For the first 30 minutes of Georgetown’s Jan. 1 matchup with DePaul, it seemed as if Georgetown was still hung over from a night of New Year’s Eve partying. But Georgetown’s guards eventually took control of the game to lead the team to an 86-75 comeback win.

“We were flat,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “It felt like we were in quicksand, particularly, in the first half. Chris (Wright) got going in the second half and, as always, when Chris gets going, we usually get going. ”

Wright, the senior guard from Bowie, Md., became more aggressive in the second half, a change which made a difference on the offensive end of the floor. After scoring 36 points in the first half, Georgetown scored 50 in the second as Wright scored all 17 of his points.

“In the first half I was being really passive,” Wright said. “In the second half I just wanted to be aggressive and take advantage of all their mistakes. I wanted to get into the paint and make decisions.”

Like most of the Georgetown’s opponents this season, DePaul from Chicago had no answer for the backcourt trio of guards Wright, senior Austin Freeman and junior Jason Clark, who combined for 59 points and 12 assists.

Georgetown jumped out to an early 11-3 lead on a Freeman lay-up with 14:50 remaining in the first half. But DePaul clawed its way back into the game to stay within striking distance throughout the half, cutting the lead to as low as three. Georgetown led by seven points at the break.

The Hoyas scored the first four points of the second half to take a double-digit lead and what seemed to be control of the game.

But DePaul went to their frontcourt tandem of freshman forward and Baltimore native Cleveland Melvin and sophomore forward Tony Freeland. The two combined for 53 points and 15 rebounds as they kept the game close with their stellar play.

DePaul cut Georgetown’s lead to one with 14:08 remaining, but would come no closer for the rest of the game. Georgetown took control from that point, leading by as many as 17 points.

Key Players: Once Wright got involved in the scoring, the game changed for Georgetown as his 17 second-half points and two steals proved to be the difference. For DePaul, Melvin and Freeland proved that DePaul has good building blocks in place. They finished with 29 and 24 points respectively.

Key Stretch: After holding just a six-point lead with six minutes remaining in the game, the Hoyas went on a 15-4 run to secure the win.

Next Up: Georgetown travels to New York on Jan. 3 for a meeting with St. John’s at Madison Square Garden. DePaul will host West Virginia on Jan. 4.

 

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO