Dec. 22, 2011
WASHINGTON - Senior guard Jason Clark (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) led four Hoyas in double figures with 18 points, as the No. 16 Georgetown University men's basketball team (10-1) defeated Memphis (6-5) 70-59 on Thursday night in front of 12,045 at the Verizon Center.
The victory was the Hoyas second over the Tigers this season, having defeated them on November 23, 91-88 in overtime at the Maui Invitational. It was the eighth-straight win for the Hoyas, tying the team's season-long win streak of last season as the team started 10-1 for the fifth-straight season.
Junior forward Hollis Thompson (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola ) finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, while senior center Henry Sims (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph's) added 132 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals and sophomore guard Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep) chipped in 14 points, three assists and two steals.
The Hoyas used a late run in the first half to open a 35-28 lead at the break and carried that momentum into the second half, opening on a 7-0 run to take a 42-28 lead, as Clark's 15-foot jumper at the 18:15 mark forced a Memphis time-out. A three-point play from Chris Crawford out of the time-out did not slow down the Hoyas, as tip-ins from Thompson and Starks extend the lead to 15, 46-31 at the 15:34 mark.
The Hoyas continued to extend its lead, as a three-pointer from Clark and a lay-up from Thompson in consecutive possessions put GU in front by 20 points, 54-34, forcing another timeout with just over 12 minutes left in the game.
Memphis responded without starting center Tarik Black, who had picked up his fifth foul with over 10 minutes to play, as the Tigers went on a 15-4, cutting the lead to 10 with 7:37 remaining in the game. Memphis kept inching closer, as a fast-break lay-up by Adonis Thomas cut the Hoyas lead to seven, 61-54 with 3:59 in the game.
That was as close as Memphis would get as Starks hit a pull-up jumper with 3:50 left and the Hoyas hit 7-of-10 free throws in the final 3:07, including four from Sims, to widen the gap for the 11-point win.
Starks helped the Hoyas out to a quick start, connecting on two three-pointers and dishing out two assists in the game's first seven minutes, to take a 15-6 by the 12:56 mark in the first half.
The Tigers cut the lead to three on a pair of Will Barton free throws at 10:51, but Starks had an answer, responding with a driving lay-up to draw a foul, making the ensuing free throw for the three-point play, pushing the lead back to six points, 20-14 Memphis tied the score at 23 with 7:05 remaining in the half, but a pair of Jabril Trawick (Jenkintown, Pa./Abington Friends) free throws started a 12-5 run by the Hoyas to end the half. The Blue & Gray closed out strong, with a Clark tip-in and a Sims fast-break dunk with 5.5 seconds remaining in the half to give GU a 35-28 lead at the break.
Clark hit 7-of-12 shots from the field, had five rebounds and tied his season high with four steals. Freshman forward Otto Porter (Baltimore, Md./McDonough) added five points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal.
The Hoyas shot 43.1 percent from the floor (22-of-51), hit 35.7 percent of the free throws (5-of-14) and were 21-of-30 from the free throw line (70.0%). GU held a 38-29 advantage on the boards, handed out 13 assists, committed 15 turnovers and tied a season-high with 10 steals.
Georgetown is off until after Christmas when the team starts BIG EAST Conference play with a matchup at No. 4 Louisville on Wednesday, Dec. 28 in Kentucky.