Georgetown ends 5-game skid, beats Rutgers 57-47
WASHINGTON (AP)—Though his name doesn’t appear on the score sheet, Georgetown team manager Chris Golski deserves an assist or two for helping the Hoyas end their five-game losing streak.
With Golski’s encouragement, senior guard Jessie Sapp—mired in a slump for a month and a half—stayed after practice for about an hour Monday, taking shot after shot after shot.
It paid off Tuesday night, when Sapp went 4-for-5 from the field and scored 11 points in a 57-47 cloud-lifting win over Rutgers.
“Yesterday after practice, he was ‘Let’s get up shots; let’s get up shots,”’ said Sapp, who was 16-for-68 from the field—a mere 24 percent—over his previous 12 games. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, you’re right. Let’s get up shots.’ And so we got up shots, and it helped out.”
There was no change in his form or his release point. Sapp just needed to unclutter his mind and get into a rhythm. The same, for that matter, could be said for an entire Hoyas team whose longest skid since 2005 had sent it tumbling from the Top 10 to unranked in less than a month.
“He put in the work, and he made shots today,” coach John Thompson III said. “We need Sapp, when he gets his open shots, for them to go in. We need this guy to be Jessie Sapp. I think he went through a phase where he was thinking. He’s got to play.”
Thompson interrupted his remarks and turned to Sapp, who was nearby during the postgame news conference.
“Are you back?” Thompson asked.
“I’m back,” Sapp said.
Greg Monroe added 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals for the Hoyas (13-8, 4-6 Big East), who forced 21 turnovers and again found Rutgers (10-13, 1-9) to be the perfect salve. Georgetown has won seven straight in the series and hasn’t lost at home to the Scarlet Knights since 1998.
“Losing is awful,” said Thompson, flashing a smile that spoke volumes of relief. “We took a baby step today. We got a win. There’s a lot we still have to improve on. But I really liked what I saw in the first half because we shot poorly, and in the past when we’ve missed shots we’ve not been as attentive to every other aspect of the game. When we’ve missed shots, we’ve gotten angst and lost focus. When we did not shoot well (tonight), I thought we stayed attentive.”
Mike Rosario scored 20 points to lead the Scarlet Knights, who fell behind late in the first half and trailed by 20 in the second half before a too-little-too-late rally in the waning minutes.
“Like usual, we dug ourselves a big hole, and we’re great at climbing back out of it,” coach Fred Hill said. “But you can’t turn the ball over 21 times against a good ballclub and expect to win.”
Corey Chandler and Hamady Ndiaye were back in Hill’s starting lineup. The pair were subs in Saturday’s win over DePaul as punishment for being late for team functions.