It didn’t take long for the No. 16 Hoyas to recover from their post-Thanksgiving food comas. With much of the student body still home for the holiday break, Georgetown improved to 6-0 with an 87-72 win over the University of North Carolina-Asheville (2-3).
Senior guard Austin Freeman led the way with 32 points on a scalding 11-of-15 shooting performance and a school-record-tying seven three-pointers. The starting frontcourt duo of senior Julian Vaughn and sophomore Hollis Thompson continued their stellar play, with Vaughn compiling 16 points, nine rebounds and three blocks and Thompson chipping in with another double-double on 11 points and 10 boards.
“I just wanted to be aggressive,” Freeman said in the postgame press conference. “Just come out and take good shots, don’t force anything.”
With junior guard Jason Clark struggling – he had just seven points and turned the ball over seven times – senior guard Chris Wright kept up his early-season passing clinic, dishing out nine more assists and taking just three shots. A top-25 team in assists per game, the Hoyas recorded 21 assists on 30 made field goals.
Still, turnovers remain a problem for the Hoyas. Clark and Wright combined for 13, and as a team, Georgetown turned the ball over 23 times.
Although they had the benefit of playing with a lead all afternoon, the Hoyas were prone to lapses on the defensive end.
“We, without a doubt, had some lulls in there that we talked about just now in the locker room,” Head Coach John Thompson III said to reporters in the postgame press conference. “We’re a work in progress. There is a lot of room for growth in that locker room.”
In another display of the depth Thompson III is developing, the Hoyas benefitted from 18 bench points, including seven from freshman forward Nate Lubick and four from junior center Henry Sims, who also grabbed four boards. Georgetown dominated the glass on both ends, 41-25, and continued to improve what was a glaring weakness for them a season ago.
Tied at seven with the Bulldogs early in the first half, the Hoyas ripped off 23 straight points, including 10 consecutive ones from Freeman to take a commanding 30-7 lead.
From that point on, however, UNC-Asheville outscored the Hoyas 65-57, exposing Georgetown’s recent habit of earning big leads and then taking its collective foot off the gas. A 16-3 Bulldog run late in the ballgame cut the Hoyas’ lead to 12 at one point.
“Coach says every team makes runs,” Vaughn said to reporters during the postgame press conference. “So I felt like late in the second half, they were making their run. Their guards were getting off a little bit, hitting some big shots. . We had to refocus and be like, `The game isn’t over.'”
Georgetown will continue its difficult nonconference slate on Tuesday when it hits the road for a 9 p.m. showdown with No. 12 Missouri in Kansas City, Mo.
Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/thehoyasports and at blogs.thehoya.com/paranoia.