Georgetown head coach John Thompson III said he was nervous that a week of final exams for his players might have disrupted their focus on basketball. But his feelings were unwarranted as his squad easily dispatched Loyola (Md.), 99-75 Dec. 18.

Georgetown missed only one two-point shot in the first half on its way to shooting 78.3 percent from the field during the game. Thompson said he was pleased that his team came out as sharp as it did after a week of sporadic practices and increased focus on school.

“I was extremely nervous coming into this game because of the exams,” Thompson said. “We got either no practice, sporadic practice or not 100 percent attendance at practice. Fortunately Loyola was going through the same thing.”

Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos had no illusions about his team being able to match up with Georgetown, but he hoped Georgetown wouldn’t be at full strength after exam week.

“We came off a great win over Mount St. Mary’s, had a week off for exams and I thought they came out more prepared for us mentally,” Patsos said. “They were making the right plays. Honestly, I believed we would catch them sleeping a little, but they caught us back on our heels.”

The Hoyas got off to a fast start and never took their foot off the pedal. After Greyhounds’ junior guard J’hared Hall made a layup with 12:50 left in the first half to cut the lead to four, Georgetown went nine minutes without letting the Greyhounds score a field goal and, in the process, built a 23-point lead.

“We played together on defense and had each other’s back,” said Georgetown junior guard Jason Clark. “Our rotations were good. Everybody was talking to each other and that helped us a lot to stop them from scoring.”

The Hoyas were able to maintain that focus and led 50-27 at the break.

The second half featured more of the same, and Georgetown was able to rest many of its key players. Though the play turned sloppier with reserves in the game, the Hoyas backups never let the game get close and cruised to the 24-point win.

Key Players: Georgetown junior forward Henry Sims continued to have a breakout season as he finished with 12 points and five assists in just 15 minutes. For Loyola, freshman guard Justin Drummond scored 21 points on 50 percent shooting.

Key Stretch: Over a nine minute stretch in the first half, Georgetown outscored Loyola 27-11 to put the game away.

Next Up: Georgetown hits the road for another tough test as it faces Memphis on Dec. 23 while Loyola will return to Washington on Dec. 22 for a visit to Howard.


George Barnette

Special to the AFRO