No. 15 Hoyas smack No. 17 Huskies
Julian Vaughn scored a career-high 18 points, and No. 15 Georgetown pulled away in the second half for its second victory over a ranked opponent in five days, beating No. 17 Washington 74-66 on Saturday in the Wooden Classic.
Greg Monroe had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Hoyas (8-0), who scored 12 straight points after halftime during a 21-2 run. The impressive surge abruptly blew open a previously tight game in the annual doubleheader held to honor John Wooden, UCLA's famed 99-year-old coach.
Isaiah Thomas scored 15 of his 21 points after halftime for the Huskies (6-2) while leading a late 15-3 run, but Washington couldn't close a 20-point deficit in the stiffest challenge of both teams' young seasons.
Quincy Pondexter, the only senior on either roster, scored 23 points for the Huskies, who haven't beaten a Big East team in 20 years. Washington lost at Texas Tech last week in the defending Pac-10 champions' only game away from Seattle before this weekend.
After beating No. 22 Butler in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, the Hoyas crossed the country to participate in a doubleheader at a hockey rink. Coach John Thompson III said he made the deliberately tough schedule to steel his team for the rigors of Big East play.
The game appeared to be a breakout moment for Vaughn, a junior who transferred from Florida State. He did little for the Hoyas last season, and he's the only starter averaging fewer than 12 points per game this season. But if he plays at this impressive level - with 7-of-9 shooting and seven rebounds - alongside Monroe during the Big East schedule, the young Hoyas will be a nightmare matchup.
The game was tight and competitive from the opening tip, with Georgetown's height and defense countered by Washington's hustle and spot-up shooting. Neither team led by more than three points until the Hoyas carved out a six-point lead late in the first half, but Washington scored seven straight points to take a brief lead before Georgetown went to halftime up 30-29.
Georgetown's defense made life miserable early for Thomas, the Huskies' high-scoring 5-foot-8 guard, but Washington was effective early against Monroe, who had career highs of 24 points and 15 rebounds in the win over Butler.
After Georgetown held a one-point lead at halftime of the schools' first-ever meeting, Vaughn scored six points during the Hoyas' decisive run, including a dunk to put them up 51-31 just over 6 minutes into the second half. Washington didn't manage a field goal in the second half until Thomas' layup with 15:56 to play, but Georgetown scored nine straight points after that.
The Hoyas led 60-40 with 6 1/2 minutes to play, before Thomas and Pondexter trimmed the final margin. Thomas' layup put Washington within 69-63 with 27 seconds left before Chris Wright and Hollis Thompson hit key free throws.
Three time zones away from home, Georgetown had a strong fan contingent at the Honda Center, including fans of Hollis Thompson, a Los Angeles native - and a profoundly hairy gentleman who shaved his chest just enough to inscribe ``HOYA'' in silver paint.