No. 15 Georgetown 46, Towson 40

The first time it was kind of funny. Win a game with 37 points?

Hadn’t seen anything like that since elementary school.

The second time, Georgetown coach John Thompson III was more

defensive about the offensiveness of his offense. He said he was

concerned about the No. 15 Hoyas’ lack of scoring in Saturday’s

46-40 win over Towson, but not overly concerned. He insisted he has

”good offensive players,” but he said they are ”immature

offensively” and ”have a lot of growing up to do.”

”We have a lot of guys that are thinking, trying to figure out

where to go, what to do, what reads to make,” Thompson said.

”It’s something we have to work on.”

Eight days after setting the school record for scoring futility

in the shot clock era with a 37-36 win over Tennessee – a game

Thompson compared to one he played when he was 8 years old – the

Hoyas made it back-to-back home clankfests by scoring 17 points and

shooting 17 percent in the first half.

They shot 29 percent for the game and won by getting to the free

throw line in the second half and with defense, forcing 22

turnovers and pulling away – if it could be called that – with a

4-0 game-ending run over the final 4 1/2 minutes.

”It was one of those games where we said, `Let’s try to make it

as ugly as possible,”’ Thompson said. ”This group, we can win a

lot of different ways. We can win at a fast pace. We can win at a

slow pace. We can win what purists may call pretty. But we can also

win ugly, and I thought that in the second half we had to win ugly


If that’s the case, the strategy was a roaring success. Eleven

of Georgetown’s 29 second-half points came from the free throw

line, and Towson’s final possessions were a hodgepodge of turnovers

and air balls. The Tigers’ final points came on a 3-pointer from

freshman point guard Jerome Hairston that cut the Hoyas’ lead to

42-40 with 4:35 to play.

Greg Whittington scored 11 points, and Mikael Hopkins and Otto

Porter had 10 apiece for the Hoyas (7-1), whose only loss came in

overtime against No. 1 Indiana. Towson was the first of four home

opponents in the soft part of the schedule that, in theory, is

supposed to give Thompson a chance to give his bench some

much-needed work, but Tigers showed they are no longer a punch line

of a team.

Towson (4-5) went 1-31 last season, but only three scholarship

players returned to a roster that added three Big East transfers.

The standout among the three is Georgetown transfer Jerrelle

Benimon, who returned to his old home court to lead the Tigers with

11 points and 16 rebounds. He also played traffic cop on defense

for a team that seemed to know what was coming from the Hoyas’

Princeton Offense.

”I could read stuff. I played in the offense, so it’s just a

whole bunch of reads, so once you see one thing you can sniff it

out,” Benimon said. ”It helped a lot, especially in the first


With Benimon on the floor, Towson’s defense blanketed

Georgetown’s shooters, crowded the passing lanes and frequently cut

off the backdoor option, forcing the Hoyas to settle for jumpers

early on.

”He might know what we’re trying to do more than some of the

guys in our locker room,” Thompson said. ”He’s a very smart


The Tigers are holding their own this season despite the fact

they’ve yet to play at home: Saturday’s game was the ninth in a

10-game road stretch to start the season.

”The biggest thing is our new and better players,” Towson

coach Pat Skerry said. ”When you get good players, it makes you

look like a pretty good coach.”

Georgetown started a staggering 2 for 24 from the field before

Whittington’s 3-pointer cut Towson’s lead to 12-11 late in the

first half. The Hoyas had more shots blocked (6) than made field

goals (5) in the half, but they connected on a pair of backdoor

plays in the final two minutes to take a 17-15 lead at the


Thompson downplayed the scoring woes vs. Tennessee and Towson by

pointing out the differences in the two games. Good shots weren’t

falling against the Volunteers, he said, while lack of offensive

flow was the problem against the Tigers.

Asked how many such games it will take before the lack of

scoring becomes a trend of real concern, Thompson answered: ”When

we get there, I’ll let you know.”

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