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

Hoyas Find Another Way to Win Against Aggies

It took eight games, but the day finally came when the $64,000 question about the 2010-2011 Hoyas was answered: How can Georgetown, led primarily by adept long-range shooters, win a game if it is not making threes?

“I think we have a versatile team,” Head Coach John Thompson III said. “[Utah State] did a terrific job at taking away the threes. We didn’t get that many open looks. . [But] we don’t have to make threes to win games. Our goal offensively is to get a good shot.”

Coming into Saturday’s tilt with Utah State (5-2), the No. 16 Hoyas (8-0) had made 75 three-pointers on 167 attempts, but on an afternoon when they took just nine and made two, they still found a way to beat a difficult nonconference opponent by 17 points. It was a formula – defend, rebound, get to the free-throw line and take care of the basketball – that Georgetown will likely have to repeat going forward if opposing teams lock down the three-point line.

“If you had told me they were only going to make a couple of threes, I would have thought we were right there,” Utah State Head Coach Stew Morrill said.

Behind an effective full court press that began late in the first half, Thompson’s team forced turnover after turnover to seize control of the game, and with the Aggies taking away the three-point line, the Hoyas attacked the rim from close range and got to the free-throw line 27 times.

“Our press was extremely effective today,” Thompson said. “[It] not only slowed them down, but we were able to get offense out of our defense, and we were able to take them out of their rhythm.”

Senior guard Chris Wright, the nation’s fourth-leading assists-per-game man, had just two dimes and led all scorers with 21 points, getting to the line 10 times and embodying the way the Hoyas beat the Aggies on the offensive end.

“I think we’ve been shooting the ball well, but we’re also guys who are aggressive, who attack the basket,” he said. “Today was a little different in that they were really playing us on the three-point line, and we had to penetrate and get inside. So there are multiple ways that we can be strong on the offensive end, and as long as our defense is solid, we’ll be alright.”

Coming off a track meet in their 111-102 overtime win over No. 9 Missouri in Kansas City on Tuesday, the Hoyas clamped down defensively on Saturday, forcing 15 turnovers and getting easy baskets the other way, especially during their 21-5 run to start the second half.

“I think in general, as a team, we want to create a lot of our offense off of our defense,” Wright said. “I think if we get a lot of steals and put a lot of pressure on people on the court, it will be to our advantage.”

The game wasn’t won on the backs of Wright, senior guard Austin Freeman and junior guard Jason Clark. Forced to adjust, the Hoyas got impact plays from junior center Henry Sims, sophomore forward Jerrelle Benimon and freshman forward Nate Lubick, showing how much quality depth Georgetown is developing.

The Hoyas have lived by the three so far this season, but on Saturday against Utah State, they showed they won’t necessarily die by it.”

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