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Austin Freeman Is Back! Georgetown Snaps Big East Skid, Beats Rutgers 74-65

In an early season must-win game, the Georgetown Hoyas showed that they're not ready to be counted out just yet, beating the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 74-65.  The Hoyas were led by Austin Freeman's 25 points and a career high 9 rebounds.  The Hoya Trinity of Freeman, Chris Wright, and Jason Clark combined for 53 points.

Georgetown started with a flurry, scoring the games' first eight points while demonstrating an energy on both ends of the floor that wasn't present in the game against Pitt with excellent ball movement creating numerous good looks both inside and out.  The open looks didn't translate into points on the scoreboard, however, as once again Georgetown's shooting touch failed them.  The Hoyas shot 3-10 from long distance in the 1st half and 46% overall, and couldn't seem to extend a marginal six point lead due to an avalanche of turnovers and continued Jekyll and Hyde play from point guard Chris Wright.  Just moments after his decisions were described as "baffling" on air, Wright reeled of five consecutive points and drew a charge on the other end, leading to an audible 'Hoya Saxa' chant as Georgetown took a 31-25 lead at the half. 

More Happy Recap after The Jump:

The second half started much the same as the first, with Georgetown scoring the first five out of the break to extend to a 41-28 margin.  Georgetown once again went cold, however, and Rutgers began to chip away at the lead with an 12-3 run to but the lead to four with ten to play.  As Casualties throughout the land began to prepare for another disaster, Freeman came to the rescue, scoring eleven consecutive points to restore a comfortable double digit margin and put out the Rutgers fire.

After a series of missed free throws and turnovers allowed Rutgers to once gain cut the lead to eight with four to play, Hollis Thompson hit a clutch basket on a nifty inside move, Rutgers turned it over on the other end, and Thompson and Wright hit threes to finally put the game out of reach.  In the second half, Georgetown made a whopping eight threes, finishing 11 for 22 from behind the line.

All was not rosy in this game, however, as there were a number of bad signs that once again reared their ugly heads for the Hoyas.  Chris Wright still has yet to play a consistent and smart game in conference play (Wright had ZERO assists), Jason Clark still does not seem to have regained any semblance of his former touch from outside (1 of 6 from three), Rutgers had numerous easy looks inside, Georgetown's matchup zone was ineffective, and again, the turnovers are keeping opponents in games they have no reason to be in.  While these simply may be things that will continue to plague Georgetown as it makes its way through the rough seas that await in Big East play, the win today, temporarily at least, provided a nice gust under their sails.  DAMN THAT WAS POETIC.

The win may have been especially rewarding for John Thompson III, who showed former Georgetown assistant and now Rutgers assistant David Cox that perhaps he should have scouted the Hoyas a bit better.  In the below, pretend JT3 is Shaq and the word "Kobe" is "Cox."

Box Score here.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday.