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 – MEAC Spells Difficulty for Georgetown

MEAC Spells Difficulty for Georgetown

Georgetown Has Hard Time Beating Morgan State, Bethune-Cookman

By Sean P. Flynn Hoya Staff Writer

And this was supposed to be the easy part of the schedule.

On Wednesday, the Georgetown men’s basketball team had no easy time with Morgan State, barely outplaying the Bears before using a late run to earn a 67-49 vcitory at MCI Center. The win came two days after Georgetown went down to the wire with Bethune-Cookman, which had won only two of its last 31 games. The Hoyas came back from a 14-point second-half deficit to barely eke out a 69-66 win against the Wildcats in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Wednesday, the Hoyas overcame abysmal shooting, especially from three-point territory, and a poor first-half to gain the victory.

It wasn’t pretty, but one way or another, the Hoyas took their sixth straight.

Thompson blamed the Hoyas troubles on a busy schedule that included a near-upset, school and a plane ride.

“I think we played tonight like a team that got the s–t scared out of us on Monday,” said Head Coach John Thompson. “[The players] got on a plane and got back to Washington at 2 a.m. and had to go to class, and some of those classes were early”

“We’re just too inexperienced and too immature at this point to deal with that. But I think it’s a great experience to go through.”

The Hoyas team stats were not very pleasing to the eye: 47-perenct free-throw shooting and 40-percent field-goal shooting, including a lowly 1-for-17 (5.9 percent) clip from beyond the three-point arc. Georgetown’s futility from long range set a new Georgetown low, worsening the Hoyas’ 2-for-25 (8 percent) mark set in 1994 against DePaul.

Individually, sophomore guard Anthony Perry led the Hoyas with 19 points despite missing all seven of his three-point shots, while freshman guard Kevin Braswell added 14 points and five assists. Redshirt freshman center Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje scored 10 points and led all rebounders with 12.

“I was extremely pleased that Ruben was starting to get some things done,” Thompson said. “I think that’s extremely important for him to do at this point.”

The Hoyas shot 33 percent en route to a 27-23 halftime lead against the overmatched Bears and then slowly pulled away from the Bears in the second half after Morgan State guard Jimmy Fields drained a three-pointer nine seconds into the half to cut the Georgetown lead to one point.

But the Hoyas scored the next 12 points over a six-minute span by capitalizing on strong rebounding and poor organ State shooting. After Fields’ basket, the score stayed put for the next 80 seconds as Georgetown missed three shots and three free throws. But a Daymond Jackson free throw put the score at 28-26, and the Hoyas scored on several breakaways after missed shots by Morgan State to leave the score 39-26 with 13:38 remaining.

After Morgan State’s Brandon Reece drained a pair of free throws with 10:28 remaining to cut the Georgetown lead to 41-32, the Hoyas pulled away again, going on a 12-6 run to take an 18-point lead with six minutes left.

Scrappy defense helped the Bears push back, and in fact they had several opportunities with under three minutes remaining to bring Georgetown’s lead back to single digits. But poor passes and shooting allowed Georgetown to run away with it to the end.

“I think Morgan deserves a lot of credit, they were very active,” Thompson said. “The teams that we have been playing have had great, athletic guards, and I think that’s the best thing for us in terms of where we are inexperienced in some situations.”

The late run helped overshadow a terrible start for the Hoyas in which they fell behind 8-0. The Bears capitalized on Georgetown poor shooting and turnovers and outrebounded their larger opponents in that stretch. Nat Burton made the Hoyas’ first basket almost four minutes into the game, and the Hoyas did not score again until more than three minutes later on a Boumtje-Boumtje putback.

The Hoyas’ size and defense conquered their poor shooting and slowly helped them take control of the game. With 7:45 left, Perry stole on the press and fecd the ball to senior swingman Daymond Jackson for a layup and the 14-12 advantage, a lead Georgetown would not relinquish.

Georgetown’s win over Morgan State win came on the heels of a huge scare at the hands of Bethune-Cookman. Coached by former Hoya Horace Broadnax (COL ’86), Bethune-Cookman rode nearly impeccable shooting to take the lead early and held that advantage until the last three minutes.

The Wildcats shot 60 percent and outrebounded the Hoyas 17-9 in the first half, jumping out to a 14-point halftime advantage. The Hoyas’ defense took control in the second half to help the offense slowly make up the deficit, and with three minutes remaining the Hoyas took the lead.

In the waning moments of the game Bethune-Cookman had a chance for a final shot, but Braswell stole the inbounds and passed it on to senior guard Joe Touomou who drained two free throws to give the Hoyas the final 69-66 advantage.

These two difficult wins over the lower-tier Division I teams leave some doubt for the Hoyas’ Big East opener, which is Tuesday at 7 p.m. at MCI Center against Rutgers, who defeated the Hoyas twice last season.

Are the Hoyas ready for the Big East Conference, which has seen its stock rise in the last two weeks with Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, St. John’s and Villanova all receiving votes in this week’s Associated Press Top 25?

“I don’t know,” Thompson said. “I have confidence in [my team]. What’s the Big East schedule? We go ahead and play whoever we have to play.

“I don’t think these kids are afraid of anybody.”

 

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