Henry Sims leads Georgetown past American 81-55
Georgetown center Henry Sims took over the game early in the second half, finishing with 17 points and six assists, and Markel Starks scored 18, leading the 16th-ranked Hoyas past American 81-55 on Saturday.
Sims assisted on back-door baskets on four consecutive possessions in the opening minutes after halftime as Georgetown (9-1) broke open a tight game en route to its seventh victory in a row.
Charles Hinkle scored 16 for American (8-4), which has followed an eight-game winning streak with two straight losses.
Hollis Thompson added 15 points and eight rebounds for Georgetown, which made 59 percent of its field-goal attempts, while holding American to 41 percent.
Georgetown still has one more non-conference game before Big East play starts, hosting Memphis on Thursday, the second time this season those teams will face each other. The Hoyas won in overtime at the Maui Invitational last month.
This was the 52nd meeting between D.C. schools GU and AU, with the Hoyas holding a 44-8 edge, including the last eight.
AU had trouble with Georgetown's typically stingy defense, and Hoyas coach John Thompson III kept giving the Eagles different looks: man-to-man, zone, trap.
Missing its second-leading scorer, injured senior guard Troy Brewer, American began the game 5 for 16 on field-goal attempts, including 2 for 9 on 3-pointers. Brewer was replaced by junior Blake Jolivette, making his first start of the season.
Still, American kept the game close for most of the first half, pulling within 24-22 on Jolivette's fallaway baseline jumper with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the period. Georgetown moved out to leads of as many as eight points but Simon McCormack's follow tip-in for AU right before the buzzer cut it to 32-26 at halftime.
But the Sims Show was yet to get started.
The 6-foot-10 senior had four points and zero assists as the second half began. But he passed to teammates on backdoor cuts over and over and over. First, he found Nate Lubick, then Starks, then Hollis Thompson, then Lubick again.
Sims kept coming, producing Georgetown's next score with a hook from just outside the paint. A couple of possessions later, he threw down an alley-oop slam off a pass from Starks, then completed a fast break with a layup while getting fouled.
Suddenly, Georgetown was ahead 48-35 with about 14 1/2 minutes remaining, and the outcome was never again in any doubt.