Georgetown rallies past former Big East rival UConn 72-69 (Jan 14, 2017)

BY AP • January 14, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) This wasn't your father's or older brother's Connecticut-Georgetown matchup. The former Big East rivals and past national champions are in separate leagues, though that's been true since 2013. But both perennial national powers have records hovering around the .500 mark, and that's new and jarring.

Yet any members of the national television audience checking out the Huskies and Hoyas for the first time this season might not have known much had changed.

L.J. Peak scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half and Georgetown overcame a 14-point deficit for a 72-69 win over former Big East rival Connecticut on Saturday.

Jesse Govan had 15 points and Rodney Pryor 14 for the Hoyas (10-8).

Trailing 59-58, Georgetown scored the next seven points with Pryor's layup putting the Hoyas up 65-59 with 3:29 remaining. The Huskies (7-10) missed three shots and two potential game-tying 3-pointers over the final 14 seconds.

Georgetown has won two in a row. That second straight win seemed unlikely as Connecticut turned a 33-27 halftime lead into a possible blowout at 43-29 early in the second half.

''Just to relax,'' Georgetown coach John Thompson III said of what turned out to be a winning message for his team. ''We were making some poor decisions on the offensive end, which led to easy baskets for them in transition.''

Jalen Adams scored 17 of 22 points for the Huskies in the second half, but missed a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining. Connecticut had won two straight.

''He's our best player,'' Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie said. ''That's the shot we wanted. That's the shot we drew up.''

Georgetown's best player against Connecticut was Peak. The junior wing scored the Hoyas' final basket with 44 seconds left for a 69-65 lead after he grabbed Georgetown's third offensive rebound of the possession.

''L.J. Peak played like a man today,'' Ollie said.

Both teams had recent four-game losing streaks, but entered the 66th all-time meeting - and second since Connecticut left the Big East in 2013 - coming off wins.

Pryor's ferocious one-handed lob dunk and a collective 3-point shooting barrage fueled a 19-3 run midway through the second half. Georgetown made 6 of 12 from beyond the arc in the second half after shooting 2 of 11 before halftime.

Georgetown leads the series 36-30. The original reunion plan involved two games. That's over. We'll see if the series is.

''In a perfect world we aren't playing a nonconference game at this time of year,'' Thompson said. ''That being said, looking down at the other end and seeing Connecticut is a good thing. ... If you're going to have a tough out-of-conference game, that's an opponent that we want.''


UConn: The Huskies have yet to win three in a row this season, but they did get Adams' high scoring back. The sophomore scored his most points since tallying 27 against Oregon on Nov. 23. He had 11 or fewer points in four of the previous five games. As for the loss, Adams said, ''I think we get up sometimes and kinda get complacent and don't play with that same edge that we start the game off with.''

Georgetown: Beating the Huskies likely won't move the RPI needle come Selection Sunday, but the Hoyas have enough high-impact matchups remaining on their schedule to move onto the NCAA Tournament bubble. Six games against currently ranked opponents remain.


UConn: Back to conference play as the Huskies visit SMU on Thursday.

Georgetown: The Hoyas wrap up their four-game homestand and head-to-head regular-season series with Providence Monday. The Friars won 76-70 in Providence on Jan. 4.

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