LAKE BUENTA VISTA, Fla. (AP)—Georgetown coach John Thompson III feels his team is a work in progress. The results so far have been encouraging.
Austin Freeman scored 18 points and DaJuan Summers added 14 to lead No. 21 Georgetown to a 58-50 win over Wichita State in a first-round game Thursday at the Old Spice Classic.
“It’s our third game. We have a long way to go,” Thompson said, “The good thing is, we’re figuring out how to win games while we’re learning.”
Freshman center Greg Monroe added 11 points for Georgetown (3-0), which will play No. 12 Tennessee on Friday.
“There’s certain things that we have to do well regardless of who we play,” Thompson said. “Today, we had to come down the stretch and we had to get stops, had to make plays. This group hasn’t experienced it. This group has to get that confidence.”
Georgetown preserved the victory by making all eight free throws during the last minute of the game.
Wichita State (2-2) got 11 points off the bench from freshman David Kyles, while Ramon Clemente had 10.
“We had our chances,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. “That’s a pretty talented, tough basketball team. We were right there with them for a great majority of the game. The start of the game and the start of the second half were basically our downfall.”
After seeing a 10-point, second-half lead cut to one, Freeman made a jumper and Summers hit a 3 to extended the Georgetown advantage to 48-42 with 4 minutes remaining.
“Just playing hard is something the coach keeps stressing to me,” Summers said.
Kyles completed a 10-2 run with a three-point play to get Wichita State within 40-38 midway through the second half. Clemente’s rebound basket at the six-minute mark cut the Shockers deficit to 43-42.
“We couldn’t get over that hump,” Clemente said. “We’ve got to learn how to do that.”
Georgetown led 26-22 at the half as Monroe had 11 points and Freeman added 10.
Freeman scored the first seven points of the game, leading Georgetown to an early 9-0 lead.
Wichita State shot 27.9 percent (17-61) for the game, but outrebounded Georgetown 17-6 on the offensive boards.
“It’s nice to know you can shoot 28 percent and still hang with a top-25 team,” Marshall said.