Hoyas crush North Carolina-Greensboro 85-45 in Maui Invitational opener

November 14, 2011

The Georgetown men’s basketball team took care of business Monday night as they dismantled North Carolina-Greensboro 86-45 in the opening game of the Maui Invitational. The final score may have even been a bit generous to the Spartans, who cut the lead in the last few minutes as the Hoyas rested key players.

Those key players were dominant early, however, as senior Jason Clark poured in 17 first half points before sitting for most of the second interval. He attacked the basket with great tenacity each time the Hoyas methodical offense stagnated. Despite going just 1 for 7 from three, he was undoubtedly the Hoyas best player on the night. Yet, Clark was hesitant to take credit for the blowout win.

“It was good ball movement and I ended up with the ball,” Clark said. “Other people on our team were making shots too so I don’t think it was me.

Junior Hollis Thompson contributed a game-high 19 points in just eighteen minutes of game time, showing his range draining 5 of 6 three-pointers. The other Hoya veterans posted solid performances, but Thompson and Clark carried the load offensively, with 30 of Georgetown’s 41 first-half points as they opened up a 25-point lead on the Spartans heading into the break. Head coach John Thompson III, however, underlined the play around his dynamic upperclassmen scorers.

“These guys have to score for us,” Thompson III said. “We’re moving the ball nicely though… whoever scores, scores.”

Decisively, the Hoyas didn’t look back after a stellar opening twenty minutes. Given the favorable scoreline, the Hoya freshmen were again given the chance to strut their stuff, earning most of the second-half runtime. Jabril Trawick, Mikael Hopkins, Greg Whittington and Otto Porter all received significant playing time, while Tyler Adams made a cameo appearance in the second half, despite having his minutes limited as he nurses an ankle injury. Adams and senior John Caprio were the only Hoyas not to score on the night.

“They are going to play extended minutes, that’s probably regardless of who the opponent is,” Thompson III said of his freshman class. “Relative to the last couple of years, we are more deep and more versatile.”

With Kansas ahead next Monday, the Hoyas will want to encourage a more attacking approach offensively. If not for Clark consistently driving into the lane late in the shot-clock, the Hoyas first half could have gone much differently. He won’t be able to do it alone against a talented Jayhawks squad, so Thompson and sophomore guard Markel Starks must be more aggressive with the ball in their hands rather than settle for perimeter jumpers.

Despite the level of their competition, the Hoyas will be pleased with the comfortable win. A few key adjustments and this team should be ready to take on some of the nation’s best in Hawaii next week.


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