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

Hoyas Need Late Run to Down Huskies

Georgetown senior center Roy Hibbert has said that he’s been working on his three-point shot all season. In Saturday’s game against Connecticut, with the score tied at 69 and 4.2 seconds left, he proved it. The big man was positioned at the top of the key, and as the clock ticked down, he took a pass from sophomore forward DaJuan Summers, squared up and took an open shot. As everyone in the sold-out crowd in the Verizon Center held their breath, the ball sailed through the hoop, giving Georgetown a 72-69 edge. The victory improves the Hoyas’ record to 3-0 in the Big East (13-1 overall), leaving Georgetown as the only undefeated team in conference play. “That’s not a fluke, that’s not a shocker, that’s not a once-in-a-lifetime thing that Roy makes that shot,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said after the game. “If you leave him open, he has shown every day in practice and this year that if you’re not going to play him, he can make that shot.” Hibbert’s three-pointer put an exclamation point on an 11-2 run that the Hoyas started when they fell behind 67-61 with 4:21 left in the game. First, Freshman guard Austin Freeman started the run at the 3:08 mark with a three-pointer, and junior guard Jessie Sapp hit a trey 45 seconds later that tied the game at 67. Connecticut sophomore center Hasheem Thabeet connected on two free throws, but he was called for goaltending on Georgetown’s next possession as senior forward Patrick Ewing Jr. attempted a layup. After sophomore guard Doug Wiggins missed on the other end, the Hoyas regained possession with the score knotted at 69 and the clock showing 31.3 seconds. Georgetown called a timeout to draw up the play that unpredictably ended in Hibbert’s three-pointer. “We wanted to bring Roy up and then bring him back down, to tell you the truth, and just while it was evolving he had options to go to a couple on-ball screens,” Thompson said. “[Roy] just made a basketball decision,” he said. Hibbert led all scorers with 20 points to go with his eight rebounds. Joining Hibbert in double figures were Ewing (14 points), Freeman (13) and DaJuan Summers (12). Connecticut (11-4, 2-2) held a lead over Georgetown for most of the last nine minutes of the game. Hibbert was on the wrong end of his usual role of shot-blocker, as the 7-foot-3 Thabeet rejected two of Hibbert’s shots. The Hoyas had been struggling to make baskets prior to their late comeback, connecting on only 33.3 percent of their attempts in the second half. “It was an identical situation, almost, to Memphis,” Thompson said. “But all of a sudden at Memphis you end up down 12. And this group kind of settled in and responded. I think they realized that we were getting shots that we wanted, they just weren’t going in. We just had to get a few stops.” Unlike at Memphis, where Georgetown was beaten 43 to 30 on the boards, the Hoyas outrebounded the Huskies 32-29 on Saturday, no small feat considering that Connecticut leads the nation in rebounding at 45.2 per game. Georgetown was particularly effective at getting second chances, grabbing 12 offensive rebounds compared to the Huskies’ five. When asked if he would grade his team’s rebounding effort on an A-F scale, Thompson responded, “You know how when you’re in elementary school, you have `improvement needed,’ `satisfactory’? We’re still at the improvement needed part.” Connecticut Associate Head Coach George Blaney, who took the place of ailing Head Coach Jim Calhoun, said that he still saw some encouraging signs in the Huskies’ loss. Junior forward Jeff Adrien and junior guard A.J. Price finished with 18 and 17 points, respectively, and Wiggins (6-of-7) came off the bench to post 15 points. Price also had nine assists. “I don’t think it will be hard to get back up for the next game, because we know we can play,” Blaney said. “One thing that remains clear after this game is that this is a very good young team. We shot 49 percent from the field and played well, so I hope they will take positives from this game.” The Hoyas do not have much time to reflect on their victory, though, with a Monday night game scheduled in Pittsburgh. (Indeed, Thompson said that the team would be celebrating by going to bed early Saturday night.) Georgetown’s match-up against Pitt (14-2, 2-1) in the Petersen Center begins at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN. Free Throws: – Connecticut Head Coach Jim Calhoun did not coach on Saturday due to dehydration and flulike symptoms. It was the first time that he missed a full game in almost five years. – Freshman guard Chris Wright, who has been out with an injured ankle, did not suit up for the third-straight game. – Before the game, Thompson presented Hibbert and senior guard Jonathan Wallace with commemorative basketballs to mark their entry into Georgetown’s 1,000-point club. – Scouts from 10 NBA teams attended Saturday’s game. Also at the game was Boston Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers, the father of sophomore guard Jeremiah Rivers. The Celtics were playing the Wizards in the Verizon Center following the Georgetown-Connecticut game. Celtics guard Ray Allen and Wizards forward Caron Butler, both former UConn stars, were also in attendance. – Nine of Connecticut junior guard A.J. Price’s 17 points came at the charity stripe. From the field he shot only 3-for-11.

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