Georgetown bounced back from its first loss of the season in a major way, pounding North Carolina’s Appalachian State, 89-60, for their most lopsided win of the season.

Georgetown used a balanced attack offensively as six players scored in double figures led by junior guard Jason Clark with 15 points. But Clark’s biggest contribution came on defense as he held Appalachian State’s Donald Sims, the nation’s second-leading scorer, to just 14 points—13 below the senior guard’s season average.

“We knew we just had to be aggressive with him,” Clark said. “We knew we couldn’t let him get his shots off. We had to come to him and bring the defense to him. … I think being aggressive with him kind of helped.”

Appalachian State coach Jason Capel echoed Clark’s sentiments, saying Georgetown brought their physical, Big East edge into defending Sims.

“I thought they did a good job of being physical with Donald,” Capel said. “That’s kind of been his Achilles’ heel, when guys really get into him and get physical.”

Chris Wright also had a big day, as the Hoyas senior point guard matched his career high with 12 assists, many of them drawing “oohs” and “aahs” from the Verizon Center crowd. Wright said the highlights were not his goal, but hoped to make sure he was in control of the offense.

“I’m not trying to play flashy,” Wright said. “I’m just trying to make the right reads and those are the passes I made.”

Georgetown controlled the game from the opening tip as Clark’s three-point shooting sparked Georgetown to a 30-13 lead.

Appalachian State slowly fought back behind solid play from senior guard Jeremi Booth to cut the lead to nine at halftime. But their momentum was snuffed out early in the second half as an early Hoya explosion ended any hopes of a comeback.

“Coach put an emphasis at halftime on getting three stops in a row at the beginning of the second half, and that’s something we wanted to do,” Wright said. “When we get into transition, it’s very hard to stop us because we have so many options.”

Key Players: Clark, Wright and Austin Freeman combined for 35 points and 18 of the Hoyas’ 27 assists. For the Mountaineers, Booth knocked down four three-pointers on his way to 14 points.

Key Stretch: After Appalachian State cut the lead to a manageable nine points at intermission, the Hoyas reclaimed control of the game with a 19-6 run to put the game away.

Next Up: Georgetown will take a short break for final exams and will return to the court Dec. 18 against Loyola (Md.). Appalachian State returns to the court the same day against Pennsylvania’s Robert Morris University.

 

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO