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

Georgetown Rolls Over Blue Devils in Front of President, Sold-Out Crowd

It is not every day that a sold out Verizon Center goes completely gray, and it certainly is not every day that the President and Vice President of the United States sit courtside, but for Georgetown it was all business.

No. 7 Georgetown dominated No. 8 Duke inside and out en route to an 89-77 victory. The Hoyas, who shot 71.7 percent from the field, were led by the Big Three of Chris Wright, Austin Freeman and Greg Monroe, who combined for 62 points.

“The atmosphere was great. I said on Rich Chvotkin’s show that there is an energy that we get from our students that is real and tangible,\” Head Coach John Thompson III said. \”Our fans, our students, the city was terrific.[The President] always brings energy. It was good to have him here. It was good to play well when he was here.”

The Hoyas started quickly, jumping out to a 9-3 lead on the back of its Big Three. Wright, who exploded for 21 points after a lackluster performance at Syracuse, opened the scoring with a layup 90 seconds into the game. Points in the paint by Monroe (21 points) and Wright, and a three from Freeman (20 points) gave Georgetown an early six-point advantage. Three of the Hoyas’ first four field goals were assisted, and the Hoyas had 20 assists on 33 field goals on the day.

“This group, our team, with each game is getting a heightened sense and understanding that we don’t have to take a bad shot,” Thompson said. “With the offensive players we have, we know where our shots are coming from, and they’re doing an outstanding job night-in and night-out to help each other get shots.”

A three-point barrage from senior guard Jon Scheyer (17 points) and junior forward Kyle Singler, who had nine of his 18 points in the outburst, gave Duke a 17-16 advantage with 9:55 left to go in the first half.

An 18-3 run by Georgetown over the next 3:16 minutes took the legs out from under Duke, giving the Hoyas a commanding 34-20 lead, which the Blue Devils never fully recovered from. Putting pressure on Duke’s guards, the Hoyas forced the Blue Devils to take tough, contested shots and created easy points in transition off of turnovers. The Blue Devils had four of their 15 turnovers in that stretch.

“I just think that we wanted to be aggressive on the defensive end,” Wright said. “Try to contest and give them hard contested shots to make. We knew they were going to make a few, but we knew if we made them take more contested shots the percentage … would go down.”

The Hoyas, whose 71.7 percent field goal percentage was the best under Thompson’s tenure and third highest all-time for Georgetown, went into the half shooting a blazing 77.3 percent from the field. The Blue Devils, who shot 37.1 percent, had held opponents to just 39.5 percent shooting from the floor and 61.5 points per game coming into Saturday.

“They were ready to play us, and we could never match their emotion today,” Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

After the intermission, an uptempo Duke man-to-man defense forced three Georgetown turnovers, and the Blue Devils edged their way back to within seven points with a 12-6 run over the first 5:35 of the second half. The run was highlighted by Duke’s trio of Scheyer, Singler and junior guard Nolan Smith (19 points).

The Hoyas’ hot shooting hardly died down in the second half, as they went 16-of-24 from the field, mostly on high-percentage shots and backdoor cuts. Leading 67-54, Georgetown’s next three field goals all came inside the paint off of assists. None was prettier than a Monroe layup with contact off of a Wright feed to make the score 72-56, garnering a head nod from the subdued President.

onroe and Freeman led the way with five assists each, while freshman forward Jerrelle Benimon and sophomore guard Jason Clark each added three. The Hoyas outscored the Blue Devils 48-24 in the paint.

The Hoyas had just two offensive rebounds to the Blue Devils’ 17, which Krzyzewski attributed to the fact that Georgetown only missed 13 field goals.

The Hoyas, whose depth problems are well documented, saw increased production out of freshman guard Hollis Thompson (six points and two rebounds) and Benimon, who had four points in 20 minutes of play.

Beyond just beating the Blue Devils, the Hoyas exorcised any demons which remained from Monday’s 73-56 loss at Syracuse.

“I think we had to bounce back, and we came up with a big win today and we have to move on,” Wright said.

Their brutal five-game stretch – which featured four games against top-10 opponents – is now over, and the Hoyas face South Florida on Wednesday at Verizon Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Sophomore center Greg Monroe, who had 21 points, dunks in No. 7 Georgetown's 89-77 demolition of No. 8 Duke
Sophomore center Greg Monroe, who had 21 points, dunks in No. 7 Georgetown’s 89-77 demolition of No. 8 Duke
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