Critics said the Georgetown Hoyas relied too much on the three-point shot and that it’s post game wasn’t productive enough. Those doubts were laid to rest as Julian Vaughn’s double-double led Georgetown in a 74-59 win over the Spartanburg, South Carolina Wofford College Terriers on Nov. 19.

It was Georgetown’s most balanced scoring effort of the season, as the team received contributions both from its guards and its front court. They had the clear size advantage over Wofford, the defending Southern Conference Champions, and took full advantage of it by getting Vaughn the ball in the paint in the early going.

“We definitely wanted to set the tone because everyone feeds off that energy and it’s easier to get going to start the game,” Vaughn said. “That’s what we need. Come out of the gates with fire and maintain it the rest of the game.”

The Georgetown front court poured in 29 points, their best production of the season. Sophomore forward Hollis Thompson and junior center Henry Sims provided nine and six points respectively. Georgetown coach John Thompson III was particularly impressed with Sims’ play, and said he expects more from the Baltimore native as the season progresses.

“Henry Sims came in and gave us a big boost for stretches there in the second half,” Thompson said. “After today, we are going to expect that from him on a going-forward basis.”

The Hoyas jumped out to a quick 9-0 start on the Terriers and were never challenged in the first half thanks to excellent defensive play. The Hoyas held their opponents to a mere 18 percent shooting in the first half on the way to 13-point halftime lead.

The second half was a much different story. After Georgetown jumped out to a 15-point lead, Wofford went on a 15-5 run to cut the lead to five.

Georgetown couldn’t shake Wofford for the first 10 minutes of the second half because of the play of senior forward Noah Dahlman, who burned the Hoyas for 19 points.

Georgetown made defensive adjustments by bringing in sophomore forward Jerrelle Benimon to guard Dahlman one-on-one, and using a three-quarter court press to disrupt the flow of Wofford’s offense.

After Wofford cut the lead to 50-45, Georgetown ran off nine straight points to push the lead to 14 with 7:31 remaining. The lead never fell to single-digits again.

Key Players: Vaughn scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked four shots for Georgetown, while his fellow senior Chris Wright scored 18, dished out five assists, grabbed five rebounds to go along with three steals.

For Wofford, Dahlman’s 19 were complimented by junior guard Brad Loesing’s 14 points on 4 of 6 shooting from behind the arc.

Key Stretch: After seeing its lead cut to five, Georgetown got aggressive, driving to the basket and getting Wofford into foul trouble. Georgetown went to the line eight times, making seven free throws to stretch its lead.

Next Up: The Hoyas will face-off against the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the championship game of the Charleston Classic at 8 p.m. on Nov. 21, while the Terriers will play in the third-place game against the George Mason Patriots the same day at 5:30 p.m.

 

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO