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Georgetown Snakes By With 62-48 Win Against Howard

If college basketball was one half, Georgetown would have ran away with their win against Howard. But this is the NCAA, and Howard, playing Georgetown for the first time since 2004, made a mad rush against the Hoyas to make it a close game.

Georgetown came out with the 62-48 win, but Howard made it contested in the second half, coming out on a 15-4 run to start the second half and pushing Georgetown in the paint. But the Hoyas fought back, and Howard coach Kevin Nickelberry credited Georgetown with utilizing their full court press, which he said he was not prepared for.

“It’s good coaching,” Nickelberry said. “John (Thompson III) did a great job, went full court pressing on us. We hadn’t seen that on tape yet. It’s been a 1-2-2 most of the year, so we hadn’t really worked on that.”

The Hoyas opened with a 17-0 run until Bison forward Dadrian Collins scored a three-pointer at 10:39. But Georgetown maintained a 13-point lead at the end of the half.

The second half was a different story.

Howard came out with the long run and held Georgetown in the paint, causing a lot of fouls, but forcing the Hoyas away from field goals.

“It seemed like for long stretches there, I feel like we missed 10 layups,” Thompson III said. “Now, they weren’t your breakaway, wide-open layups, but they were contested layups. We missed during the course of that game, I’m going to guess, 10 to 15 layups and then you couple that, and now start missing foul shots. We make our layups and our foul shots and it’s a different game.”

In addition to free throws, freshman Otto Porter, who ended with a team-high 13 points, made two key dunks that while not really ensuring a win, certainly boosted the energy and fire for the team.

Porter grabbed a steal with 6:15 left in the game, made a fast break up the court for an open dunk to put the Hoyas up 46-40, and at 2:47, Starks made a behind-the-back bounce pass to an approaching Porter for his second dunk of the night to put the Hoyas up 55-44.

Jason Clark ended the game with 12 points, only one of which came from a field goal. The senior leader said at the Hoyas’ last game against NJIT, prior to the AP rankings release, that being ranked was one of the worst things that could happen to a team because there was a target on your back. While he didn’t feel that was the reason Howard came out hard, he did know prior to the game how much energy they would exude.

“Coach told us before it was their biggest game of the season so we knew they were going to come and compete with us and they did,” Clark said. “They did that today and I think they definitely played harder than us.”

Georgetown has a week off before meeting American Dec. 17 at the Verizon Center.

NOTES: Freshman Tyler Adams will be out indefinitely due to health concerns. Coach John Thompson III said earlier this week in practice Adams complained of chest pain and was taken by a trainer to the Georgetown Hospital, where is currently undergoing a series of tests and evaluations regarding his heart.

“I don’t know what indefinite means,” Thompson said, “him getting on the basketball court is irrelevant right now. And 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.”

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