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

Bull Rages Through Hoyas’ Defense in Upset

The Hoyas have relied on their Big Three throughout the season as they take turns filling the basket – 33 from Austin Freeman, 27 from Chris Wright, 29 from Greg Monroe. But Wednesday night Georgetown was the victim of South Florida’s lone star, Dominique Jones.

Entering the game averaging 29.5 points in his last eight games, the South Florida junior guard ripped through the Hoya defense like a hurricane, blowing by defenders and finishing nearly impossible layups with bodies flying around him.

Jones scored 22 of his 29 points in the second half as the Bulls stormed back from a nine-point halftime hole to earn a 72-64 upset.

Jones’ second-half surge was emblematic of his team’s turnaround.

“We became a more aggressive team in the second half,” South Florida Head Coach Stan Heath said. “[Jones] started attacking a little bit more and made a couple of shots, and once he got going, he was really hard to stop.”

Heath’s star Jones did not even score until a pair of free throws at the 8:25 mark in the first half when the Bulls were already down five points on their way to a 13-point deficit.

Jones came raging out of halftime, leading an 11-4 run early in the second half with a tough layup banked high off the glass and then a steal that he turned into a dunk to cut the Georgetown lead to four points.

“He does a very good job – for someone who scores as many points as he does – of not forcing anything,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said.

Like a Bull in a china shop, Jones dribbled around and through Georgetown defenders.

Down five points at the 12:55 mark, Jones drove to his right from the top of the key to beat his defender then hung in the air to allow Hoyas’ help defender Jerrelle Benimon to fly by him. Jones finished the layup and drew the foul for a three-point play.

South Florida took the lead for good with 10:36 to play in the second half when Jones threw up a contested three pointer near the end of the shot clock. The guard knew his shot was off and sprinted toward the hoop for the rebound, but the ball banked off the glass and in.

“He’ll say it wasn’t lucky but I think it was,” Heath joked after the game, citing the three as a turning point in the game. It triggered a 9-0 run that the Hoyas never recovered from.

“Every time we come out, we know that the teams are going to give him their best defender,” said senior guard Mike Mercer of his teammate. “Some games he starts off a little slower than others, but he always ends up with his numbers because he’s such an offensive power. He can get the ball in the hole any kind of way.”

It was not just Jones’ offense that lifted South Florida. He grabbed eight rebounds, handed out four assists and stole the ball three times. Drawing two and three defenders whenever he drove, Jones freed up his teammates for tip-ins whenever his shots rimmed out.

“Obviously we feed off of him. As much as he scores, he made some outstanding defensive plays, stripping the ball to get some steals to turn into offensive plays,” Heath said.

Jones, “an emotional kid” according to Heath, was jarring with Georgetown fans throughout the game and ran to the student section after the buzzer to exchange some final words and flex his muscles.

“I’ve been there the past two years in the Big East. They see us lose and say all kinds of things,” Jones said. “I’m not a person of revenge, but it feels good to look in those same people’s faces and [say] I’m laughing in the end.”

Georgetown, meanwhile, suffered as their Big Three disappeared late in the game.

onroe was almost unstoppable, driving and scoring at will. Coming off a 14-point first half, however, Monroe picked up his second and third fouls within a matter of seconds early in the second frame. Monroe, who finished with 21 points as the Hoyas’ go-to guy on offense, fouled out with 3:29 to play and Georgetown down just two points.

Freeman also scored 21 points, but he made just one field goal in the first 19:23 of the second half. His two three-pointers in the final 37 seconds were too little, too late.

Both Freeman and Monroe turned the ball over four times.

Wright struggled from the field, missing all six of his three-point attempts, and finished with eight points. Georgetown is now 16-5 overall and 1-5 when Wright scores in single digits.

Jones, on the other hand, simply does not have off nights. He hasn’t been held under 20 points since December.

“To be honest with you,” Heath said, “this was a good game, but it wasn’t his best game.”

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