MEN'S BASKETBALL | Whittington's 25 Points Pace Hoyas in Easy Win
Published: Saturday, December 15, 2012
Updated: Saturday, December 15, 2012 16:12
Move over, Otto Porter Jr. With a career-high 25 points, sophomore forward Greg Whittington was the undisputed star of No. 15 Georgetown’s (9-1) 81-68 romp over Western Carolina (4-7) Saturday afternoon.
“Not good enough,” Head Coach John Thompson III said with a laugh of Whittington’s performance. “Greg was fine. I’ve said this before: I don’t judge by how he does just looking at the stat sheet because he can do so many different things that don’t show up on the stat sheet.”
Whittington, who was 8-of-12 from the field — including three-of-five from beyond the arc — also showed newfound maturity at the charity stripe, knocking down six of his eight attempts.
The sophomore was a leader on the backboard as well, leading the team with 11 rebounds as the Hoyas reversed two disappointing efforts where they were outrebounded by Towson and Longwood.
After breaking the mold of two home clankfests by posting 89 points against Longwood Monday, Georgetown once again prospered offensively. Unlike earlier in the week, however, they were unable to shut down their rivals.
The Catamounts, playing the first half without junior guards Trey Sumler or Brandon Boggs — both suspended for a half for missing a team video session — hit seven threes in the opening 20 minutes on the back of an outstanding effort by redshirt junior wing Tom Tankelewicz.
But once Whittington and sophomore guard Jabril Trawick began to clamp down in the second half, Tankelewicz was quieter. And although Western Carolina actually improved its shooting percentage to 58.3 percent in the second half, it did so on five fewer attempts.
“In between Greg and Jabril in the latter part of the first half and the second half, these two are who guarded [Tankelewicz],” Thompson III said. “And I thought Greg was very good — with a few mixups — for the most part not allowing the kid to get the easy looks he was getting at the beginning of the game.”
Despite being outshined by Whittington, Porter Jr. made a big contribution as well, scoring five field goals and finishing one rebound shy of a double double. The Missouri native had to step up again in place of junior center Mikael Hopkins, who had another quiet night.
Although Thompson III said he was unconcerned by Hopkins’ performance, the junior scored only four points and grabbed just two boards while picking up three fouls in 24 minutes on the floor. Junior forward Nate Lubick didn’t make much noise either, scoring four points and grabbing four rebounds in 22 minutes.
That left the Hoyas to rely more heavily on their perimeter shooting, which they milked for 18 points, going 6-for-15 from three-point range — including two for Trawick, who had posted a scoring career high in the first half alone.
“He, as he always is, was very aggressive on both sides of the court,” Thompson III said. “His intensity on the defensive end led to some buckets on the offensive end and led to a rejuvenated energy that he always brings when he enters the game.”
And in a contest where the two teams were whistled for a combined 39 fouls, Georgetown drew the bulk of them.
For the first time this season, the Hoyas were less than embarrassing from the line, making 69.7 percent from the charity stripe. That led to a 23-9 disparity in points off free throws, more than the Blue and Gray’s 13-point margin of victory.
With only American standing between Georgetown and an extended vacation, the Blue and Gray will have plenty of things to improve on — especially defensively — over the holidays.
The Hoyas have a week off for exams before returning to Verizon Center to play the Eagles on Dec. 22. That game will tip off at 2 p.m. and will be available online on ESPN3 for students who have already headed home.