COUNTRYSIDE, Ill. – Tenth-ranked Illinois rushed out to a 10-point lead, and that turned out to be the difference in the game.

With a sputtering offense that only scored 13 first-half points, the Georgetown men’s basketball squad succumbed to its second loss of the season, 58-48, Thursday night in Champaign, Ill.

Making its first-ever trip to Champaign, Georgetown could not find a rhythm early on in its first game this year against a ranked opponent. The Hoyas missed their first six shots of the game before sophomore center Roy Hibbert got on the scoreboard with a layup at 5:21 into the contest.

“You just have to pressure them and take them out of their rhythm,” Illinois senior forward Dee Brown told ESPN after the game. “[The Princeton offense] is all rhythm, all timing. I think our pressure disrupted them a little bit.”

Brown paced Illinois with 16 points, followed by senior forward James Augustine, who had 10. Neither team shot particularly well, with the Hoyas outpacing the Fighting Illini from the floor, 38 to 32 percent.

Coming into the game, the Illini had not lost at Assembly Hall in 25 games, and Head Coach Bruce Weber had seen defeat at home only once since taking over the program before the 2003-04 season.

Georgetown managed to narrow the margin to 12-7 at one point but Illinois freshman guard Jamar Smith nailed a three-pointer, spurring the Illini on a 13-2 run punctuated only by two successful free throws by the Hoyas.

Down 28-13 at the break, Georgetown managed to put together a solid performance after intermission. Sophomore forward Jeff Green scored two monster dunks over Illini defenders, tallying 19 of his season-high 21 points in the second half.

“We dug a hole that was a little too deep to dig ourselves out of against a quality team,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III told the Associated Press. “Once we kind of regrouped, we kind of clawed and got back in it.”

It was not enough to surmount the deficit, however, as the closest Georgetown got in the second half was eight points. The Hoyas had several late chances that would have closed the gap to seven with under three minutes to play in the game, but the Georgetown shooters – including Green and fifth-year swingman Darrel Owens – came up empty from three-point range.

Senior guard Ashanti Cook was the only other Georgetown player to post double-digit points. Cook followed up his career-high 25-point effort against Oregon on Dec. 3 with 10 points at Illinois.

The victory improved the Illini to 9-0 on the year, and 4-1 all time against the Hoyas. Georgetown, which suffered a 74-59 defeat at the hands of Illinois at MCI Center last season, fell to 3-2 on the season.

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