Georgetown head coach John Thompson III always warns that there are no easy games in the Big East, and that was indeed the case on New Year’s Eve as the Hoyas battled their way to a 49-40 victory over the Providence Friars.

No. 12 Georgetown (12-1, 2-0) was never able to get into a rhythm offensively, shooting just over 30 percent for the game. That lack of offensive punch created a need for the Hoyas to do the little things that sometimes go overlooked.

“We went through a long stretch there where we weren’t scoring,” Thompson said. “So then we just have to figure out how to get stops and how to get rebounds.”

That stretch amounted to more than six and a half minutes in the second half—enough time for the Friars (11-4, 0-2) to erase a 14-point deficit and tie the game.

But it would be the last tie of the game as Georgetown’s frontcourt duo of senior center Henry Sims and freshman forward Otto Porter took over. Sims scored five of his 11 points down the stretch and Porter grabbed huge rebounds to help close out the game, in an effort that drew praise from Thompson.

“Otto made the plays that you have to make to win games and it was glaring today,” Thompson said. “A lot of times when he’s made plays it’s not as glaring. It’s easy to focus on who made what shot or who made what pass , but all the little things that go into winning he has been good at those things.”

Porter finished with 12 rebounds, his second-straight double-digit performance in that category after grabbing 14 in Georgetown’s win over Louisville. Porter attributes the numbers to just being tougher than his opponents.

“I think rebounds are always very important,” Porter said. “It comes down to being tough at the end of games. When we rebound well, we’ll be a pretty decent team.”

Key Players: In addition to Sims and Porter’s clutch play, senior guard Jason Clark was the only Hoya able to make shots, finishing with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds. Freshman forward LaDontae Henton was the only Friar to score in double figures, finishing with 11.

Key Stretch: After Providence cut Georgetown’s lead to one at 41-40, Porter grabbed an offensive rebound and laid the ball back in to key an 8-0 run to end the game.

Next Up:
Georgetown will host No. 13 Marquette on Jan. 4 while Providence returns home to play No. 1 Syracuse the same evening.

 

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO