Last-Second Shot Pushes Hoyas Past Crimson Tide
Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011
Updated: Friday, December 2, 2011 03:12
Hollis Thompson just altered the course of Georgetown's season. The junior forward saved the Hoyas from an embarrassing road loss and all but catapulted Georgetown (6-1) into the top 25 after a 57-55 road victory against No. 12 Alabama (7-1) in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in front of a crowd of more than 15,000.
The Hoyas led by nine points with less than three minutes remaining, only to miss several shots while the Crimson Tide made all of theirs in a 10-0 run to narrow the gap to 55-54. With 12 seconds left, the Hoyas had one last chance to win the game. Senior guard Jason Clark scurried around the perimeter and handed the ball off to Thompson, who hit a three-pointer with 1.8 seconds on the clock, stunning the home crowd.
"We drew a play trying to penetrate and they played it pretty well," Thompson said. "So we just drove it, and driving it was pretty much the basic offense."
Back home in Georgetown, popular student bar The Tombs erupted at Thompson's miracle shot, and the Hoya bench nearly spilled onto the floor as Head Coach John Thompson III frantically held players back.
Excluding the last two minutes, the Hoyas played a sparkling defensive game, limiting Alabama to 3-of-16 shooting from three-point range, constantly contesting shots. Clark led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including a 4-of-7 clip from three-point range. Senior center Henry Sims added 13 points, while Thompson scored 12 points, led the team with eight rebounds and contributed three assists.
"We're definitely not where we want to be, because it's the beginning of the season," Sims said. "We have a lot of things to improve on. But, the team plays hard, and that's a start."
Overall, Georgetown shot 43 percent from the field, including a 7-of-17 showing from three-point range, while matching Alabama on the boards.
The Hoyas played an outstanding first half defensively, limiting Alabama to just 16 points. The Crimson Tide made none of their nine attempted three-pointers, and the Hoyas went into the break with a 23-16 advantage.
The second half was a different story: The Crimson Tide came out firing. Junior power forward Tony Mitchell threw down two emphatic dunks off offensive rebounds to bring Alabama back into the game, and from there, it was an up-and-down affair.
"We knew they were a tough team. We knew that they weren't going to just roll over," Clark said. "But we just had to stick together. We told ourselves that we are going to stick together, keep playing our offense, keep playing defense, and just play it until the clock ran out."
Georgetown will now return back home for a four-game homestand sandwiching final exams, beginning with NJIT this Saturday at Verizon Center. It will be the Hoyas' sixth game in 13 days. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.