Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

MEN’S BASKETBALL | GU Falls to Kansas in Thriller

The Georgetown men’s basketball team came up just short on opening night in Maui, battling No. 14 Kansas throughout two closely contested halves before eventually falling, 67-63, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Georgetown (2-1) struggled out of the gates, going scoreless for nearly the first four minutes of the game before a layup by senior guard Jason Clark got the Blue and Gray on the scoreboard. Luckily for the Hoyas, the Kansas offense wasn’t much better and the Jayhawks (2-1) only had four-point cushion after Clark’s layup.

“[At] the start we were coming down and taking too many quick threes and not making [Kansas] work,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said after the game.

The Blue and Gray eventually tied the game at seven on a three by freshman forward Otto Porter, and the rest of the half remained a see-saw affair as the teams traded mini-runs. At one point late in the first half, the Jayhawks were threatening to run away with the game after they turned a one-point lead into a nine-point advantage with 2:57 left. But the Hoyas were able to rally, and went into the intermission down just two after Porter hit a big three as time expired.

When the second half started, it was more of the same for both sides. Jayhawk junior forward Thomas Robinson, who had nine points and eight boards in the first half, continued his strong play, eventually finishing with game-highs in points (20) and rebounds (12).

“We did not execute our plan,” Thompson III said. “We wanted [Robinson] to take 12, 15-foot jump shots. Their guards did a very good job of getting into the meat of our defense, and our bigs probably stepped up a little bit too much and [Kansas] ended up with what feels like 14 dunks. … But that’s what [Robinson] does.”

Junior forward Hollis Thompson faded a bit in the second after leading the team with ten points in the first half, as the Blue and Gray relied on Clark for the bulk of their offensive production down the stretch. Despite the senior’s team-high 15 points and five boards, though, Georgetown couldn’t quite stick with Kansas despite owning a 48-47 lead for 26 seconds in the middle of the half. Although theJayhawks responded to the Hoyas taking the lead with a quick 7-2 run, the Blue and Gray stayed within striking distance for the rest of the game.

Frequently employing a zone defense and eschewing the full-court press that they had employed in the season’s first two games against lesser opponents, Thompson III’s Hoyas were able to get a few stops, but seemed unable to hold the Jayhawk offense in check once they whittled the lead down to just one possession.

“We just didn’t execute at the defensive end,” Thompson III said. “But I think our zone can be and will be effective. It just wasn’t for long enough stretches today.”

Despite ultimately staying with a highly-regarded Kansas team for the whole 40 minutes and seeing solid performances by many of his young players, Thompson III was still disappointed with the loss.

“[There are] things that we can control that we didn’t control,” he said. “We’re not going to be singing this young team song all year. These guys are ready to play, so what grade they’re in doesn’t matter… in a couple of hours or days I might be able to say yet, it was [a good experience], but sitting here right now it’s a tough loss.”

The Hoyas return to the court in Maui at 4:30 p.m. today to take on tournament host Chaminade. Coverage of the game can be found on ESPN2 and ESPN3.

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