic: 7 games, 2 points (0.3 ppg)
    Ken Izzo: 0 games, 0 points (0.0 ppg)

Over the last 20 years, bench support has followed a slow decline for the Hoyas:
Year # On Bench PPG % of Total
1983-84 7 28.3 37.3%
1988-89 10 24.2 32.8%
1993-94 9 17.7 26.2%
1998-99 8 13.0 18.9%
2003-04 6 6.4 9.1%
Daily Orange On Hoyas' Slide 2/20/04

The Syracuse Daily Orange has an article on the Hoyas' slide from national prominence. Among the reasons: Georgetown's lack of impact recruits.

"Coach Thompson just had a way of attracting big name players to the school," said Daymond Jackson (C'99). "He just made a great connection with a lot of people, and with the success he had at the school, you knew you were going to a top program."

"Even though I knew some of what Coach Thompson was responsible for, you don't really get a feel for all the things he did until you sit in that chair," Coach Esherick told the paper. "Every time there is a phone call to be made, the head coach is the one who people want to talk to. The toughest adjustment has been just the number of things that I'm now responsible for."

St. John's 65, Georgetown 58 2/19/04

"Still undermanned, St. John's beat a woeful Georgetown team, 65-58, last night at Madison Square Garden, proving that for at least one night, there was a basketball team worse than St. John's."--New York Times

"Before the game, Courtland [Freeman] said 'Don't underestimate anybody because anybody can win.' And I think a lot of people came out lackadaisical."--Darrel Owens, in The HOYA

"We'd sure hate to be in Georgetown's shoes today."--Duke Basketball Report

Displaying the worst elements of an unprepared, unmotivated, and increasingly unresponsive team, the Georgetown Hoyas turned in its worst on-court performance in three decades in a humbling 65-58 loss. The Big East setback came against a winless St. John's team with only four scholarship players, a team which lost its last three games by an average margin of twenty points.

And this was no buzzer beater, either. Georgetown last held a lead with 15 minutes to play in the first half, despite picking off lazy St. John's passes and owning an edge on at least three player to player matchups. St. John's two best players, guards Darryl Hill and Andre Stanley, had little opposition in shooting 13 for 26 (50%) and combining for 35 of St. John's 65 points. Georgetown's starting tandem of Ashanti Cook and Gerald Riley combined to shoot 5 for 20 (25%), with 11 turnovers between them.

Still, this was a team effort.

Georgetown opened the game with an effort and attitude more akin to a game with Grambling State, replete with poor shots, out of position passing, and numerous mistakes unfit for a Big East conference game. At one point, the Hoyas were outrebounded 10-2 on the offensive boards, and finished with six baskets in the last 16 minutes of the half. Its 11 turnovers allowed the Redmen a 28-24 lead and an dangerous intangible for a winless team--confidence.

The Hoyas tied the score at 30-all but continued a pattern of errors and bad judgment which only bolstered the St. John's cause. Once known as the best shooting team he had seen at Georgetown, Craig Esherick saw his starter-heavy roster whiff on its first 10 three point attempts, while Gerald Riley turned in the poorest performance of his college career, failing to collect a single field goal until 3:29 to play.

And amazingly, the Hoyas were still down only five with 3:29 to play, but a Darryl Hill three pointer at the shot clock buzzer put away the game with 1:45 to play. Georgetown's 11 first half turnovers had by then doubled to 22, allowing the Redmen more than enough opportunities to build its lead. A brief run of garbage-time threes narrowed the gap but never threatened it, and frequent fouling help St. John's pad the final score.

No coach or player escapes scrutiny for a wholly embarrassing effort. The repercussions from such a poor showing will not be soon forgotten, but this is not the end of the road. Syracuse University (and five or six thousand of its own paying customers) arrive at "The Friendliest Road Arena In The Big East" on Saturday.

And this modest proposal to the coaching staff: Spare us from the "we just didn't do well, but we'll try harder next time" stories. Send a message to a starting five that has grown soft, complacent and increasingly non-responsive in game situations: sit the starters for the first five minutes against Syracuse. Every single one of them.

Let's see what Ray Reed, Matt Causey, Ken Izzo, Sead Dizdarevic, and Amadou Kilkenny-Diaw can do. (Can they do any worse than seeing Riley, Bowman, Cook, Owens and Freeman open the game 2 for 13 against St. John's?) So even if the Hoyas trailed by 10 or 15 at the first time out, let them do so with some enthusiasm, with some drive, and with some heart...all of which was in short supply Wednesday at the Garden.

If you do your best, there is no dishonor in losing. Make no mistake: this was a dishonorable game in every sense of the word.

The Georgetown half of the box score follows below.

           MIN   2FG  3FG   FT  REB  A   PF  PTS
Cook       37   3-8   1-3  0-0   4   2   4    9
Riley      32   0-3   1-6  3-6   3   1   5    6
Bowman     38  7-13   1-4  3-5   9   3   0   20
Owens      31   2-3   0-4  1-1   2   4   4    5
Freeman    25   3-7   0-0  4-4   4   0   4   10
Faulkner    3   0-0   0-0  0-0   0   0   0    0
Reed       14   0-1   2-4  0-1   3   1   3    6
Causey      5   0-0   0-0  0-0   1   1   2    0
Kilk.-Diaw 14   1-3   0-0  0-0   6   0   3    2
Dizdarevic  1   0-0   0-0  0-0   0   0   0    0
DNP: Izzo, Beal
TOTALS    200 16-48  5-21 11-17 32  12  25   58

Extensive post-game coverage follows in the links below.

Gaughan Debuts At NASCAR 2/15/04

Former basketball walk-on Brendan Gaughan (B'97) finished 19th in his NASCAR debut Sunday at the Daytona 500.

"I'm never satisfied with 19th, but I'm glad we got out of here," Gaughan said in this link to ESPN.com. Gaughan was penalized one lap for exceeding the maximum speed out of the pits, but was one of only two rookies to place in the top 20 of the event.

Temple 59, Georgetown 53 2/15/04

Let's be up front: if Georgetown plays St. John's on Wednesday like it did Saturday against Temple, expect St. John's to win.

A nightmarish combination of offensive futility paced the sliding Georgetown Hoyas in an embarrassing effort against Temple University Saturday before an ESPN national audience. That the game was actually up for grabs in the final minute of play suggests how little solace each team can take following Temple's 59-53 win.

Georgetown started strong, hitting four of its first six shots and leading the home standing Owls 10-1. From there, the team once labeled by Craig Esherick as the best shooting team he's coached missed its next nine shots as Temple took the lead, for good, with 12:01 to play in the first half. Following a Gerald Riley jumper, the Hoyas fared no better for shooting, given that they started giving the ball away with clockwork precision. In a five minute stretch of the first half, here was the offensive sequence for the Hoyas:

9:33: Turnover (Cook)
9:04: Foul (Riley)
8:39: Turnover (Cook)
8:19: Turnover (Kilkenny-Diaw)
8:15: Foul (Kilkenny-Diaw)
8:03: Turnover (Cook)
7:59: Foul (Riley)
7:29: Turnover (Riley)
7:22: Missed three pointer (Riley)
7:10: Missed three pointer (Bowman)
7:03: Basket (Freeman)
6:20: Turnover (Causey)
6:04: Turnover (Owens)
5:21: Turnover (Riley)
4:34: Missed layup (Faulkner)

Amidst this futility, it was amazing that following a Gerald Riley jumper, the Hoyas were only down one, 22-21, with 3:26 left. By the end of the half, however, Temple had begun to turn up the heat, and held Georgetown to an Omari Faulkner field goal with 1:30 in the half as its only remaining points. David Hawkins scored 19 of the Owls' 29 as Temple took a six point halftime lead.

The second half opened with the worst offensive run in a generation. Georgetown missed the first twelve shots of the half, from long three pointers to even a breakaway dunk. Gerald Riley (0-4), Omari Faulkner (0-3), Brandon Bowman and Ashanti Cook (each 0-2) and Courtland Freeman (0-1) contributed to a 10 minute, 10 second drought (11:40 when going back to the end of the first half) before a Riley jumper got the Hoyas on the field goal board. At that point, following a 4 for 6 start, GU had missed 29 of its next 34 shots.

Temple took no great advantage in Georgetown's plight, because the Owls were considerably worse in shooting than the Hoyas, and saw their 14 point lead cut to 10 with 8:50 to play when forward Michael Blackshear took a pair of shots at Georgetown guard Matt Causey, sending Causey twice to the floor. At that point, Temple coach John Chaney sent Blackshear to the locker room. "He's not my kind of a player," Chaney said after the game. "It's a stupid play. It could have cost us the game, easily. It's just not smart."

Anything resembling an offensive output would have raised the lead to routish proportions, but the Owls were unable to do so. With the Owls shooting only 26% from the field and 2 for 12 from three point range in the second half, the Hoyas inched back, cutting the lead to seven with 1:32 to play. Consecutive three pointers by Ashanti Cook narrowed the lead to 57-53 with :23 left, but Brandon Bowman missed a three pointer with :10 left and Temple closed out the game with free throws.

For the game, Georgetown managed some woeful statistics: 30% shooting, 5 for 23 from three point range, more turnovers (18) than field goals (17), and giving up 19 offensive rebounds. Gerald Riley nominally led all GU scorers but managed a troubling 5 for 16. Brandon Bowman was little better, going 4 for 14. Ashanti Cook scored 12 but his four field goals came in the first minute of the last three minutes of the second half. In the 25 playing minutes in-between, Cook was 0 for 5, with six turnovers. Darrel Owens, for the third game in the last four, virtually disappeared, with no points in 10 minutes. In games against Villanova, Virginia Tech, and Temple, Owens has totaled only four points.

David Hawkins led the Owls with 28 points. Hawkins shot 8 for 19 (42%) while the rest of the team shot 10 for 35 (28%).

Having dropped eight of its last 11, The Hoyas' offensive mindset in recent games leaves it ill-prepared for a St. John's team with literally nothing to lose.

The Georgetown half of the box score follows below.

           MIN   2FG  3FG   FT  REB  A   PF  PTS
Cook       29   2-6   2-3   2-2   3   4   3   12
Riley      39   3-6  2-10   3-4   2   4   5   15
Owens      10   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   2   2    0
Freeman    38   3-7   0-0   5-5   6   0   5   11
Bowman     39   3-5   1-9   0-1  12   1   4    9
Faulkner   18   1-5   0-0   1-2   5   0   2    3
Reed        2   0-1   0-0   0-0   1   0   0    0
Causey     22   0-0   0-1   3-6   3   5   3    3
Kilk.-Diaw  3   0-1   0-0   0-0   0   0   1    0
DNP: Izzo, Beal, Dizdarevic
TOTALS    200 12-31  5-23 14-20  33  16  25   53

Post-game coverage follows below.

Virginia Tech 80, Georgetown 65 2/11/04

With a defensive effort better suited to one of its December opponents, the Georgetown Hoyas offered little resistance in a 80-65 loss at Virginia Tech Wednesday.

These are not the Hokies of recent memory, having upset Providence in its previous game by opening up its shooting beyond Big East leading scorer Bryant Matthews. Still, with Tech ranked in the bottom three in many Big East statistical categories, this was an opportunity for the Hoyas to move to the next tier of the standings and step ahead of the circling waters that will drain the bottom two Big East teams from the conference tournament seedings in early March. But with no help for Gerald Riley outside and no defense inside, the Hoyas are back in the mess.

The game followed the pattern of the Hoyas 15 point loss to Villanova two weeks earlier, a team that got down and never seriously challenged. The Hoyas' shooting started off poor, as usual, with only Gerald Riley keeping the game close early in the half. Georgetown closed to five at 22-17, thanks to Riley's 10 early points. As Riley kept the faith, the Hoyas' weak interior defense was easy pickings for a Hokie team who successfully adjusted to leading scorer Bryant Matthews' foul trouble. Up five at 22-17, the Hokies connected on six of their next eight shots while GU missed five of its next eight, leaving Tech a comfortable 36-27 halftime lead. The Hokies scored 28 of their 36 first half points in the paint, while the Hoyas managed only six points inside. Let's repeat that: in points in the paint, Tech scored 28, Georgetown scored 6.

The second half opened with more of the same, with Tech opening up a 14 point lead until the Hoyas' shooting gained a second wind. Georgetown hit seven of its next ten field goals to close to 51-44, but surrendered seven straight to fall back to 58-44, and never got closer than eight thereafter. Riley fouled out with 3:07 to play with the Hoyas down 10, 69-59, and Tech coasted. Five Hokies finished in double figures as Tech shot 55% from the field, outrebounded the Hoyas 37-26, collected 13 steals, and shut out the Hoyas in blocked shots, 5-0.

The shooting from guard Ashanti Cook and forward Darrel Owens was especially poor on Wednesday. Any spark of offense from these outside shooters might have propelled Georgetown past the Hokies in the first and early second half, but Cook and Owens provided none of that. Together, they finished 0 for 10, 0-5 from three point range.

The secret to Virginia Tech's success? “It's very simple,” said head coach Seth Greenberg, in this quote from The HOYA. “We defended".

The same cannot be said of his opponent.

The Georgetown half of the box score follows below.

          MIN   2FG  3FG  FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Cook      30   0-3   0-4  1-2   3   4   1    1
Riley     32   3-4   5-9  3-4   3   1   5   24
Owens     22   0-1   0-2  2-2   1   1   3    2
Bowman    37  5-11   0-1  5-9   8   1   5   15
Freeman   36   4-6   0-0  2-4   6   0   3   10
Faulkner   2   1-2   0-0   0-2  2   0   1    2
Reed      21   2-4   1-1   2-2  1   1   2    9
Causey    18   1-4   0-0   0-0  2   1   3    2
Dizdarevic 1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0   0   0    0
Kilk.-Diaw 1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0   0   1    0
DNP: Izzo, Beal
TOTALS   200 16-35  6-17  15-25 26   9  24  65

Post-game coverage follows below.

Shooting Star(s) Updated 2/11/04

Senior Gerald Riley is the subject of a feature in the Washington Post sports section following his 35 and 37 point efforts against Miami in the past week.

"Gerald is a shooter; he has that mentality," said coach Craig Esherick. "I never thought that anybody would be able to take away his confidence, including me. There's nothing I can say that will make him lose confidence in his shot. [Allen] Iverson was like that; you couldn't tell him that the ball wasn't going to go in. So with players like that, you talk about shot selection."

From the Washington Times, Ken Wright discusses the scoring of both Gerald Riley and Brandon Bowman, including a comment from Bowman about his near-transfer last summer.

"It has worked out, and I guess I made a good decision," Bowman said. "I truly am enjoying this year, I really am, even with the couple losses that we've had against good teams. We can always do better, but I think we're playing at a high level that many people didn't expect."

Georgetown 80, Miami 64 2/8/04

Miami, meet Gerald Riley. Again.

One week removed from a career high 35 points against the Hurricanes, Gerald Riley did it again--scoring 29 second half points and 37 overall to rescue the Hoyas in a critical Big East game, 80-64, at MCI Center.

Both teams started the game ragged, collecting seven turnovers in the first five minutes. Turnovers were a recurring theme for Miami, as they surrendered 15 in the first half, but Georgetown could not convert. Georgetown was scoreless for the half from outside the paint, as Miami built up a 28-16 lead in the final five minutes of the half, cut to eight at the break, 33-25. The Hoyas shot reasonably well from two 7-16 (44%), but were 0-7 from the three point line.

Down 38-35, Darrel Owens' three with 14:45 to play broke the outside drought, and Riley went to work. Riley scored 13 of the Hoyas' next 15 straight points to increase the lead to 53-42 with 9:40 to go, and the Hoyas never looked back. Miami closed to 56-48 after Courtland Freeman picked up his fourth foul, but the defense kept the lead at a stable ten point margin, then saw the Hoyas break open the lead to 13 with 3:36 to play, and finish the game with a 55 point second half.

The Hoyas' defensive focus on Darius Rice paid big dividends. Rice was held to 5-15 shooting, while Robert Hite who averaged 16.9 points entering the game, was held to eight. Darrel Owens had a superb defensive game, while Matt Causey, who saw extensive time after Ashanti Cook was in foul trouble, ran the offense flawlessly. For the game, Miami went 7:06 without a field goal during Riley's run, and gave up 23 turnovers, making an even 46 miscues in two games against the Hoyas. In fact, in the final 25 minutes of the game, Georgetown outscored Miami 64-33.

Superlatives are in order for Gerald Riley's effort. The 29 points in a single half has been equalled only once before in school history, and Riley is the first player to post two 35+ point games in a single week since Allen Iverson scored 37 and 38 points in consecutive games in March 1996. Riley's perfect 10-10 from the foul line is a mark reached by only five other Hoyas in the program's history, by Jim Barry (13-13 in 1965), Mark Gallagher (12-12 in 1972), Michael Jackson (12-12 in 1984), David Wingate (10-10 and 11-11 in 1983), and Craig Shelton (10-10 in 1980).

In fact, Riley's 35+ point efforts of the past week make him only the 20th Georgetown player ever to do so, and he had some company in Saturday's game--the first Hoya to score 35, Andy Kostecka (C'47) was in attendance as part of a halftime tribute to the 1942-43 NCAA national finalist team.

The ESPN Regional announcers calling the game noted a quote from Georgetown radio announcer Rich Chvotkin, who said before the broadcast that this could be the biggest game of the year. With the specter of two Big East teams not making the conference tournament, the threat to Georgetown in this game was real--lose to Miami, then risk falling out of the top 12 at Virginia Tech. At 4-5, the Hoyas are a step ahead of the Hurricanes, while Miami, at 3-6 and having dropped five straight, is now squarely on the 12th place "hot seat" and must stay above the fray that currently has Virginia Tech in 13th place.

It's about to get very interesting in the Big East.

The Georgetown half of the box score follows below.

          MIN   2FG  3FG  FT    REB  A  PF  PTS
Cook      25   0-1   0-1   0-0   1   6   5    0
Riley     38  9-12   3-6 10-10   4   1   4   37
Owens     38   4-8   1-3   2-2   1   3   3   13
Bowman    40   5-9   0-4  9-11   9   4   0   19
Freeman   26   5-9   0-0   0-0   6   0   4   10
Faulkner   2   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   1   0    0
Reed       4   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0   0    0
Causey    18   0-0   0-0   1-2   0   3   3    1
Kilk.-Diaw 9   0-1   0-0   0-0   0   0   0    0
DNP: Izzo, Beal, Dizdarevic 
TOTALS   200 23-40  4-14  22-25 22  18  19   80

Post-game coverage follows below.

Big East: More Troubles At St. John's Updated 2/6/04

Midway through the worst season in its storied history, St. John's University has dismissed one starter and suspended four other players following Monday's 71-51 loss at Pittsburgh.

A Friday press release identified the players as follows: "Grady Reynolds, having been involved in a previous disciplinary incident, has been expelled from the University; Elijah Ingram and Abraham Keita have been suspended from the University, and St. John's is seeking their expulsion pending a hearing. They have also been permanently suspended from the team. Two other players, Lamont Hamilton and Mohammed Diakite, have been suspended from the team pending further investigation for a violation of team rules."

Four scholarship players and four walk-ons took the floor at Madison Square Garden in an 87-61 loss to Boston College on Sunday.

Here are links to coverage:

Villanova 75, Georgetown 60 2/6/04

Dwight Wilbur. Harold Jensen. Chuck Everson. Roscoe Harris. Jonathan Haynes. Michael Bradley.

Now, welcome Curtis Sumpter.

Fresh off a 1 for 14 effort against St. Joseph's, Sumpter became the latest Villanovan to post a career performance on a Georgetown team, going 9 for 11 for 24 points in a surprisingly easy 75-60 win at MCI Center.

Both teams played fairly well in the first half. The Hoyas led by as many as six at 20-14 before Villanova went on a 10-2 run behind Sumpter's hot hand. An Ashanti Cook jumper at the buzzer closed the count to 32-31 at the half, as Sumpter's 13 points led the way. The Wildcats shot a blistering 75% (12-15) from two point range and 2-9 from three point range, but the Hoyas stayed close with 45 percent shooting (13-29).

The first part of the second half followed similar form. With 13:22 to play, Georgetown led 42-41 when the roof fell in. Highlighted by three Derrick Snowden three pointers in consecutive series, the Wildcats ran past the G-men on a 19-2 run that sealed the game with 10+ minutes to play. The Hoyas closed to eight but never seriously threatened the outcome.

After a career-high 35 against Miami, Gerald Riley returned to form Thursday, finishing 5 for 15. Brandon Bowman led all GU scorers with 18, while Ashanti Cook scored 12 in the first half but none in the second. The bench was a non-factor again, with three field goals in 34 minutes combined time.

The stat of the game was not in scoring, though. As further evidence of the team's severe gap in the middle, Villanova held the Hoyas to a season low 19 rebounds, with only 13 on the defensive end. It's only the third time in the Big East era that the Hoyas have collected fewer than 20 rebounds in a 40 minute game, excepting that amorphous "team rebounds" stat.

The 15 point margin is the largest of any Villanova win in the series during the Big East era, and leaves Villanova one of only two Big East schools (UConn being the other) never to have lost on the Hoyas' "home" floor.

The Georgetown half of the box score follows below.

          MIN   2FG    3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Cook       38   3-7   2-2   0-0   2   3   5   12
Riley      32  3-11   2-4   1-2   1   3   3   13
Owens      31   1-3   0-2   0-0   1   1   5    2
Bowman     40  5-11   1-1   5-5   8   2   1   18
Freeman    25   3-7   0-0   3-3   4   0   2    9
Faulkner    1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0   0    0
Reed       18   2-4   0-1   0-1   1   2   2    4
Causey      5   0-0   0-1   0-0   1   1   1    0
Kilk.-Diaw 10   1-1   0-0   0-0   1   0   0    2
DNP: Izzo, Beal  
TOTALS    200 18-44  5-11  9-11  19  12  19   60

Post-game coverage follows below.


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