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Fast Break: Walker snaps streak with exceptional play
It was a tale of two point guards on Wednesday night as No. 9 Georgetown traveled to No. 12 Connecticut for a matchup of Big East powers. While Chris Wright scored 19 points for the Hoyas, the story of the game was UConn star Kemba Walker. His highlight-reel performance included a game-high 31 points, which led the Huskies to a 78-70 win.
As the game began, it looked like Georgetown was the superior team. The Hoyas were able to get nearly any shot they wanted against the UConn defense. Georgetown controlled the pace of the game, as Wright assisted on multiple easy buckets for Austin Freeman and Jason Clark.
The Hoyas’ lead climbed to 10 points after a Clark steal and dunk and Georgetown retained an eight-point lead for much of the half.
In the last five minutes, however, Walker began to heat up, creating many scoring opportunities by driving into the paint. Meanwhile, the UConn big men carried the Huskies back into the game, crashing the offensive glass to get multiple easy buckets.
The Huskies managed to take a two-point lead late in the half, but a three from Wright in the final seconds gave the Hoyas the one-point advantage at the break.
Walker, though, came out of the locker room like a man possessed, single handedly carrying the Huskies to a five-point lead early in the second half.
Walker not only scored at will, however—his style of play was downright impressive. At one point, Walker found himself guarded by Henry Sims just outside of the free-throw line. Sims held his ground as Walker picked up his dribble, and pump faked to the right. Instead of shooting or passing the ball, Walker pivoted and threw the ball hard off the backboard, caught the rebound in the air, and put the ball back into the bucket. The playground-like move proved to be the crowning achievement in a virtuoso performance by the UConn guard.
Despite Walker’s heroics, the Hoyas showed veteran poise and determination to stay in the game. Although the Huskies held an eight-point lead with about 10 minutes remaining, Georgetown fought back to eventually take a one-point lead with four minutes left thanks to multiple Wright three-pointers, who went 5-for-9 from behind the arc for the second game in a row.
Walker would not allow his team to lose, however, and he scored a quick four points to give his team a 73-70 lead the Huskies would not relinquish.
With the loss, the Hoyas’ impressive eight-game win streak is over. Georgetown still has solid positioning in the Big East, though and has a chance to get back on the winning track this Saturday against South Florida. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Tampa.