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Eighteen points from freshman L.J. Peak, including two free throws with 7.5 seconds left, kept the Hoyas apart from an upset at the hands of UNC-Charlotte, 81-78. The Hoyas nearly lost a 15 point lead midway in the second half, with one field goal over the final 6:15 of play.
Both halves followed parallel paths. Georgetown got up to early leads, lacked a clear direction when it could have put the 49ers away, and faced a resolute comeback in the final minutes. In the first half, the Hoyas hit four of their first five shots and carried a 12-2 run into an eight point lead, 16-8, at the opening TV time out. The lead grew to ten at the 12:04 mark on back to back baskets by Jabril Trawick, and grew to 14 with 3:32 to play before halftime, 38-24, as two Charlotte starters were sidelined with foul trouble. In the final three minutes, Georgetown gave the ball over three straight times on turnovers and the 49ers scored the final seven points of the half, closing to 38-31 at the break. Owning a 21-14 rebounding edge, the Hoyas should have been leading by more, but a 0-4 mark from the field and four turnvoers in the final three minutes of the half kept the 49ers in range.
The second half started much like the first--an 11-2 run in the first three minutes of the half pushed the Georgetown lead to 14 and while the 49ers contained to struggle, a lack of focus prevented georgetown from blowing the game wide open, missing four of five shots in some sequences and picking up fouls of its own.
The georgetown lead crested at 60-44 with 12:432 to play. Charlotte answered with a pair of three pointers to start to work into the lead, but threes by Aaron Bowen and Paul White answered the charge. Georgetown still led by double digits with 9:06 to play, but began to suffer on both ends of the court--missing five straight shots while getting beat on transition baskets to see UNCC close to seven, 70-63.
Up seven with 4:48 to play, the Hoyas missed three close-in attempts in rapid fashion, and when UNCC's Braxton Ogubueze answered with a three to close to 76-72 at the four minute mark, the game was back on. Jabril Trawick made one of two free throws, but the 49ers struck on the next play when L.J. Peak left Ogubueze alone for another three and a lead cut to 77-75. Three more close-in attempts failed, and the 49ers closed the lead to one at the foul line following D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's fifth foul at the 1:59 mark.
On its next series, Georgetown turned the ball on a shot clock violation, on its next, Ogubueze missed a three and Aaron bowen was fouled at the 0:25 mark. Bowen made both free throws to bump the lead to 79-76, but UNCC's Keyshawn Woods drove inside for a layup at the nine second mark, 79-78. Peak was quickly fouled and added two more free throws, while the 49ers' final attempt was short and Georgetown escaped with the win.
Charlotte, which opened the game 2-10 from three, made six of its next nine in the second half.
"They got too many open looks," said Georgetown coach john Thompson III. "Our goal was to not let them get threes and they got threes. We need to work on it, we to listen, we need the reps, we need to talk about it, we need to watch film, we need to practice against it. You come away with a win; great, but our defensive execution was not where it needs to be.",/P>
Peak led all scorers with 18 points, but the Georgetown front line remained ineffective in key stretches of the game. Joshua Smith and Mikael Hopkins accounted for only eight points and five rebounds after halftime, while the team as a whole shot just 37 percent after the break, including missing 15 of its final 18 shots over the last ten minutes of the half. The game was won at the line, where GU was 14-15 in the second half compared to 15-21 for Charlotte.
Georgetown has a one week break before concluding out of conference play Dec. 27 at Madison Square Garden against Indiana, which defeated Butler 82-73 on Saturday.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS
Smith-Rivera 31 3-7 1-4 4-4 6 4 5 13
Peak 32 4-9 1-3 7-7 3 1 2 18
Trawick 28 2-5 1-4 4-5 10 3 3 11
Hopkins 21 1-3 0-0 0-2 2 0 4 2
Smith 21 4-7 0-0 4-6 6 1 4 12
Campbell 8 0-1 0-2 0-0 0 2 0 0
Cameron 6 0-0 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 3
Copeland 17 3-8 0-0 0-0 4 1 0 6
White 16 1-4 1-1 0-2 1 2 1 5
Bowen 17 2-5 1-1 4-4 4 1 3 11
Hayes 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 0
Team Rebounds 4
DNP: Allen, Williams, Mourning
TOTALS 200 20-36 6-17 23-30 43 15 23 81
Prior to Saturday's game, the two schools have met just once, at the dawn of this web site.
The March 14, 1997 game in the first round of the NCAA's came in the first season of our coverage, and the game recap was not archived. This link to USA Today provides a recap on UNC-Charlotte's stunning 79-67 win, Georgetown's first NCAA opening round loss in 16 years.
The Hoyas, who rallied to win nine of its final 10 games and earn a #10 seed to the NCAA tournament, but had little momentum in this game. From a 9-8 lead in the opening minutes of the first half, the Hoyas were held to one field goal in the next seven minutes as the 49ers outscored the G-men 23-4 to carry an 18 point lead with 7:31 left, a 14 point lead at the half, and kept the Hoyas no closer than seven thereafter.
Sean Colson led the 49ers with 24 points, 17 after halftime. Defended at every turn, sophomore All-American Victor Page shot just 7 for 23 in the game, with little of the spark which had led the Hoyas all season.
"We had a game plan in place, and any time you've got a game
plan, you've got to have someone to come out and execute it, and
the players did just that," said UNCC coach Melvin
Watkins. "We wanted to make sure Page, every time he
touched the ball, had a tough shot, and we thought we did a
pretty good job there. Secondly, we thought we did a pretty good
job on the boards, and more importantly, we think we did a
pretty good job of handling their pressure."
"We were very tentative," said Georgetown coach John Thompson.
"A lot of that has to do with how they played against us. Once
we cut things in the second half they answered them very well.
They're poised, they shot the ball well ... I feel we lost to a
team that beat us today. We had to work very hard to get here.
We did not take anything for granted. We're not hanging our
heads, we're certainly disappointed. But in the same token we
felt that they executed well and did some things to hurt us at
the times that they had to."
In hindsight, the game marked a beginning of the end of the John Thompson era. It was coach Thompson's final NCAA appearance, and his last 20 game season. Over his final two seasons Thompson's record was just 23-21.
It was also the final college games for Georgetown's backcourt. Following midterms a week later, Page quit school to seek the NBA, failing to be drafted and embarking on a tragic run of bad choices and bad luck. The 39 year old Page is currently serving a 10 year sentence in Maryland for a felony assault case from 2013.
Page's teammate, Ed Sheffey, was kicked off the team in August 1997 following an arrest just before the start of his sophomore season. Transferring to New Mexico Junior College, Sheffey was critically injured in a car crash on his first day in school, and never played college basketball thereafter. Sheffey died this past August at the age of 36.
Here's the Georgetown half of that 1997 box score:
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS
Sheffey 29 0-1 2-5 0-0 5 5 3 6
Page 34 3-12 4-11 2-2 2 2 4 20
Dia 38 4-6 0-0 3-4 8 4 3 11
Aw 28 6-10 0-0 4-5 9 0 5 16
White 20 1-4 0-0 2-2 1 0 4 4
Touomou 12 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 0
Jackson 20 3-3 0-0 2-4 3 0 4 8
Gaughan 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 3 0 0 0
Long 8 0-3 0-1 0-0 0 0 1 0
Nichols 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
Owinje 1 1-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 2
Watkins 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Jones 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Team Rebounds: 1
TOTALS 200 18-42 6-18 13-17 35 11 27 67
How much was Markel Starks worth to Georgetown University last season? How about Nate Lubick? What about Moses Ayegba?
Austin sportswriter Cork Gaines took the revenue figures for NCAA basketball programs in 2013-14 and weighed them against a 49 percent revenue distribution common in the NBA to measure the revenue per scholarship athlete per Business Insider.com. For example, splitting Louisville's record $40 million in revenue across 13 scholarship athletes equated to over $1.5 million per player, or what he called the "Fair Market Value Index".
While this may be a comical exercise, note that the undercurrent of interest in subsidizing college football and basketball athletes can't be overlooked. Some would look at figures like this to raise the discussion level about what players are really worth to these schools.
As always, prior stories over this past week or the last 15+ years of coverage can be found at the News Archive pages, including recaps of all prior games over the season. It's a good way to keep up to date if you've visit the site less frequently. The last 10 stories:
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