Howard vs Georgetown

No. 18 Hoyas fend off Howard wire reports

WASHINGTON -- Even while Georgetown coach John Thompson III's team was allowing a 17-point lead over Howard to dwindle to two, he opted not to bring his players to the sideline.

With a team as young as his Hoyas -- a total of 10 freshmen and sophomores -- Thompson wanted to see them get out of the jam by themselves. And they did.

Playing its first game this season as a ranked team, No. 18 Georgetown held Howard scoreless for nearly 10 minutes at the start Saturday, then staved off a strong comeback bid before dominating down the stretch to win 62-48 behind freshman Otto Porter's 13 points.

"They've got to figure some things out on their own. We can call a timeout, but I wanted to see who was going to step up, who was going to talk, who was going to try to make adjustments on their own," Thompson said.

"I mean, yes, we can go debate the nuances of whether that's a good coaching move or not. But this group needs to figure out at certain points of the game, `OK, we need to handle this. We need to talk about this. We need to grow up.' Because they know ... what we should do," Thompson said.

He mainly relied on the leadership of senior Jason Clark and junior Hollis Thompson, who each chipped in with 12 points for the Hoyas (8-1) despite shooting poorly. On a six-game winning streak, the Hoyas hadn't played in a week and now will get another week off before their next game -- at home next Saturday against another D.C. school, American University.

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Georgetown entered the Associated Press Top 25 on Monday, thanks in part to victories over ranked teams Memphis and Alabama, and knew what to expect from Howard (3-6), which got 14 points from Mike Phillips.

"Coach told us before: It was their biggest game of the season. So we knew that they were going to come out and compete with us," Clark said. "They did. They definitely played harder than us today."

He and Hollis Thompson -- who isn't related to the coach -- went a combined 3 for 18 on field-goal tries, part of a rough shooting day for both teams. Neither quite made 33 percent from the field.

"I feel like we missed 10 layups. Now, they weren't your breakaway, wide-open layups. They were contested layups," John Thompson III said. "But we missed during the course of that game, I'm going to guess, 10 to 15 layups. And now you couple that with missing foul shots?"

Hmmmm. Howard coach Kevin Nickelberry might have snickered at that comment, because while Georgetown did miss 13 foul shots, it got a chance to attempt 42. Howard only took 22 free throws, making 14.

"They shot 42 free throws. We must be the foulingest team in America," Nickelberry said, shaking his head.

Still, after Georgetown began the game by taking a 17-0 lead -- Howard missed its first 11 shots -- the visitors began chipping away. When Simuel Frazier made a pull-up jumper with about 12 1/2 minutes to play, he cut Georgetown's lead to 34-32.

It was still a two-point margin at 38-36 when Howard had the ball and a chance to tie or go ahead, but Prince Okoroh was called for traveling along the baseline. The Bison's next possession ended with Frazier fumbling the ball out of bounds on a wild drive through the lane.

The Hoyas stifled Howard's offense in part by turning to a full-court press.

"We hadn't seen that on tape yet," Nickelberry said, noting that Georgetown generally has relied on a 1-2-2 zone.

"We hadn't really worked on that. ... As a young team, we had to adjust. By the time we adjusted," he added, "it was too late."

When Georgetown's Markel Starks dropped a no-look pass back to Porter for a fastbreak-closing dunk, the hosts' lead was back up to 55-44 with about 2 1/2 minutes to go.

In the early going, Howard simply could not put the ball through the hoop. When Okoroh's jumper from near the free-throw line rolled around the rim a few times before trickling out nearly eight minutes after tipoff, some spectators responded with a joint groan of disappointment.

But Howard finally struck on its next possession, when Dadrian Collins made a 3-pointer from the left wing with slightly more than 10 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

That began a stretch in which Howard outscored Georgetown 17-13, making the Hoyas' halftime lead 30-17. And the Bison scored the first five points of the second half, making things interesting for a while.

"We were worried about skill vs. will, to be honest with you. They're a good skill team," Nickelberry said. "We had to will them to play ugly, play our style, and we tried to do that in the second half."

Before the game, Georgetown announced that 6-foot-9 freshman Tyler Adams of Brandon, Miss., will be sidelined indefinitely because of concerns about his heart. He complained of chest pains before a practice during the week, John Thompson III said, and has been having tests done at Georgetown University Hospital.

"Him getting on the basketball court is irrelevant right now," the coach said. "When and if it happens, great. And if it doesn't happen, we just want to make sure he's OK. That's first and foremost."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Otto Porter and the No. 18 Hoyas get out to a 17-0 lead, then hold on late to beat Howard. (AP)
Otto Porter and the No. 18 Hoyas get out to a 17-0 lead, then hold on late to beat Howard. (AP)
Howard (3-6)173148
Georgetown #18 (8-1) «303262
HOW:M. Phillips 14 Pts
HOW:P. Okoroh 6 Reb
HOW:S. Frazier 4 Ast
GTOWN:O. Porter 13 Pts
GTOWN:N. Lubick 8 Reb
GTOWN:N. Lubick 3 Ast

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Mike Phillips
Hollis Thompson
Howard Bison
M. Phillips, F354-106-651214
P. Okoroh, G-F292-52-46236
S. Frazier, G281-71-23443
A. Leary, C111-20-04052
A. Dickerson, G50-12-41002
D. Collins, F314-121-140311
C. Thompson, G252-60-24136
O. Ellison, C211-32-35044
T. Boyomo, C90-00-00000
B. Bailey, F50-00-01020
C. Cuffee, G10-00-00000
G. Andrews, GDid Not Play
T. Lee, GDid Not Play
B. Ford, GDid Not Play
Totals 15-4614-223382648
Georgetown Hoyas
J. Clark, G321-1010-1031212
H. Thompson, F322-88-1160212
M. Starks, G262-70-00145
N. Lubick, F251-32-58324
H. Sims, C232-53-46247
O. Porter, F316-111-440113
G. Whittington, F120-10-04020
J. Trawick, G112-32-41026
M. Hopkins, F60-03-41013
A. Bowen, F20-10-00000
M. Ayegba, CDid Not Play
J. Caprio, GDid Not Play
T. Adams, CDid Not Play
Totals 16-4929-423372162
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
N.C. Central13-122-6190
Norfolk St.12-315-14259
Morgan St.10-413-14320
Savannah St.8-611-16322
Md.-E. Shore8-611-18306
Coppin St.7-78-21332
S.C. State7-810-18288
Delaware St.6-99-21329
Florida A&M5-107-21347
N.C. A&T0-142-27350

Big East
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Seton Hall8-818-1048
St. Johns7-913-16123
Other games
CREI 71 Final
St Joe's 80
Wash 80 Final
Cincinnati 53 Final
XAV 76
UNLV 51 Final
Wisc 62
Okla St 68 Final
Ohio St 67 Final
Kansas 78
HARV 76 Final
BU 52
Frl Dksn 58 Final
Louisville 80
TROY 68 Final
Miss St 106
Michigan 90 Final
OAK 80
NAVY 59 Final
Missouri 84
Kentucky 72 Final
Indiana 73
G Wash 50 Final
Syracuse 85
LB St 78 Final
NC 84
ULM 54 Final
Tx A&M 67
GB 61 Final
MU 79
Mich St 74 Final