March 10, 2010
NEW YORK - Sophomore center Greg Monroe (New Orleans, La./Helen Cox) scored 12 of his team-high 16 points in the second half, leading three players in double figures as No. 8 seed Georgetown limited No. 9 seed South Florida to 29 percent shooting from the floor as the Hoyas topped the Bulls, 69-49, during the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament.
The Hoyas (21-9 overall) advance to play top-seeded Syracuse in the Quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament on Thursday, March 11 at noon. The game against Syracuse will be shown live on ESPN and can be heard locally on ESPN 980 AM.
Sophomore guard Jason Clark (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) scored 16 points, connecting on 4-of-6 shots from long distance, and junior guard Chris Wright (Bowie, Md./St. John's College H.S. [D.C.]) added 15 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Georgetown led by 12 points at the half, but USF trimmed the lead to nine points, 48-39, on a pair of free throws from Chris Howard with 10:09 to play. The Hoyas, however, used a 12-5 spurt over 5:02 to take a commanding 60-44 lead on a conventional three-point play from Monroe with 5:07 left in the game. The run was started by a three-pointer from Wright, followed by a layup from junior guard Austin Freeman (Mitchellville, Md./DeMatha), a free throw from sophomore center Henry Sims (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph) and a three from Clark before Monroe's play.
Keyed by Monroe, who scored five of the team's next seven points, Georgetown opened up a 67-46 lead on a layup from the First Team All-BIG EAST center with 1:57 to play. A layup from freshman forward Jerrelle Benimon (Warrenton, Va./Fauquier) gave the Hoyas their biggest lead, 69-46, with 42 seconds left.
Georgetown led by 12 points, 31-19, at the half, but a 10-4 run from South Florida narrowed the gap to six points, 35-29, on a pair of free throws from Jarrid Famous with 16:52 to play. A three-pointer from freshman guard Hollis Thompson (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) and a layup from Wright pushed the lead back to 11 points, 42-31, but two free throws from Augustus Gilchrist and one from Dominique Jones, got USF to within 42-34, with 13:47 left.
Consecutive baskets from Monroe and a fast break layup from Freeman pushed the lead to 48-36, before USF narrowed the gap to nine and the Hoyas used the decisive run to open the game up.
In the first half, a layup from junior forward Julian Vaughn (Vienna, Va./Oak Hill Academy) gave the Hoyas the early lead, but a jumper Gilchrist put USF up, 6-4. That basket was the last for the Bulls for more than 11 minutes, as the Hoyas proceeded to go on a 20-4 run over a span of 11:15 and took a 24-10 lead on a three-pointer from Clark with 3:40 to play in the half.
Wright scored eight of his 10 first half points during the run, starting it with a three-pointer and adding a conventional three-point play. Georgetown held South Florida to only one field goal during a span of 11:30 in the first half to open up the 14-point lead.
Jones, the Bulls' leading scorer, had been held in check for much of the first half, but scored nine points in the final 3:31 as Georgetown went into the break up 31-19.
Clark and Wright combined to shoot 12-of-24 from the field, including 6-of-8 from three-point land, as Georgetown shot 45.8 percent from the field (27-of-59), 50.0 percent from 3-point land (7-of-14) and 88.9 percent from the free throw line (8-of-9). Monroe was 7-of-14 from the floor, scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds, had two assists and two blocks. Freeman added eight points, four assists and three rebounds, while Vaughn finished with six points, two rebounds and two blocks. The Hoyas held a 26-22 advantage on the boards, handed out 14 assists, committed 10 turnovers, blocked seven shots and had seven steals.