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Hoyas Turn To Defense To Win Second Conference Game

It was an ugly win, but a win nonetheless for Georgetown, who picked up their second conference victory with a 49-40 win against Providence. The Friars tied the score twice and led by two points twice in the beginning of the matchup, but the Hoyas fought through Providence’s harrowing defense and stuck with a tough defense of their own for the win.

Georgetown entered the half with an eight-point lead and had led by as much as 14 before then. Though they let a seven-point lead go in the second half when they went on an eight-minute scoring drought, allowing Providence to tie it up, Georgetown focused on other aspects of the game when their shots weren’t going in.

“This team, our team, has the ability, probably more so than the last couple of years, to win a ‘pretty game’ or to win when it gets ugly. And this was just an ugly game,” coach John Thompson III said. “We went through a stretch there, a long period where we weren’t scoring. You just have to figure out how to get stops, how to get rebounds. And you look at Jason ends up with eight rebounds; Otto 12, and Otto’s were all key. To win games, you’re not always going to shoot the ball well.”

Clark (16 points, eight rebounds) and senior center Henry Sims (11 points, 7 rebounds) lead the Hoyas’ strong defense once the team started off with a 34.5 field goal percentage and 27.3 three-point percentage in the first half. Once Georgetown realized they weren’t going to win this game with shots, they switched their focus on rebounding and defensive efforts, an area freshman Otto Porter shined in for the second game in a row, contributing six points and a team-high 12 rebounds.

“The ball was not going in the basket and so you just have to make hustle plays, which he did an outstanding job of, again, today,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the team’s defense could have been better, especially in man-to-man situations. When the Hoyas switched to a zone late in the game, it threw off the Friars and Georgetown was able to get ahead.

“There were a few situations, particularly the latter part of the first half and the first part of the second half actually, where we knew exactly what was coming and they still got the shots that they wanted,” Thompson said. “I think our man defense could have been a lot better. But the zone, I think the timing of it kind of threw them off and they didn’t have time to make adjustments before, all of a sudden, the game was over.”

Two conference wins under their belt gives the Hoyas the confidence they need throughout the rest of the tough season and some bigger-name schools. But this young team knows they can’t rest on their laurels.

“It always is when you’re banging around a lot, but that’s Big East basketball,” Sims said. “It’s going to be like that every game so I’m getting used to it.”

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