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 | Second-Half Run Carries GU Over IUPUI

fergusonThe Georgetown men’s basketball team rode a second-half surge past a tough IUPUI squad on Monday night in a contest that was far closer than the final 81-58 scoreline might indicate. Junior forward Hollis Thompson and sophomore forward Nate Lubick were the headliners for the Hoyas (5-1), as Thompson had a double-double with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds while Lubick set a career high with 14 rebounds against the Jaguars (2-5).

The Blue and Gray, coming off a big win in the fifth-place game of the Maui Invitational over then-No. 8 Memphis, started lethargically and allowed the visitors to establish an early foothold. Unlike UNC-Greensboro a few weeks ago,IUPUI was able to use a combination of full-court pressure and timely shooting to slow down the Georgetown offense and take advantage of defensive lapses by the hosts.

“[IUPUI] came out and really executed and got what they wanted in the first half,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said. “It was like we were stuck in the mud with a lot of our defensive rotations. They were getting too many open shots. … You have to give them credit. They came out and executed.”

The Blue and Gray took the lead twice in the middle of the first half only to see IUPUI snatch it back quickly, as the Jaguars opened the game 7-of-11 from the field, Senior forward Alex Young led the way, scoring all of his team-high 16 points on just seven shots in a stellar first-half shooting performance. The Hoyasfinally seized the lead for good late in the first half, but the scrappy, disjointed play continued as they headed into the intermission nursing a surprisingly small lead, 32-31.

“Defensively, we struggled a little bit tonight,” sophomore guard Markel Starks admitted. “But we’re a good defensive team and we’re a great offensive team as well.”

Both teams shot about 40 percent in the opening stanza, with the Hoyas grabbing 20 rebounds to the Jaguars’ 16. Senior center Henry Sims led the way with 10 points in the half to lead the Hoyas, while Thompson scored nine and Starks six.

When the teams came out for the second half, though, the Hoyas looked far more like the team that beat Memphis and pushed then-No. 12 Kansas to the wire, and the Jaguars didn’t help their own cause with a series of mistakes and poor free throw shooting. After going 7-of-8 from the charity stripe in the first half, the Jaguars made just six of their 13 freebies in the second, enabling the Blue and Gray to blow the game wide open.

“When we’re playing … a quality Big East team, [we] can’t unravel three or four possessions [in a row],” IUPUI Head Coach Todd Howard said. “You cannot necessarily win a game in the first four or five minutes of a half but I think you can lose a game.”

A quick 16-4 run blew the game open, turning a one-point lead into a 13-point advantage in a little more than five minutes, and was capped by an acrobatic old-school three-point play by Thompson. Although the Jaguars cut the deficit to seven at one point in the second half, they weren’t able to sustain the high level of play that kept had kept them in the game early on. The Blue and Gray also keyed on Young, holding him scoreless after his 16-point outburst in the first half.

“Defensively you can talk about strategies, but at the end of the day you just have to have a little bit of pride,” Thompson III said. “Young is a terrific player and he had a terrific first half, but I was glad to see our guys have a hand in him not having as good a second half.”

“We just said ‘let’s defend [Young], he has half their points, let’s play some defense,” Starks said of the team’s halftime talk. “Once we communicated, once we boxed out, that’s when we were able to defend him.”

Senior guard Jason Clark struggled on Monday, but broke the 1,000-point mark with a second-half layup—an accomplishment Thompson III noted, but said the team was focused on bigger things.

“We’ll give [Clark] a ball sometime soon and then we’ll forget about it,” Thompson III said.

The Hoyas return to the court Thursday when they travel to Tuscaloosa to take on No. 12 Alabama.

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