Georgetown, the same team that was picked to finish 10th in the Big East at the beginning of the season, has won its 20th game of the season. The Hoyas won a hard-fought battle at Providence 63-53 that wasn't in doubt for most of the second half. Georgetown's starters led the way, scoring 51 of the 63 points, buoyed by strong performances by Hollis Thompson, Jason Clark, and Henry Sims. Thompson scored 13 points and collected 10 rebounds, while Sims stuffed the stat sheet, scoring 10 points, grabbing 7 rebounds, and dishing 5 assists.
Nate Lubick was tremendous in limited minutes as well. The sophomore did not disappoint his legion of family and friends that came out to Providence while he was on the floor. He scored 9 points, including a monster dunk and a shockingly sweet three pointer. Unfortunately for his crew, he was saddled with four fouls and forced to sit for long periods in both the first and second half.
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There isn't a ton to take away from this game other than a good team not letting down against a lesser opponent. Say what you will about the turnovers, shooting droughts, and free throw trouble, it has been a pleasure to watch this team have no letdown. In the last few years, we have seen losses to inferior opponents just because Georgetown wasn't particularly excited about playing defense. Not this year though. The Hoyas go nine deep, and that means that any defensive lapses or mental errors earns one a seat on the bench with someone eager to get minutes.
Today, Georgetown's vaunted freshman class didn't do much, but it didn't matter. Otto Porter was very quiet, in particular, only scoring 4 points and grabbing 2 rebounds. Thompson and Clark were crucial today, both hitting clutch three pointers whenever the game got a little bit closer. In particular, Clark and Thompson's threes at the end of the first half quieted a Providence squad that had cut the game to 23-20. The Hoyas went on an 8-0 run to close the first half, in large part due to those two bombs, and never looked back.
Tuesday night's road game against Seton Hall will be much tougher than today's match against Providence. The Pirates will be absolutely desperate after losing to Cincinnati today and falling to 7-8 in the conference. The Pirates' NCAA Tournament hopes rest on a marquee victory over a team like Georgetown. For the Hoyas, victories over Seton Hall and Villanova are crucial to secure a top 4 finish in the Big East and the vaunted double bye for the Big East Tournament. More than anything, it'd be sweet to get a victory over Seton Hall just because the dude from the South Orange Juice blog was so annoying on Twitter throughout the Kyle Anderson saga. If that isn't enough motivation for the Hoyas, I don't know what is.
Before Tuesday, I'd really like if the Hoyas spent an entire practice focusing on free throw shooting. It didn't hurt us down the stretch today, but it sure as hell will rear its ugly head in the NCAA Tournament if Clark and Thompson can't somehow regain their strokes and be able to knock down 80%+ from the charity stripe for the rest of the season.
I got now, Seton Hall is next.