No. 20 Georgetown 82, N.C. State 67

Georgetown coach John Thompson III hopes his 20th-ranked Hoyas
leave with more than the Charleston Classic championship trophy
they won Sunday night.

”This whole experience, I think we can build upon,” Thompson
said after Georgetown’s 82-67 victory over North Carolina
State.

The Hoyas used a 15-0 second-half run to take control and
improve to 5-0 for the second straight season. Hollis Thompson had
18 points and Chris Wright 17 for Georgetown.

”When league play starts, you have to come prepared every
night,” Thompson continued. ”We’re going to play good teams every
night and we have to mentally, physically, emotionally be honed in
and focused like we were in the second half tonight.”

The Hoyas and Wolfpack hadn’t played since the 1989 NCAA round
of 16 when Thompson’s father, Georgetown national championship icon
John Thompson, outlasted North Carolina State and the late Jim
Valvano 69-61 to advance.

For a half, this one looked every bit as vibrant as that NCAA
matchup as the Wolfpack’s young lineup went toe-to-toe with their
more experienced opponents.

In the second half, Georgetown showed another dimension and
powered its way to the tournament crown.

”This just shows that any night we can fight adversity,” said
Wright, selected the tournament’s MVP.

Trailing 44-42, Big East preseason player of the year Austin
Freeman started Georgetown’s surge with a one-handed power jam.
Henry Sims followed with a bucket to give the Hoyas the lead for
good. Wright hit a jumper and Thompson and Jason Clark connected on
3-pointers to put the Hoyas ahead 57-44.

Reserve Richard Howell scored 14 points for North Carolina State
(3-1), which was trying for its third in-season tournament crown in
four years.

Freeman finished with 15 points and Clark had 14.

Georgetown came into the final after displaying depth,
versatility, power and long-range accuracy earlier in the
tournament.

The Hoyas hit 14 3-pointers in topping Coastal Carolina in
Thursday’s opener, then hung tough against pesky Wofford on Friday
to move into the championship.

Against North Carolina State, the Hoyas were forced to call on
patience and poise to handle the precocious Wolfpack.

”They beat us,” North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe said.
”They took advantage of their experience.”

Lowe again started two freshmen and two sophomores with forward
Tracy Smith out for a few weeks after undergoing arthroscopic
surgery this weekend.

Lowe acknowledge that Smith, a 6-foot-8 senior, could’ve helped
settle his younger teammates during Georgetown’s charge.

It looked at first as if North Carolina State’s newbies might be
OK.

They pushed the pace to lead 5-0 and 15-9 early on. Gradually,
Georgetown’s experience kicked in. Thompson hit a 3-pointer and
Julian Vaughn an easy inside bucket to tie the game at 18.

The Wolfpack again went up 26-22 on a layup by speedy freshman
Lorenzo Brown and a tip-in by Howell.

But 3s by Hoya veterans Clark and Wright tied it once again.

North Carolina State shook off the loss of Smith – he returned
to campus after injuring his knee in Thursday’s game – and blew
past East Carolina and George Mason by double-digit margins.

But when pressed, the Wolfpack’s young players couldn’t maintain
their composure. They rushed shots and, while they ran with
abandon, did not play with direction.

C.J. Leslie, a freshman who keyed North Carolina State’s first
two wins, had only 2 points after halftime.