Jan. 28, 2012
WASHINGTON - No. 9-ranked Georgetown narrowed a 17-point first half deficit to six points late in the game, but could not get any closer as Pittsburgh held on for a 72-60 win over the Hoyas in front of 12,508 fans at the Petersen Events Center Saturday afternoon.
The loss drops Georgetown's record to 16-4 overall and 6-3 in the BIG EAST, while the Panthers improve to 13-9 overall and 2-7 in league play.
Freshman forward Otto Porter (Sikeston, Mo./Scott County Central) scored 14 points and had six rebounds to lead the Hoyas, while senior center Henry Sims (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph) scored 10 points, had four rebounds and five assists. Senior guard Jason Clark (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) scored nine points and had two assists, while junior forward Hollis Thompson (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) added 11 points.
The Hoyas had cut a 17-point first half deficit (29-12) to five points (41-36) early in the second half on a jumper from Sims with 17:25 to play and trailed by only six points, 55-49, after a pair of free throws from freshman forward Greg Whittington (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills) with 4:12 to play in the game.
A dunk from Dante Taylor pushed the Pitt lead to 57-49, Georgetown missed a three-pointer and turned the ball over once and the Panthers capitalized, with baskets from Nasir Robinson and Ashton Gibbs pushing the lead to 59-49 with 2:56 left.
"We've been down before and found ways to claw our way back into it," Thompson said. "We clawed our way back into it, but they were able to get baskets too easy when we had to get stops."
Georgetown trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half (29-12) and were down by 11 points at halftime (33-22), but used a 9-4 over the opening 2:35 of the half and forced Pittsburgh to call a timeout two baskets from Sims, a jumper from Clark and a three-pointer from sophomore guard Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep).
The lead was pushed back to eight points, 39-31, on a jumper from Ashton Gibbs, but a 5-2 spurt over the next 45 seconds got the Hoyas to within five points, 41-36, after a conventional three-point play from Clark and a Sims jumper. Georgetown had the ball with a chance to get within two or three points, but could not convert and John Johnson's three-pointer capped a 7-2 Pitt run that saw the lead extend back to 10 points, 48-38.
"It's just a stretch where the ball didn't go in the basket and they were getting easy shots at the other end," Thompson said. "We spotted them whatever lead it was and when we missed those shots it turned into baskets for them."
The Hoyas fell behind early, with Pitt taking a seven-point lead on a three-pointer from Gibbs, but a basket from Trawick and two from Porter pulled GU to within three points, 14-11, with 10:29 to play.
Georgetown, however, missed 10-straight shots over a span of 7:10 and Pitt used a 15-1 run - the only score coming when Whittington hit one of two free throws with 4:26 left - to take a 29-12 lead on a dunk from Talib Zanna. The Hoyas caught fire in the latter stages of the half, using a 10-4 to pull within 33-22 at the break after Porter hit his first career three-pointer with 48 seconds left.
The Hoyas finished the game shooting 42.6 percent from the floor (23-of-54), hit 33.3 percent of their three-pointers (5-of-15) and were 7-of-12 from the free throw line (58.3%). Pitt held a 31-22 advantage on the boards, handed out 13 assists and committed 11 turnovers.
Georgetown is back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 1, hosting No. 23 Connecticut at Verizon Center. The game will be shown live on ESPN and can be heard locally on Sports Talk AM 570.
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