MEN'S BASKETBALL | Georgetown Falls to No. 1 Indiana in OT
Foul trouble proves costly, but Hoyas leave mark on tourney
Published: Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 26, 2012 22:11
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — It may not have been the team celebrating a tournament championship in the end, but Georgetown made more noise than any other at Barclays Center these last two nights.
The unranked Hoyas (3-1) fell Tuesday night to the top-ranked Indiana Hoosiers (5-0) in overtime of the Progressive Legends Classic title game, 82-72. But coming off a 78-70 victory the night before over No. 11 UCLA, Georgetown has the college basketball world — Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean included — talking.
“They are just going to get better and better because they are young, long and athletic, and they don’t deviate from what [Georgetown Head Coach] John [Thompson III] wants,” Crean said. “You are not going to keep them from doing too many things, they put too many guys on the court that can make plays. I think they will keep improving.”
Sophomore forward Otto Porter and junior guard Markel Starks led the charge in the Hoyas’ loss. Porter scored 15 points — 12 in the second half — and also tallied five rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals, and Starks scored 20 points for the second straight game to lead all scorers, the first time he has notched at least 20 in back-to-back contests as a college player. He and Porter combined to shoot 7-for-11 from three-point range.
The first half was played at a frenetic pace and featured nine lead changes and four ties. Of the 25 made field goal attempts the teams made in the first 20 minutes, 14 of them came from beyond the arc — six by Indiana and eight by Georgetown. The Hoyas looked content playing on the perimeter early, but it became apparent as the half wore on that the Hoosiers’ zone was causing problems for them inside; the Blue and Gray scored only four points in the paint in the first half to the Hoosiers’ 14 and didn’t convert a free throw attempt until the final four minutes of the second half. Georgetown took a three-point lead at the 8:14 mark of the first period when freshman guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera converted a tie-breaking trey, but Indiana turned around a 10-0 run over the next four minutes and brought a 36-32 advantage into the locker room.
The Hoyas opened the second half with a 15-8 run fueled by increased production in the paint — they scored 20 points there in the period — and nabbed a fleeting three-point lead at 47-44. But Indiana answered with a 15-4 run of its own and held a seemingly comfortable lead up until the final minute of regulation. With Georgetown trailing by seven, Starks and Porter hit threes on consecutive possessions, and Indiana freshman guard Yogi Ferrell then made one of two free throws. That set up the Hoyas for a last offensive trip, behind by two with 19.1 seconds on the clock. Starks wasted no time getting the ball to Porter, who drove from the right side and hit a tough shot in the paint to tie the game. The Hoosiers got the ball to sophomore forward and national player of the year candidate Cody Zeller near the basket as time expired, but he couldn’t get a shot off in time, missing a too-late layup.
“The desire was to get the ball and go to the hole,” Porter said of his tying basket. “I just saw a little opening, and I took it.”
It was foul trouble that doomed Georgetown in overtime. Sophomore forward Mikael Hopkins, who picked up his fourth foul near the end of the Hoyas’ second-half run and sat for much of the remainder of regulation, had already fouled out by the start of the extra period. Starks began overtime with four fouls and didn’t last long, and sophomore guard Jabril Trawick followed suit soon after, leaving the Blue and Gray with freshman guards Smith-Rivera and Stephen Domingo and redshirt sophomore Aaron Bowen in the backcourt.
“They do a good job drawing fouls,” Thompson said of the Hoosiers. “They consistently have done that all year, and they did it again tonight. … I’m not sure what we could have done differently.”
Indiana jumped on the Hoyas from the get-go and made it to the line repeatedly; the Hoosiers shot 36 free throws in the game and were 13-for-17 from the charity stripe in overtime alone. An off-balance three-pointer by Ferrell with one minute left stretched the Indiana lead to 10 points and dispelled any remaining hope of a second last-minute Georgetown comeback.
“We came here to win, and we had our chances,” Thompson said. “So it’s extremely disappointing how things turned out.”
Both teams spread the scoring around as four Hoyas and five Hoosiers finished in double figures. Senior forward Christian Watford had an off-night from the field but still recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Zeller grabbed eight rebounds in addition to his 17 points and senior guard Jordan Hulls added 17 points and four steals. For Georgetown, Hopkins tallied 11 points, four rebounds and a pair of steals while fellow sophomore guard Greg Whittington notched 12 points and six rebounds.
The Hoyas’ last two games and particularly their contest against the No. 1 team in the country were unusually high-profile for a pair of mid-November matchups, but Porter said that he and a young, soon-to-be-ranked Georgetown team will try to take them in stride.
“It’s a learning process this early in the year, and most of our guys never had that much experience,” he said. “I’m going to look at this game and past games and just learn from them.”