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Georgetown Basketball: December 2000 News Archive

Georgetown 79, Houston 63 12/31/00

Anthony Perry's 16 points led a balanced scoring effort as Georgetown posted its 11th victory of the season, defeating Houston 79-63 before an announced crowd of 3,918 at Houston's Hoffheinz Pavilion.

The Cougars (3-9) opened the game with a pair of thundering dunks and an 8-2 lead, but coach Craig Esherick quickly shifted the Hoyas to a zone defense and the Cougars stalled. With adroit three point shooting and strong interior defense, Georgetown went on a 12-0 run to take the lead. Holding the Cougars to just one field goal over a ten minute span early in the half, the Hoyas led by as many as 26 at 45-19 late in the half, shooting 50 percent and draining six three pointers, led by 13 points off the bench from Anthony Perry.

Much as the Hoyas shot the lights out in the first half against Louisville, then stalled in the second half, a similar pattern developed against Houston. Georgetown's game plan was ineffective in the second half, shooting only 6-22 in the second half and allowing Houston numerous opportunities to close the lead. Amazingly, of those six field goals, five were from three point range.

Illustrative of Georgetown's timely three point shooting was a point where UH had closed the lead to 50-36 with 15:57 to play--the Hoyas had not scored a basket in the first four minutes of the half. In a 38 second span, Perry and Victor Samnick responded with three pointers and the lead was back to 20, 56-36. At 8:21 to play, Houston again closed to 15, then Kevin Braswell, 0-4 from long range, drains the three pointer to extend the lead to 18. A few free thrown later, the Cougars were down 22.

Of the eleven Hoyas who saw action, all but Trenton Hillier scored, but he was on the floor only a minute. Georgetown's 11 three point shots were one short of the school record set twice in 1996 versus Miami and Providence.

Here are some links to press coverage of the game:

CBS Sportsline on Braswell 12/31/00

With top 25 status comes more coverage in the national press. Here's a link to CBS Sportsline and a profile on Kevin Braswell.

"My freshman year, I really struggled with [playing point guard]," Braswell said. "I came in here scoring, thinking that would change a college game. But one player definitely won't change the game in college basketball. Last year, I understood more. Now, I understand what a point guard should do. "

Scruggs As Sixth Man 12/31/00

Sunday's Washington Post discussed the return of Lee Scruggs and his impact upon the Georgetown lineup. According to the article, the 6-11 senior will not start, but will be counted upon as a reserve.

Freshmen of Impact 12/28/00

The Washington Post comments that "Rarely have two freshmen had such an impact at Georgetown as Michael Sweetney and Gerald Riley", with Sweetney leading the team in scoring and Riley third in scoring.

It may be rare, but it's happened before.

The last time two freshmen were in the top three in scoring was 1982-83, when David Wingate (12.0) and Michael Jackson (11.6) finished second and third in team scoring behind sophomore Patrick Ewing. The last time that freshmen finished as the top two scorers was in 1972-73 with Merlin Wilson (12.7) and Jon Smith (13.0), with freshman Mike Stokes (9.0) making it a 1-2-3 sweep for the Class of 1976.

And the rarest of first year feats? The 1942-43 Final Four Hoyas featured first year players in the top four spaces and five of the top seven--leading scorers John Mahnken, Andy Kostecka, Danny Kraus, and Billy Hassett all went on to the NBA.

Mourning Not Expected To Play in NBA All-Star Game 12/28/00

Alonzo Mourning (C' 92) is improving in his battle against focal glomerulosclerosis but does not expect to play this season, according to this link from CNN.

Mourning is leading in fan balloting for the NBA All-Star Game but remains realistic. "I'm flattered the fans are voting for me," he said, "but I can't do anything about it. I have to listen to my doctors and do what I have to do to get healthy."

Georgetown 75, Maryland-Eastern Shore 51 12/22/00

Welcome back, Lee.

A topic of much fan discussion over the past week, Lee Scruggs returned to the Georgetown lineup and the Hoyas moved past Maryland-Eastern Shore 75-51 before 5,256 at MCI Center. Ruben Boumtje Boumtje led a very balanced scoring effort with 18 points, while Nat Burton added 14 off the bench. Scruggs scored six points in 10 minutes of play.

The Hawks (1-5) played well early, and were within six at 26-20 when the Hoyas built a 13 point halftime lead and were not challenged thereafter. The wire service accounts of the game were succinct, noting that "the Hoyas, who have developed a reputation for padding their early season record against lesser competition, improved to 3-0 against teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference this season."

Maybe so, but at 10-0, Georgetown is off to its best start in eleven years and one of eight undefeated teams in Division I. Next on the agenda: a tough road game at Houston for New Year's Eve, then on to the Big East portion of the schedule.

Here are some post-game links:

Mourning Not Ready For All-Star Game...Yet 12/21/00

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Miami Heat Alonzo Mourning (C '92) hasn't ruled out an appearance at February's NBA All-Stat Game in Washington. However, his quote within the article is more realistic.

Mourning, leading in the voting for Eastern Conference centers, told the Post that "For some miraculous reason if I'm able to play, I will play, but it doesn't look like I'll be able to play."

Georgetown 123, Howard 90 12/16/00

Imagine a team scoring 18 three pointers and still losing by 33. That's the fate of the Howard Bison, who battled all day but were overwhelmed by the Georgetown Hoyas 123-90 Saturday at MCI Center.

With a decided height advantage (Howard having only one player taller than 6-6), the Hoyas built an early lead through Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje (21 points), but Howard's three point shooting kept them close. For a period of nine minutes in the first half, Howard's only field goals came from 3-point range. An inside game of Boumtje-Boumtje and Wesley Wilson (20 points, 10 rebounds) found no equal from Howard, who relied on guard Ron Williamson to keep them close. At the half, Georgetown led 59-44, its most points in a first half since a 63 point outburst against UDC in 1989. Howard shot 9 for 14 for three point range (64 percent) but only 5 of 17 (29 percent) inside.

Georgetown put the game away early in the half on a 21-3 run, allowing Craig Esherick to liberally substitute in the remaining minutes. In fact, none of the starters played over 24 minutes. Howard trailed from 30 to 35 points thereafter, but seemingly matched every GU bucket with a two (or three) of their own.

Six Hoyas were in double figures as the G-men shot 57 percent for the game. High scorers (and there were many) included Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje (21 points), Wesley Wilson (20 points, 11 rebounds), Demetrius Hunter (17 points), Kevin Braswell (16 points) and Mike Sweetney (12 points). The Hoyas had 28 assists as against only 13 turnovers. And with the exception of Gerald Riley, who struggled from outside, the foursome of Hunter, Braswell, Sweetney and Boumtje-Boumtje was an amazing 25 for 30 (83 percent) from the field.

The 123 points is the most scored by Georgetown against a Division I opponent. The all-time record is 126, in a 75 point win over Division II St. Leo on December 6, 1986.

Here are some post-game links to follow:

For all of Georgetown's heroics, Howard guard Ron Williamson was the star of the game. Averaging 18 points per game entering the contest, he scored 41, including 11 of 17 from three point range. An Associated Press article claimed that "Williamson's point total... was the most ever scored against Georgetown. It surpassed the 36 points scored by Billy Owens in Syracuse's 95-76 victory over the Hoyas on Jan. 27, 1990." The "record" has been picked up by numerous wire services.

But it's not a record. The 41 point output has been topped three times in Georgetown's basketball history, as follows:

  • 49 points--John Austin (Boston College), 2/21/64
  • 45 points--Buzzy Wilkinson (Virginia), 2/9/54
  • 44 points--Jack Sullivan (Mt. St. Mary's), 1/24/57

The last man to score 40 points against the Hoyas prior to Saturday was UNLV's Isaiah (J.R.) Rider, who scored 40 against the G-men on January 23, 1993, during a 96-80 Rebels win.

Hoyas Reach Top 25 12/16/00

"When John Thompson resigned from Georgetown, he took the national attention with him...Now, Georgetown is back." So writes Joseph White in this link from Fox Sports, reintroducing the nation to the Top-25 ranked Hoyas.

Coach Esherick noted that just being ranked isn't enough.

"Nothing against being ranked, but I have a national championship ring so I certainly have a little bit higher expectations than 25th or 24th or 23rd," he said.

Georgetown 78, Coastal Carolina 60 12/12/00

A 20 point, 10 rebound effort by freshman Mike Sweetney paced the Georgetown Hoyas to a hard fought 78-60 win over Coastal Carolina at McDonough Gym Tuesday. Despite entering the game 1-5, the Chanticleers gave the exam-week Hoyas a solid effort throughout and made the G-men work for its eighth win of the 2000-01 season.

Coastal took an early 13-7 lead before Georgetown countered with a 12-2 run midway through the first half. The Hoyas extended its lead to 29-21 with 5:26 to play in the first half, but scored only two field goals down the stretch and led 33-31 at the half.

The Chanticleers played tough throughout, but foul trouble and poor time out management cost them in the second. The Chants closed the mark to 38-34 before the Hoyas went on a 10-0 run, but battled back to 50-44 and 54-47 with 8:14 to play before the wheels came off the Coastal express. Sweetney, Gerald Riley (17 points) , and Kevin Braswell (15 points) keyed a 13-2 run that sealed the game. Out of time outs, Coastal coach Pete Strickland remarked in the post-game that he thought about calling a time out (and accepting the technical foul) just to try to stop the run.

P>According to the Associated Press, "leading scorer Torry Butler and Derrick Robinson sat out the second game of two-game suspensions by coach Pete Strickland for not upholding the standards of the program." In their place, the Chants were led by Clint Reed and Oliver Hinckson, with 16 each. Former Georgetown guard prospect Alvin Green played well at the point for Coastal but shot 1 for 5 from the field and finished with four points.

Much of Georgetown's effort tonight came from outside the pivot, where the Hoyas had a decided height advantage. In fact, center Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje scored only five points, while Wesley Wilson did not score in only three minutes of action.

Kevin Braswell's 15 points gives him 1,003 points for his career, the 32nd Georgetown player to reach the "1,000 Point Club" and the first in nearly four years. Congratulations Kevin!

Post-game coverage can be found at the following links:

Sweetney Named Big East Co-Player Of The Week 12/11/00

Freshman Mike Sweetney was named Big East co-player of the week for leading the Hoyas in wins over Louisville and Grambling. He shares the honors with Seton Hall's Eddie Griffin, who has won the award each of the past four weeks, a conference record.

Georgetown 88, Grambling State 51k 12/9/00

Sixteen points from Michael Sweetney and 14 from Wesley Wilson powered Georgetown to a comfortable 88-51 win over Grambling State at McDonough Gymnasium Saturday night. Grambling (0-2) had lost 26 games in a row entering the contest and after shooting 4 for 31 in the first half, the 27th wasn't far behind.

Grambling's only lead came at 6-4 before a 33-3 Georgetown run put the game out of reach. Paul Haynes, the leading scorer for the Tigers, was shut out from the field--0 for 12-- and the Tigers had no answers in the first half. The Hoyas led 49-14 at the half and 68-23 midway through the second before emptying the bench; GU maintained a 39-37 point advantage in the second half with the outcome having already been decided.

"I got to play a lot of different combinations tonight that I normally would not be able to play under the pressure of winning a game," Esherick said in a link to the Washington Post. "It was good to get those players some minutes."

Post-game links can be found at the following:

GU Announces Future Effort For Renovation 12/6/00

A press release from Georgetown has announced the largest set of athletics building projects in its history, including a future initiative to renovate McDonough Gymnasium to 6,000 seats.

Quoting the release: "The [gymnasium] designs will include the addition of sky suites and a renovated press box, new locker and dressing rooms, new conference rooms, and box and VIP seating. Georgetown can accomplish this design by digging down through the slab upon which the gym is built and turning the floor perpendicular to its current setup. This is a significant cost savings for Georgetown in that the roof would not be removed at all. The convocation center will serve as a hub for athletic and academic endeavors at Georgetown."

"Most of the [men's basketball] games would be played in the Convocation Center which would be packed with Hoya students and fans and create a more improved and collegiate atmosphere at games. The convocation center would also eliminate the travel time of our players and students to and from MCI Center. "

A cost of $20 million has been identified for the project.

No drawings are yet available for the gym; however, the release contains the first look at the double-decked facility on Harbin Field that will serve as the home for the football and lacrosse teams. Construction of this facility will allow for offices to move out of McDonough and begin the renovations.

2001 Recruit Changing High Schools? 12/5/00

The online recruiting publication High Major Hoops is reporting that Georgetown recruit Harvey Thomas has withdrawn from Montrose Christian Academy for personal reasons and will enroll elsewhere this spring. No further details were given in the report. Two other Georgetown recruits for 2001-02, guards Tony Bethel and Drew Hall, attend school at Montrose, ranked second in the area's basketball polls this season.

Georgetown 70, Lousiville 63 12/5/00

For the first time since 1992-93, the Georgetown Hoyas enter the exam period undefeated at 6-0. It wasn't easy, though.

A first half that was vintage 1989 (and a second half that looked more like 1999) helped Georgetown to muscle past Louisville 70-63 at Freedom Hall before a national TV audience. The game featured wild swings in scoring, a second half masterpiece by Louisville's Marques Maybin, and a gut-check for the Hoyas to hold off the Cards without its team leader. It's the kind of road win that can build experience for road games later in the season.

Georgetown's rousing first half defense forced Louisville into its worst first half in decades, setting a school record for the fewest points in a first half at Freedom Hall in its 45 year history, according to the ESPN announcers covering the game. Georgetown's effective use of its inside strength powered the G-men to impressive early margins of 7-1 and 11-3, building leads of 16-5 with 11:24 to play and 28-9 with 6:15 to play in the first half, collecting 32 rebounds in the first 17 minutes of the game. The Hoyas led by as many as 23 at 34-11 before the Cards (2-4) narrow the count to 34-15 at the half.

For all the success in the first half controlling the passing lanes and clogging up the middle, the Hoyas reverted to NIT form in the second. Inside play evaporated as the ball seemed to head straight to Kevin Braswell, who struggled offensively in the second half (1 for 11, 6 points) . Cheap fouls allowed Louisville to chip away at the lead, cutting the 19 point lead to 13 with under eight to play. With 7:15 to play, a Georgetown foul coupled with a technical foul on Kevin Braswell offered Louisville four free throws, but the Cards only connected on one and the lead stayed in double digits.

But not for long. With the Georgetown inside game gone, and a defense which allowed Louisville's Marques Maybin to score 25 of his team's 48 second half points (remember, the Cards only scored 15 at the break), the lead began to slip away. Braswell fouled out with 3:45 to play with a 59-49 lead, and it dropped to 62-58 with 1:44 to play. But a defensive stop by center Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje and a court-length pass to Nat Burton with 0:40 to play held keep back the red tide, and Georgetown pulled away for the win.

Demetrius Hunter and Mike Sweetney led a balanced scoring effort with 12 points each, with 11 key points coming from Nathaniel Burton. (The ESPN announcers made note that Burton, variously called Nate or Nat in prior years, is now referred to as Nathaniel.) Georgetown's struggles with free throw shooting could also have been costly (22 for 39, 56%), but Louisville was only 21 of 33, and missed key opportunities to tighten the game earlier in the evening.

Post-game coverage continues below:

Georgetown 90, Nicholls State 48 12/3/00

"I'm happier with a 5-0 start than I would be if we were 2-3, but there is always room for improvement. Nicholls State got 19 offensive boards in spite of our height advantage. That's something we have to work on...We have to keep working and keep improving and I intend to see that we do that." --Craig Esherick, in post-game quotes.

Gerald Riley led the Hoyas with 15 points in a 90-48 Georgetown win over an outmanned Nicholls State team at McDonough Gymnasium Saturday. The Hoyas shot 58% from the field, an unusual 8 of 11 from three point range, and were never seriously challenged throughout the game.

The Hoyas led by 51 in the second half when Coach Esherick emptied the bench. With the exception of forward Courtland Freeman, who did not suit up, every player saw action in the second half. The play got a little ragged (16 of the Hoyas' 25 turnovers were by reserves), but the outcome was not in doubt.

The game featured a brief appearance by a fourth walk-on this season: 6-4 senior Glennard Johnson, a backup wide receiver for the past two years on the football team. Johnson was a three year starter at forward and center at St. Alban's Prep.

Here are links to the post-game reports:


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