Georgetown 74, Cal State Fullerton 57
WASHINGTON (AP)—Freshman Jeff Green dominated the paint with 18 points and six blocks, and Georgetown took advantage of an unusual home court advantage to beat short-handed Cal State Fullerton 74-57 Tuesday night and advance to the quarterfinals of the NIT.
Green scored eight of Georgetown’s first 13 points and essentially had his way against the Titans’ undersized frontcourt, making 8 of 11 shots in 23 minutes before fouling out with 4:57 to play. Brandon Bowman made 8 of 10 shots and scored 21 points for the Hoyas (19-12), who shot 55 percent.
Preparations for a circus made unavailable the Hoyas’ usual home, the cavernous MCI Center, so Georgetown hosted the game on campus in its small McDonough Gymnasium. A standing-room only crowd of 2,604 packed the gym, and their chants and roars tested the limits of decibel tolerance in a way never heard at MCI.
Georgetown hasn’t lost at McDonough since a 63-52 loss to Connecticut in 1982, but the Hoyas usually host only one or two games a year at the gym—and usually early in the season against heavy underdog opponents.
Bobby Brown scored 16 points, and Jamaal Brown had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead Cal State Fullerton (21-11), which dressed only eight players and listed five players out for the season with injuries. Ralphy Holmes, the Big West’s leading scorer and rebounder, became the most recent casualty when he injured his knee in Friday’s win at San Francisco.
The Titans finished with their first winning season in 12 years and had to play all three of their NIT games on the road, visiting seven airports over eight days. The game was on ESPN, making it Cal State Fullerton’s first nationally televised game in 15 years.
The visitors kept the game close for about 10 minutes. Green left his defender flatfooted with a hesitation move to put Georgetown ahead 13-12, and the Hoyas took the lead for good with a 12-0 run that made the score 27-18. Bowman’s stumbling baseline drive turned into a three-point play to get the lead to double digits, and Jonathan Wallace’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Hoyas a 41-30 halftime lead.
Green picked up his fourth foul with 12 1/2 minutes to play, but Georgetown was leading by 18 at the time. The Titans managed a 7-0 run without Green in the game to cut the lead to 11, but a 3-pointer from the Hoyas’ Ashanti Cook stopped the momentum.