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

GU Sweats Out Win Down South

Six games – and six wins – into the season, one thing remains the same for the No. 5 Hoyas: They know how to close it out in the last few minutes. On Wednesday night at the BJCC Arena in Birmingham, Ala., Alabama looked poised for an upset. But Georgetown switched into a higher gear and reeled off a 14-3 run to win the game 70-60, continuing the Hoyas’ winning streak. “Traditionally this is how our team has played. This team is learning to slowly and methodically pull away,” Head Coach John Thompson III said in a press release. “In the past – and we are far from it, but – we could wear people down in the last few minutes of the game.” “I think we were a little more attentive, communicated a little better and mixed things up in the second half,” Thompson added, echoing what he had said following the similarly tough win over Fairfield on Saturday that swung decisively in Georgetown’s favor in the last few minutes. The Crimson Tide (4-3) led the Hoyas 57-56 with four minutes left in the game, but sophomore forward DaJuan Summers sank a three-pointer to give Georgetown the final edge it needed. Up to that point, the Hoyas had not been able to get more than a three-point lead over the Tide. Senior guard Mykal Riley, who totaled 15 points on the game, provided Alabama with several clutch three-pointers. Three of his four second-half treys either tied the game or put the Tide ahead. “I thought Alabama played extremely well. They keep us off-balance and hit big shots when they need to hit big shots,” Thompson said. The 60 points that Alabama scored is the most that Georgetown has allowed this season. In addition, the 35-33 score in the Tide’s favor after the turbulent first half, which featured seven lead changes and five ties, marked the first time that the Hoyas have trailed going into the break. Georgetown’s defense was the strongest and most consistent area for the team going into this game, but against Alabama, the Hoyas allowed open look after open look for the majority of the game. Turnovers were also a big part of the problem for the Hoyas, who lost the ball 15 times during the contest – a season high. The Tide made sure to take advantage of every Georgetown mistake to create a strong offense for themselves, relying heavily on offensive rebounds and second-chance points in the first half to stay close. Alabama’s 6-foot-9 junior forward Richard Hendrix lived up to the hype of his match-up with fellow Wooden Award nominee Roy Hibbert, Georgetown’s 7-foot-2 senior center. Although he finished a little short of his 22-point average, Hendrix had 17 points and nine boards and seemed to have a hand in nearly every Alabama possession while he was on the floor. For his part, Hibbert (14 points, nine rebounds, four blocks) got a good start to the game, scoring eight points in the first six minutes on a combination of layups and free throws. He showed some nice moves in the lane before Alabama realized its error of leaving him open in that area. Once the Tide defense clamped down, Hibbert faced the same roadblocks that he has seen in other games this season: The opponent kept him out of the block, where he is most effective at scoring, and he was at the receiving end of several fouls. “We wanted to make it tough for him to catch the ball in the paint,” Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried said in a press release. Including Hibbert, four Hoyas tallied double figures on the game, led by Summers, who put up a game-high 18 points with nine rebounds. From the backcourt, senior guard Jonathan Wallace, a native of Alabama, and junior guard Jessie Sapp finished with 11 and 12 points, respectively.

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