Such is life in this year's Big East. The conference is as competitive as it has ever been and every victory should be cherished, nurtured, and adored. Georgetown was down six points with three minutes to go, and rebounded to win 80-75 on the backs of its three seniors - Austin Freeman, Chris Wright and Julian Vaughn. Say what you will about New Jersey, but it will forever be known as the state where Austin got his groove back. Freeman scored an otherworldly 28 points on 13 shots, while Wright added 17 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Vaughn, much maligned for the first 35 minutes of the game, took over after Herb Pope fouled out, scoring a quick bucket and grabbing a crucial rebound.
Hollis Thompson added 14 points on seven shots, while Georgetown's bench only added two points. Nate Lubick was the only bench player that played over 10 minutes in the game, as John Thompson III has shortened the rotation significantly in the last two games. Markel Starks played seven minutes and Vee Sanford received his second straight DNP - Coach's Decision.
After The Jump, celebrate good times, come on.
This game was not all pretty, which is stating the obvious. The Hoyas could not make stops in the second half until Pope fouled out. At one point Seton Hall went on a 19-2 run. That actually happened. We turned the ball over too much, giving up the ball 13 times compared to Seton Hall's eight. Our bench's lack of contribution is also disconcerting because there will be times later in the season where one of our starters will get in foul trouble. Jerrelle Benimon, a revelation for much of last year, has really struggled lately. It may be time to give Moses Ayegba a shot to take his minutes. I have had a hard time understanding the inconsistency of Sanford's minutes, especially when Jason Clark plays as poorly as he did tonight. I understand Freeman and Wright playing 35 and 37 minutes respectively, but I still believe Vee should be grabbing 5-7 minutes of Clark's current 34.
All that said, getting this win feels so good. Down six with three minutes to go, I was convinced we were done. This game looked like the West Virginia game, which looked like the St. John's game, which looked like the Temple game, which looked like the Rutgers game last year, which looked like the South Florida game last year, which looked like all of 2008-2009. Yet, this year's team may be tougher than its earlier incarnations. Sure, we laid an egg in the first half of the Pitt game, but did you see those dudes last night? Maybe that crazy Hoyasincebirth dude was right about us turning a corner in the second half of that game. All I know is this team plays much better when its back is against the wall than when it receives praise, so if you are reading this fellas, YOU SUCK AND NO ONE BELIEVES IN YOU EXCEPT FOR YOUR TEAMMATES, IT IS YOU AGAINST THE WORLD.
Georgetown plays St. John's eight days from now, and it is never too early to start Revenge Tour 2011. There will be plenty of time to dissect this game in the intermediate, but for now, I am just happy to be one game away from .500.