In the first half of Georgetown’s tilt with North Carolina State, there were signs that the southern school’s athleticism, size and explosiveness would be too much. In the second half though, Georgetown’s patience, poise and experience helped to pull away, 82-67, to capture the Charleston Classic championship.

After the two teams played each other to a standstill in the first half, the Hoyas knew they weren’t playing winning basketball. Head coach John Thompson III made sure his players knew to “dot their I’s and cross their T’s” in the second half and that’s what the Hoyas did. “I think our guys focused in more, had more attention to detail that they didn’t have in the first half,” Thompson said. “They got some of the same looks, they just didn’t go in. They weren’t quite as open. We played them a little closer. Our guards did a much better job of being aggressive. We had a heightened sense of attention to detail.”

As the Hoyas tightened their grip, the young Wolfpack lost composure. The Wolfpack saw a two-point lead turn into a 13-point deficit, one which they would never recover. “Our youth showed up in that one,” said Wolfpack coach and Washington, D.C. native Sidney Lowe, whose team falls to 3-1. “We just showed a lack of patience didn’t know when to stay in our plays and took some God-awful shots. Everybody took their turn.”

The Hoyas once again got a balanced scoring effort with four players in double figures led by sophomore forward Hollis Thompson’s 18. Thompson also added nine assists in his best performance in blue and gray.

Senior guard Chris Wright, who finished with 17 points and seven assists, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. However the most surprising player in Charleston for Georgetown was junior forward Henry Sims, who looks to be living up to the hype he brought in as a highly-touted recruit. In just 15 minutes, Sims tallied four points, 9 rebounds and four assists, including one dazzling bounce pass to a streaking Austin Freeman for a slam-dunk. That kind of consistent production may prove vital to Georgetown’s success this season.

“We have a lot of pieces in our locker room and on any given night we’re going to need different people, when they’re called upon, to step up,” coach Thompson said.

Key Players: Thompson and Wright did the majority of the scoring, but Freeman added 15 for the Hoyas, while junior guard added 14. Sophomore forward Richard Howell dropped 15 points in a reserve roll for the Wolfpack while his fellow classmate, center DeShawn Painter scored 10 and pulled down 7 rebounds.

Key Stretch: After two Painter free-throws put NC State up 44-42, Georgetown went on a 15-0 run, over a span of 5:32 in the second half, to put the game away for good.

Next Up: After taking a brief respite for Thanksgiving, the Hoyas will host the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs on Nov. 27. The Wolfpack will host the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights the same day.

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO