Jan. 15, 2012
NEW YORK - Junior forward Hollis Thompson (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) scored 20 points and No. 11 Georgetown used a big second half run en route to a 69-49 win over St. John's at Madison Square Garden Sunday afternoon.
The win ends a two-game losing streak for the Hoyas, who improve to 14-3 overall and 4-2 in the BIG EAST, while St. John's falls to 8-9 overall and 2-4 in the BIG EAST.
"Coming out of halftime you have to say `Well, none have dropped but I have confidence in my shooting and if the last ones haven't dropped that means I got one coming soon,"' said Thompson, who leads the Big East in 3-point shooting at 52.4 percent.
Thompson hit 7-of-13 shots from the field and 5-of-9 from three-point land to lead the Hoyas, while senior guard Jason Clark (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) add 15 points, eight rebounds and a career-high eight assists. The Hoyas had great contributions from its freshman class, with freshman forward Otto Porter (Sikeston, Mo./Scott County Central) scored 13 points and had nine rebounds while forward Greg Whittington Colubmia, Md./Oakland Mills) added eight points and eight rebounds.
"I'm going to give you a cookie-cutter answer but it's true, every game in this league is big," said John Thompson, whose team plays at DePaul on Tuesday. "Obviously, just emotionally, you don't want to lose three in a row and then have to go back on the road again. Wins in this league on the road are hard to come by and every night is a dogfight. Every night you have to scrape. So, this was a big game in that regard."
Georgetown had taken its biggest lead of the game, 37-25, on a Whittington layup early in the second half and the Hoyas led by 11 points twice, first on a Thompson layup (44-33, 10:51) and then on a Whittington layup (46-35, 9:52). SJU, however, countered with a 10-2 run and pulled to within 48-45 on free throws from D'Angelo Harrison with 6:36 to play in the game.
The Hoyas scored six-straight points, first a three-pointer from Thompson and then three of four free throws from senior center Henry Sims (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph) as the lead grew to 54-45. A layup from Whittington and free throws from Clark pushed the lead back to 11 points, 58-47, with 4:30 left in the game.
St. John's cut the Georgetown halftime lead to four points, 25-21, on a tip-in from Maoe Harkless and the lead was down to three-points, 28-25, on a layup from Harkless at 17:06. The Hoyas, however, used a 9-0 run over a span of 2:36 and took a 37-25 lead on a layup from freshman forward Greg Whittington (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills). After SJU pulled to within eight, on a three-point play from Amir Garrett, a three-pointer from Thompson pushed the lead back to 11 points, 40-29, with 12:43 to play.
Georgetown led by six points 25-19, at the half, using a 12-0 run midway through half to take a 17-13 lead after consecutive offensive rebounds and put-back baskets from Porter, who scored six points and had seven rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.
St. John's had taken advantage in the opening eight minutes as Georgetown struggled from the field - hitting only two of their first 10 shots during that span - and took a 13-5 lead on a dunk from Harkless at the 12:17 mark. The Hoyas turned up the defensive pressure and got back into it, with a three from Clark igniting the 12-0 run.
The Hoyas held SJU without a field goal for 5:49, with a jumper from Harkelss making it 17-15. Georgetown followed that with an 8-2 spurt over 2:33 and took a 25-17 lead on an offensive rebound and putback basket from Whittington. A jumper from Sir'Dominic Pointer made it 25-19 at the break.
"It feels good," Clark said. "It's always good to get wins on the road and keep boosting our confidence."
Georgetown continues its road trip on Tuesday, Jan. 17, visiting DePaul. Tipoff at Rosemont Horizon is slated for 7 p.m. The game will be shown live on ESPN2 with John Saunders and LaPhonso Ellis calling the action. Rich Chvotkin's radio call can be heard on Sports Talk AM 570.