Hoyas Rebound with 89-60 Win Against Appalachian State
The Hoyas (9-1) bounce back from Thursday's defeat at Temple.
Jason Clark paced four double-digit scorers with 15 points and No. 9 Georgetown pulled away after halftime with a 19-6 opening run and 72 percent shooting as they defeated Appalachian State 89-60 on Sunday afternoon at the Verizon Center.
Austin Freeman was off with his outside shot, but finished with 14 points and joined his fellow starting guards with key contributions during the decisive run as the Hoyas (9-1) rebounded from Thursday's defeat at Temple with their largest margin of victory of the season. Chris Wright matched his career-high with 12 assists and Clark was the focal point of the Hoyas stellar defensive effort against Mountaineers guard Donald Sims, the nation's second leading scorer.
The Hoyas opened up a 30-13 with over seven minutes remaining in the first half, but some sluggish play allowed the Mountaineers (3-4) to pull within 41-32 at halftime. Not looking to let this game remain in doubt, the Hoyas took control on the defensive end, forcing two turnovers and two missed shots on the Mountaineers first four possessions. Freeman scored twice early on lay-ups - both on assists from Wright, the first coming on a behind-the back feed in transition - and the Hoyas raced out to a 60-32 lead.
"The start of the second half definitely was key," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "We are going to need all three of them to score points, but they also have to lead us in everything else, in hustle plays, in boxing out and getting on the floor. At the start of that second half, I thought the three of them did that and that's what gave us our boost, our push."
Sims entered the game averaging 27 points per game, but with Clark tasked to be the primary defender and the Hoyas big men stepping out as help defenders, he had little room with which to operate. Sims shot 4-for-14 from the field and missed all five of his 3-point attempts. It marked only the second time in two seasons Sims was held without a 3-point field goal.
"Watching (Sims) on tape, we knew that we had to be aggressive with him and couldn't let him get his shots off," Clark said. "We had to come to him and bring the defense to him."
Hollis Thompson was perfect from the field on his five attempts for 11 points. Coming off the bench, freshman Nate Lubick also scored 11 points. The Hoyas' reserves scored 35 points, including four from freshman Moses Ayegba in his season debut. The 6-foot-8 powerful frontcourt option was forced to sit out the first nine games for violating NCAA pre-enrollment rules. Ayegba already looks to be a crowd favorite as fans held up "Free Moses" signs and chanted for him to enter the game, which he did with over two minutes to play.
Wright finished with six points, including the opening basket before the crowd of 8,765. The first of his several highlight-making passes - this one an over-the-shoulder, no-look feed to a cutting Clark - put Georgetown up 16-5 with 13:45 remaining.
The Hoyas collectively finished with 27 assists, their high mark in the JTIII, tying their output against James Madison during the 2006-07 season.
"If we all keep our eyes on him and the ball, he will find us," Clark said of the Hoyas point guard.