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

Hibbert Leads Hoyas To Win Over Navy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The whispers of Roy Hibbert’s offseason improvement came to fruition as the sophomore center made a bold statement Friday night, leading Georgetown with 20 points in a 72-49 drubbing of Navy.

Before a crowd of 4,104, including more than 300 Georgetown students, at Navy’s Alumni Hall, Hibbert demonstrated composure not seen during his rookie year, reaching a career high in scoring while contributing seven rebounds and four blocks.

“His confidence has improved, his strength has improved, and his teammates’ confidence in him has improved,” Head Coach John Thompson III said.

To prepare for Hibbert, Navy Head Coach Billy Lange said his team practiced during the week by having players stand on chairs.

“He’s obviously a big target. He can cause a lot of mental problems,” Georgetown fifth-year swingman Darrel Owens said. “Today is just a little bit of what he has to offer.”

Lange, who like Thompson is in his second year as head coach, added that he had not even expected Hibbert to start the game, assuming that Owens would start at small forward and sophomore Jeff Green would start at center.

While Hibbert began his sophomore campaign with a splash, Green struggled in the first contest of his second year, playing just seven minutes in the first half after getting into early foul trouble. He managed 13 points and seven boards but appeared to be off his game, committing four turnovers – including two in the span of a minute.

Hibbert set the tone for the game with a slam dunk just 22 seconds in, sparking a 14-2 Georgetown run. The Hoyas never looked back.

The Midshipmen managed to get within eight points with 7:24 to go in the first half, after Navy senior forward and team captain att Fannin converted a steal off Hoya senior forward Brandon Bowman into two points.

Senior guard Ashanti Cook nailed a three-pointer to close out the first period, giving Georgetown a 35-18 advantage going into intermission. Navy could get no closer than 12 points in the second half.

Georgetown shot nearly 54 percent from the floor, while Navy barely broke 35 percent.

“We concentrated probably more on defense,” Thompson said.

Despite the discrepancy, Thompson said he thought that his team could have performed better offensively. Owens added, “They showed us a lot of different defenses we haven’t seen in a while.”

Overall, the Hoyas looked sharper and moved faster than they did last season. While last year players were often caught with the ball in their hands as the shot clock wound down, Georgetown had no such trouble in Friday’s season opener.

Bowman even went to the floor twice in pursuit of loose balls and showed a willingness to be physical in the paint.

“We all have a higher comfort level than we did at this time last year – even at the end of last year,” Thompson said.

Nine players contributed at least 10 minutes, with sophomore guard Jon Wallace clocking a team-high 29. Freshmen Jessie Sapp and arc Egerson saw significant playing time, logging 19 and 12 minutes respectively. Sapp, a guard, scored the first points of his collegiate career on two free throws in the second half. He added four rebounds while Egerson, a forward, notched three.

Leading the Midshipmen in scoring were sophomore guards Greg Sprink and Corey Johnson, who tallied 14 points each.

With the win, Georgetown ended Navy’s streak of four season-opening wins at home.

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