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

Ohio Stuns Hapless Hoyas in First Round of NCAA Tournament

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – No. 3 Georgetown has proven to be one of the better teams in the nation time and time again throughout the season. No. 14 Ohio finished ninth out of 12 teams in the MAC and needed four wins in four days just to find its way into the NCAA tournament.


Ohio junior guard Armon Bassett knew it only mattered whether the Bobcats were the better team on Thursday night.




“I try to tell my teammates, we may not be a better team, just got to be a better team on a given night,” he said.




On Thursday night, the Bobcats were the better team, shooting 56.5 percent from three-point range en route to a 97-83 victory at Dunkin’ Donuts Arena in Providence. Bassett led the way for the Bobcats with 32 points, closely followed by freshman guard D.J. Cooper, who had 23 points and eight assists.




Ohio came out strong from the opening tip, with a quick three from junior forward Tommy Freeman, who totaled 11 points in the game. The Bobcats opened up an 8-2 lead four minutes into play.




The Hoyas responded behind the play of sophomore center Greg Monroe, who had 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, and junior guard Chris Wright to knot the game at eight.




A three by Wright, with 10:12 left in the half, gave Georgetown a one point lead, but just when the favorites were supposed to run away with it, Ohio responded. A 16-4 run by the Bobcats put the Hoyas in an 11-point deficit at 33-22.




Using a mixture of ball screens and timely kickouts on the drive, Ohio set up open looks for its three-point shooters. The Bobcats shot 58.2 percent from the field.




“It was tough to defend because they use ball screens,” said Wright, who had a team-high 28 points. “They use millions and millions of ball screens. [With] guards like that, they get a head of steam, it’s hard to contain them coming up with ball screens.”




A Tommy Freeman three put the Ohio lead to as big as 15 points with 2:25 to play.




The second half started with more of the same for the Hoyas as another three from Freeman made it a 19-point game with 13:13 to play in the game.




“[The Ohio guards] handled everything we threw at them tonight,” Head Coach John Thompson III said. “Either Greg or Chris said it, they were the better team today. They did a good job. Chris talked about the ball screens, no matter how we guarded it they were able to find a way to score.”




But as the favorites often do, the Hoyas started to make a comeback.




Junior guard Austin Freeman, who had nine points on a below-average 4-of-11 night from the field, made a jumper with 8:21 to play which cut the lead to 14. After an offensive foul on Cooper, freshman forward Hollis Thompson took a Monroe miss and put it back to cut the lead. Thompson tied a career-high with 16 points.




A free throw from Bassett was answered by two quick baskets by Wright, the second of which he was fouled on. The junior missed the ensuing free throw, however, and the Ohio lead was at nine.




Two times in the next minute the Hoyas cut the lead to seven, and both times Ohio responded. A Tommy Freeman jumper with 4:55 to play was followed by a dagger of a three by Cooper on the right wing off of an assist from Bassett.




“We were just thinking that we needed to stop when we got to seven,” Wright said. “And they came down and made a big play.”




Despite the Georgetown run, the Bobcats were able to keep their composure.




“[We wanted] to keep our poise, and we had to make plays and had a good run going,” Bassett said. “We kept our feet on the ground and we pulled it out.”




All game long, the Bobcats harassed Monroe in the paint, dropping down on help defense to make sure they had a hand in his face. Despite a double-double and six assists by Monroe, the defensive effort paid off as the sophomore center gave away seven turnovers.




“I told the guys before the game that we weren’t going to stop him,” Head Coach John Groce said. “He’s a really good player . I told our guys, basically in our game plan we want to do some things, double him some, sometimes we didn’t. We tried to keep him off-balance a little bit and keep him guessing. But you’re not going to completely shut out a great player like him.”




Monroe’s frontcourt mate, junior forward Julian Vaughn, spent the majority of the day on the bench after hitting the Hoyas’ first shot, playing just 10 minutes.




Cooper’s three came in the midst of a stretch in which he scored 11 straight points for the Bobcats. It proved to be too much for the Hoyas as the Bobcats brought the lead back to 15 with 2:06 to play. By then the lead was too much for the Hoyas to surmount.




The Hoyas saw four players reach double figures, shooting 50.8 percent from the floor, but their three-point shooting (36.4 percent) combined with Ohio’s was too much. Ohio’s 97 points were the most any team scored on the Hoyas all season.




Following the game, Monroe was asked whether he intended to turn pro, meaning this was his last game in a Georgetown uniform.




“No,” he said, pausing. “It wasn’t.”




Thompson said it was something that they would look at.




“I think that he’s going to sit and make that decision as time goes on right here,” he said.




For Groce and the Bobcats, who will play Tennessee on Saturday, their whirlwind postseason tour continues, following the biggest upset of the day in the NCAA tournament and possibly the biggest in Ohio history.

“Someone had asked me on the radio, `Hey, is this the greatest win of Ohio University,'” Groce said. “I don’t want to disrespect the tradition of our program. We’ve had a lot of good players and great teams. I certainly think it’s one of them.”




*Follow us on [Twitter]( and at [The Hoya Paranoia](*”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *