Courtesy Focus Features Sophomore forward Jeff Green jumps over Oregon’s sophomore guard Malik Hairston in Saturday’s game. Green posted just eight points, but had nine rebounds and four assists in the Hoyas’ victory. After a home loss to Vanderbilt a week earlier, the men’s basketball team headed out West to seek better fortunes, and came back with a sterling 71-57 win over Oregon Saturday.

“That’s a very good win against a very good team, and that’s an understatement,” John Thomspon III, Georgetown’s head coach, said in the postgame press conference. “This is one of those games where you’re playing against a terrific team in a building where they play well.”

Despite some rough early play and a number of turnovers, Georgetown (3-1) pulled away late in the first half to coast to a win. Thomspon’s gamble to strengthen the Hoyas nonconference schedule with a string of games against Vanderbilt, Oregon and No. 11 Illinois paid off against the Ducks (4-2). The outsized Oregon squad could not match Georgetown sophomore center Roy Hibbert in the paint, and he left with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Ducks’ strong backcourt also failed to take down senior guard Ashanti Cook, the hero of the game with a career-high 25 points.

“He could shoot, but he’s mostly a driver,” Oregon junior guard Aaron Brooks said about Cook’s unexpected four three-pointers. “Good players rise to the occasion when their team is staggering, and he stepped up.”

The game was played under experimental rules from the NCAA that pushed the three-point line farther out and widened the lane by one foot on either side. An arc was also drawn three feet from the center of the basket. None of these changes seemed to faze the Hoyas, who looked steady from far out and dominating under the hoop.

Georgetown’s relentless defense served it well as over 9,000 fans filled McArthur Court expecting Oregon to uphold its 35-game home winning streak in nonconference games. The Hoyas remained nonplussed, and by halftime were well on their way to dashing the Ducks record.

“It was important for us to limit their shots because they’re such a terrific shooting team,” Thompson said about the Duck’s backcourt.

Georgetown struggled to find its groove in the opening minutes of the game and put up only four points in the first eight minutes. Cook, however, began to turn things around for the Hoyas when he sank a three-pointer with 11:31 left on the clock.

“I was just able to provide for the team and hit shots today. Everybody has their night. It was my night tonight,” Cook said.

Georgetown came back into the game with a nine-point run to take the lead as Cook dropped in 10 of the next 12 points for the team. The Hoyas kept up the pace on offense while continuing to stifle their opponents on defense. The transition defense, a cause for Thompson’s concern in the past few matchups, looked smoother in Eugene. Georgetown kept Oregon to 33.3 percent shooting in the first half. The Ducks were also limited to one fast-break basket.

“The whole week of practice we just worked on transition,” Cook said. “It was engraved in our minds to get back on defense and in transition.”

After finishing the first half with a 28-23 lead, the Hoyas blew the game open with some early baskets in the second half. Hibbert and Cook’s inside-outside combination continued to frustrate Oregon’s defensive efforts as the two combined for another 17 points.

“If they take away one thing, then they can’t take away the other,” Hibbert said. “If they’re covering me inside, we kick it out and hit shots.”

Senior forward Brandon Bowman stepped up to contribute 13 of his 16 points in the second half. Sophomore forward Jeff Green played a strong supporting role with six rebounds before leaving the court after a fall, but returned without any problems. He finished the game with nine boards.

Orgeon tried to stage a comeback with some fiery three-point shooting late in the game, especially from Brooks, who anchored his team with 13 points. The gambit failed to work, and the Ducks were forced to rely on fouls to get the ball back.

“They’re a very good second-half team. We did our best to make sure to take away some of those three-pointers,” Hibbert said.

The Hoyas capitalized on their trips to the free-throw line, scoring 21 of their 43 second-half points from the stripe. Oregon looked dismal from the line, scoring one point in the second half off fouls.

All this added up to the 71-57 decision for the Hoyas, who now find themselves with a much more daunting task in Illinois, last year’s NCAA tournament runner-up. The teams will meet at 8 p.m. CST in Alumni Hall in Urbana-Champaign on Thursday.

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