Hoyas Dominate Tide Late, Remain Perfect
Thursday, December 6th 2007, 8:30 am
By: News On 6
For 36 minutes, the Hoyas looked like just another team. In crunch time, however, they showed the Crimson Tide what a champion-caliber team looks like. DaJuan Summers had 18 points and nine rebounds and No. 5 Georgetown went on a late 14-1 run to beat Alabama 70-60 in the first game of the SEC/Big East Invitational on Wednesday night.
``This team is learning that we can slowly, methodically pull away if we stick with our stuff,'' Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. ``We can wear people down in the last few minutes of the game.''
Georgetown (6-0) needed to do just that after Mykal Riley hit three 3-pointers in a 5-minute span. His third gave the Tide a 57-56 lead with 4:01 left, Alabama's first edge since the opening seconds of the second half.
Summers and Jessie Sapp hit 3-pointers _ the latter off a nice pass from Roy Hibbert _ to start the 14-1 run for the Hoyas, who hadn't led by more than four points in the first 37 minutes.
``We were able to execute at both ends of the floor,'' he said. ``We didn't get nervous and frantic at crunch time. They took the lead, and we just calmed each other down and went about our business.''
In other games involving Top 25 teams on Wednesday, it was: No. 3 Kansas 85, Eastern Washington 47; No. 4 Texas 88, North Texas 72; No. 8 Washington 51, No. 17 Gonzaga 47; No. 12 Pittsburgh 73, Duquesne 68; No. 18 Clemson 82, East Carolina 67; No. 20 BYU 72, Weber State 57; No. 21 Xavier 79, Creighton 66; and No. 23 Vanderbilt 83, Wake Forest 80;
Georgetown turned up the intensity against Alabama (4-3), which relied heavily on freshmen, forcing bad passes and tough shots and calmly making baskets at the other end.
Hibbert added 14 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots for the Hoyas. He was 8-for-12 from the free-throw line as the smaller Tide mostly denied the 7-foot-2 center the ball or fouled him when he got it around the basket.
``They were just trying to be physical on me,'' Hibbert said. ``They kept fresh bodies on me every five or 10 minutes. I just had to stay composed.''
Sapp added 12 points and Alabama native Jonathan Wallace scored 11 for the Hoyas.
Georgetown, which trailed at the half for the first time this season, at 35-33, is off to a 6-0 start for the first time since winning its opening 10 games of the 2003-04 season. This one didn't come as easily as most of the others.
``They're a big, strong, physical team,'' Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. ``What happens so many times is you're concentrating on keeping (Hibbert) from getting rebounds and scoring. There's so many ways he kind of affects what you're doing down there.''
Richard Hendrix, the nation's No. 3 rebounder, led Alabama with 17 points and nine rebounds. Riley scored 15 points and made four of seven 3-pointers.
No. 3 Kansas 85, Eastern Washington 47
At Lawrence, Kan., Darrell Arthur and Darnell Jackson dominated inside and Kansas cruised to an easy victory over undersized and outmanned Eastern Washington.
Adris DeLeon, a 5-11 guard, had 24 points for Eastern Washington (3-7).
No. 4 Texas 88, North Texas 72
At Austin, Texas, D.J. Augustin had 29 points and 10 assists and Texas ran its record to 8-0 with a win over North Texas.
Damion James added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Texas. Josh White led North Texas (5-2) with 28 points, hitting six 3-pointers.
No. 8 Washington St. 51, No. 17 Gonzaga 47
At Spokane, Wash., Aron Baynes scored 13 points _ nine in the second half _ and the Cougars' stifling defense dominated in a victory over the Bulldogs, Gonzaga's first loss at home while ranked.
Kyle Weaver added 12 points for Washington State (8-0) and keyed a halfcourt lockdown that held the generally uptempo Zags to their lowest point total since losing 71-47 at Southern Utah on Dec. 23, 1996.
No. 12 Pittsburgh 73, Duquesne 68
At Pittsburgh, Levance Fields scored four consecutive points in the final minute and the Panthers (8-0) held off a frantic rally by city rival Duquesne (6-2) to remain unbeaten.
Mike Cook added 12 points and Fields and DeJuan Blair had 10 each for Pitt, which is 8-0 for the sixth consecutive season and has never lost to Duquesne in eight games as a ranked team.
No. 18 Clemson 82, East Carolina 67
At Greenville, N.C., freshman Terrence Oglesby hit six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 22 points to help Clemson beat East Carolina (3-5).
Fellow rookie Demontez Stitt had 13 points and five assists for the Tigers (8-0), who took control midway through the first half.
No. 20 BYU 72, Weber State 57
At Provo, Utah, Trent Plaisted had 14 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots to overcome a slow start on offense and lead BYU (7-1) past Weber State.
Freshman center Trevor Morris scored all of his season-high 12 points in the second half to lead Weber State (2-5).
No. 21 Xavier 79, Creighton 66
At Cincinnati, Drew Lavender scored 17 points in a tone-setting first half, and Xavier (7-1) used another balanced, blink-of-an-eye run to set up a victory over previously undefeated Creighton.
B.J. Raymond added 15 for Xavier, which had four players in double figures. P'Allen Stinnett led Creighton (5-1) with 12.
No. 23 Vanderbilt 83, Wake Forest 80
At Nashville, Tenn., A.J. Ogilvy made a hook shot with 30 seconds to play and then hit two free throws to seal Vanderbilt's win over Wake Forest (5-2).
Ogilvy had 23 points and Shan Foster tied a season high with 26 points, as the pair helped the Commodores (8-0) remain unbeaten.