Freeman rains 3s as Georgetown rolls
Austin Freeman tied a Georgetown record by making seven 3-pointers and finished with 32 points, and the 16th-ranked Hoyas used a 23-0 run in the first half to beat UNC Ashville 87-72 Saturday.
Georgetown (6-0) held UNC Ashville (2-3) scoreless for 8 1/2 minutes, breaking open a game that was tied 7-all and making it 30-7. Freeman scored 10 points in a row during that stretch by making three 3-pointers — one that was part of a four-point play.
The Big East Conference preseason player of the year made his first four attempts from behind the arc and wound up 7 for 9 on 3s, equaling the school record held by Mark Tillmon and Darrel Owens.
Julian Vaughn added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Hoyas, and Hollis Thompson had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
J.P. Primm scored 17 for the Bulldogs. Their starting forward John Williams was out with a concussion.
UNC Asheville opened the season by beating Auburn and entered averaging 80.5 points. But it's safe to say the Bulldogs hadn't encountered a defense quite like Georgetown's.
The hosts' game-breaking run came after Primm scored inside at 16:47 to tie the game at 7-7. From there, the Bulldogs wouldn't score again until Matt Dickey's 3-pointer with 8:18 left in the half. UNC Asheville missed 11 straight field-goal attempts and turned the ball over six times in that span.
The visitors would get no closer than 12 points the rest of the way. Trent Meyer's 3-pointer made it 39-27 with about a minute left in the opening half, but Freeman made a reverse layup, then a 3, to make it 44-27 at halftime. He had 20 points by then.
UNC Asheville showed it could cut into a big deficit in its previous game, when it trailed No. 25 North Carolina by more than 20 points Tuesday, before whittling that down to a six-point margin with about five minutes left. The Bulldogs eventually lost that one by 11.
This time, UNC Asheville used a 16-3 run to cut a 70-45 hole down to 73-61 with under 4 1/2 minutes remaining. But Thompson's 3-pointer made it 76-61 for Georgetown, and Vaughn and Freeman followed with baskets.
Down the stretch, the chief questions became how many 3-points Freeman would make and how many points he would score. Freeman's career high is 33 points, last season against Connecticut on Jan. 9, when he had 28 in the second half of Georgetown's victory.
Freeman threw a length-of-the-court inbounds pass to Vaughn to set up a three-point play with 1:41 remaining. Freeman then sat for the remained of the game.
UNC Asheville fell to 0-11 against Big East opponents, while Georgetown improved to 12-0 against teams from the Big South.