Teach Me How to Ugly: Georgetown 62, Old Dominion 59

Georgetown overcame a horrendous first half, virtually no contributions from players four through thirteen on the roster, and an assault on the boards to eek out a 62-59 victory Friday night over a tough, experienced Old Dominion squad in Norfolk. True to nearly every prediction in the land, the three-guard Hoya rotation came up big: Chris Wright led all scorers with 19 points, while Jason Clark poured in 18 and Austin Freeman chipped in 17. Quick thoughts:

  • Hero. Tough choice between the guards, but probably Clark, who hit a series of high-degree-of-difficulty shots to keep the game tight while the rest of the team struggled to get in a rhythm.  Runner-up: Wright, who hit a volley ball-esque three pointer to beat the shot clock and give the Hoyas their first lead of the second half.
  • Goat. Comcast Sports Net.  Forget high definition, this game was shown in stunning no definition. The camera work was shaky, with the corners of the court mysteriously omitted from the frame.  The production was incompetent: replays were shown while live action continued on the court. And the broadcast team seemed to have learned two facts about each team–Georgetown can shoot!  Georgetown has no depth.–and saw fit to repeat them throughout.
  • Things looked bad when the Monarchs got up eight several times, the last of which was at 49-41 with just over six minutes remaining. To that point, Freeman seemed disengaged, Wright was giving teh ball to anyone who would take it, ODU was winning nearly every loose ball, and the Hoyas looked like they had never seen a zone defense before.
  • Critical Sequence. In a 2:20 stretch of the second half, Freeman hit two deep balls, the latter resulting in a four-point play, followed by Wright’s back-to-back triples. Runner Up: The last 11 minutes, in which the Hoyas scored as many points (31) as in the first 29 minutes.
  • Reason for concern.  There are many choices here, but we’ll go with the eight points from players not named Wright, Freeman, or Clark.  ODU played a sticky zone defense that packed in around the Hoya bigs, so interior points were scarce. But Georgetown must develop its interior scoring as the early-season games progress.  Runners Up: the 19-point, 11-turnover first half; a -12 rebound differential; and a frustrating 6-13 from the free throw line, including two blown front ends of one-and-ones by Freeman.
  • Reason for optimism.  Nate Lubick.  He gave us more enthusiasm than polish, but provided a number of nice plays, including 6 rebounds, a swift help-side blocked shot, and a sweet dish to Henry Sims on a high-low over the Monarch zone.  Runner Up: Julian Vaughn clocking a solid 32 minutes, even if he couldn’t finish at the rim or keep the ball above his head.
  • Conclusion. ODU is a scrappy team that makes its opponents win ugly, and tonight was no exception. Georgetown fumbled its way through most of the game, but found its sync when crunch time approached.  The three guards (nickname pending) all hit crucial shots.  And a win is a win, particularly against a solid foe in a hostile gym.  Your undefeated Georgetown Hoyas return to action Monday in their home opener against the Tulane Green Wave.  In the meantime, check out tonight’s box score here.
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