No. 20 Georgetown 74, Wofford 59
Of all the positives Georgetown coach John Thompson III has seen from his Hoyas at the Charleston Classic, his clear-cut favorite has nothing to do with shooting or defense.
''That composure,'' Thompson said. ''In several of our games this year we've shown it. And that's good to see so early in the year.''
Georgetown relied on it again Friday to hold off a late Wofford rally and advance to the tournament's title game with a 74-59 victory.
The Hoyas had watched a 15-point lead slip to five, but pulled out the win behind Chris Wright's 18 points and Julian Vaughn's first career double-double.
''Good teams, well-coached teams, are going to make runs,'' Thompson said. ''It's how we respond, to settle down and say, 'Let's take that away.'''
Wright and Vaughn were big factors in making that happen.
Wright regained Georgetown's grip with a 3-pointer that started a 13-4 run that clinched things. Vaughn was a force underneath, rarely giving Wofford post players Noah Dahlman and Tim Johnson room to move.
''When it came time, we made the play,'' Wright said.
The Hoyas improved to 4-0 for the third time in the past four seasons. Not that it came easy against Wofford, last year's Southern Conference champs.
The Hoyas will face North Carolina State for the tournament title Sunday night. The Wolfpack beat George Mason 78-65 Friday night.
Georgetown led 39-24 on Vaughn's jam to start the second half. But the Terriers (1-3) rallied with a 17-7 run over the next seven minutes to cut things to 46-41.
Wright followed with his 3-pointer and closed the burst with three foul shots on consecutive possessions to put Georgetown ahead 59-45.
Wofford's three losses this season have come to teams from power conferences - at Minnesota of the Big Ten, at Clemson of the ACC and to the Hoyas of the Big East.
''Oh, this is great for us,'' Wofford coach Mike Young said. ''Where else are we going to play a team like Georgetown on a neutral court?''
Dahlman led Wofford with 19 points.
The Terriers couldn't match up with Georgetown's size and intensity, getting outrebounded 36-20.
Georgetown's Vaughn finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, his first double-double of the season. Austin Freeman chipped in with 14 points.
Vaughn says the Hoyas want to finish things strong Sunday. ''We didn't come here just to play well,'' he said. ''We want to win it all.''
Georgetown advanced to this matchup with a barrage of 14 3-pointers that pushed them past Coastal Carolina. The Hoyas used their speed to outgun the slower Terriers and scored the game's first nine points.
But Wofford brought back four starters from last year's first-time league winners and tightened up its defense to get back in it. The Terriers closed to 23-16 on Dahlman's two foul shots.
Georgetown plays solid defense, as well, and used its quickness and length to force the Terriers into difficult shots. Wofford made just three of its first 21 attempts over the opening 15 minutes.
When they were able to get the ball inside to forwards Johnson and Dahlman, last year's SoCon player of the year, the 6-foot-9 Vaughn was waiting to swat it away.
Vaughn had four blocks in the first half, giving him nine for his two tournament games.
Still, the Hoyas couldn't grab a comfortable margin until right before the break, when Freeman, the preseason pick for Big East player of the year, and Wright hit 3-pointers.
Wright's long-range goal with 5.8 seconds left gave the Hoyas a 37-24 edge at the break.
Wofford found its game at the start of the second half. The Terriers hit five of their first six shots, including consecutive 3-pointers from Brad Loesing that cut the lead to 43-37.
Loesing finished with 14 points on four 3s. Young, Wofford's coach, was impressed with all facets of Georgetown's game.
''They're a little bit better than I thought they were,'' he said.