Georgetown 72, Providence 62
WASHINGTON (AP)—Georgetown nearly redefined careless basketball Thursday night. The Hoyas committed 15 turnovers in the first half, many of them unforced bad passes and balls that were simply lost out of bounds.
The only cure was a halftime speech from a furious coach.
“I yelled at them,” John Thompson said. “We peeled a little paint.”
The Hoyas responded with a 20-4 run to open the second half, pulling away for a 72-62 victory over Providence in the Big East opener for both teams.
“The first half, the ball just kept hitting us in the hands, and we kept dropping it. It was ‘I throw it to you, you drop it,”’ Thompson said. “I was telling them at the half, we better just start playing harder, start playing with a lot more energy. That was the difference.”
Ashanti Cook scored 14 of his 15 points in the second half, Brandon Bowman had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Roy Hibbert had 16 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out, and Jonathan Wallace had 15 points and five steals for the Hoyas (9-2, 1-0), who finished with a season-high 22 turnovers but won their sixth straight.
Trailing 30-24 at the break, the Hoyas outrebounded the Friars 28-11 in the second half and avenged last year’s regular season-ending loss, when a last-second shot virtually ended Georgetown’s hopes of making the NCAA tournament.
Randall Hanke had 17 points and seven blocks, and Donnie McGrath scored 17 for the Friars (7-5, 0-1).
“What was tough for us was the backboards,” Providence coach Tim Welsh said. “They were dominating the backboards. Their size is part of it, but we’ve got to do a better job—we’ve played big teams before.”
The Hoyas had more turnovers (15) in the first half than made field goals (nine) and made free throws (three) combined. The careless ball-handling put them in a 23-14 hole before their only good stretch of half—jumpers by Bowman, Wallace and Jessie Sapp that cut the lead to one. But four more Hoyas turnovers in the final three minutes of the half allowed the Friars a 7-0 run that put Providence ahead by six at halftime.
Cook spurred Georgetown’s run to open the second half, scoring on a 3-pointer, a steal and layup, and a putback. Meanwhile, Providence started 0-for-7 with four turnovers before Hanke’s layup six minutes into the half.
“Our guys are so green and new to this whole world of Big East basketball,” said Welsh, who starts two freshmen and two sophomores. “We’re going to have to learn from it.” ^