Eighth-ranked Georgetown led from start to finish, put four players in double figures, connected on 52 percent of its shots and scored 47 points in the second half en route to an 86-70 win over Vanderbilt at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn. Wednesday night.
It was the second-straight win for the Hoyas, who open the season with a 2-0 record, while the Commodores fall to 0-1. The 86 points scored by the Blue and Gray are the second-highest point total for Georgetown under John Thompson III, one shy of the mark set during an 87-84 win over then No. 1 Duke last season. It was the fourth-best scoring game for a Thompson-led team in six-plus years as a head coach.
Vanderbilt trailed by four points (39-35) at halftime and pulled to within a basket on the first possession of the second half after a Derrick Byars layup, but three consecutive baskets - two from junior center Roy Hibbert (Adelphi, Md./Georgetown Prep) and one from junior forward Jeff Green (Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern) - from the Hoyas moved the lead up to eight points (45-37).
The Hoyas maintained that lead through the midway point of the second half, but a three-pointer from Byars cut the margin to five points, 60-55, with 11:32 to play. Twenty seconds later, Green fed junior guard Jonathan Wallace (Harvest, Ala./Sparkman) for a three-pointer and then freshman guard Jeremiah Rivers (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) made a key steal and a dunk on the next possession, extending the Hoya lead to 65-55 with 10:30 to go.
Georgetown led by 11 points when Vanderbilt's Alex Gordon hit a pair of free throws and a jumper to pull within seven points, 68-61 with six-plus minutes left in the game. The Hoyas put the game away with a 16-4 run over a 5:02 span - with Green scoring six points and six different players scoring - to take their biggest lead of the game, 84-65 on a pair of free throws from Green with 1:33 to play.
In the first half, the Hoyas scored the first four points of the game before Vandy got on the board, making it 4-2 after a pair of Byars free throws. Georgetown proceeded to go on an 11-2 run over a span of 5:06, taking a 15-4 lead on a Hibbert dunk with 12:46 to play in the half. Vanderbilt pulled to within eight points, 23-15, on a Ross Neltner layup, but the Hoyas moved the lead back to 12 points, 27-15, after a Hibbert dunk and Wallace free throws.
Vanderbilt used its own run, a 13-4 spurt over 5:12, and pulled to within three points at 31-28 on a layup from George Drake late in the first half. The Hoyas scored eight straight points - a jumper from freshman DaJuan Summers (Baltimore, Md./McDonough), a free throw from Hibbert and a three-pointer from junior forward Patrick Ewing (Marietta, Ga./National Christian [Md.] Academy) - and the lead was 39-28 with a minute and change left to play. The Commodores scored seven quick points, including five from Alex Gordon, to make it 39-35 at halftime.
The Hoyas finished the game connecting on 52.5 percent of their field goals (32-of-61), 33.0 percent of their three-pointers (4-of-12) and 67.0 percent of their free throws (18-of-27). Vanderbilt connected on 42.0 percent of its field goals (22-of-53), but first-team All-SEC guard Shan Foster was limited to two points and missed all five of his field goal attempts.
Green led the Hoyas, scoring a game-high 19 points to go with five rebounds and six assists. Hibbert added 18 points and 10 rebounds - his 10th career double-double - and three blocked shots. Wallace connected on 6-of-10 shots from the field and had 16 points with three assists, while sophomore guard Jessie Sapp (New York, N.Y./National Christian Academy [Md.}) tied his career-high with 11 points. Ewing had a strong outing off the bench, playing 15 minutes and scoring seven points.
Georgetown returns home to play Old Dominion on Sunday, November 19 at McDonough Arena. The game, which can be heard live on AM 570, will tip off at 6 p.m.
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