Clark’s 19 leads No. 18 Hoyas over Lafayette 97-64
WASHINGTON (AP)—For the first time in John Thompson III’s six seasons as coach, Georgetown had six players in double figures on Saturday.
The Hoyas’ hard-to-please coach still needs convincing they’re ready for bigger challenges.
After No. 18 Georgetown defeated Lafayette 97-64, Thompson spent an especially long time poring over the stat sheet. He had plenty to read about.
Jason Clark had a career-high 19 points, Hollis Thompson had 16 and Chris Wright added 14 for the Hoyas (4-0). Greg Monroe had 13 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Austin Freeman scored 12 and Julian Vaughn finished with 11 points.
“I don’t go into a game saying: ‘We need four, five, six guys in double figures,”’ Thompson said. “We have a bunch of guys in that locker room that can score points. Who scores the points is irrelevant to this group.”
Lafayette coach Fran O’Hanlon’s team hadn’t faced a ranked team since February 2006, and his team doesn’t regularly face one with the array of skills that Monroe and his teammates have.
“In my mind, they’re a top-20 team. Are they a top-10 team? That’s to be decided,” O’Hanlon said. “Any time you have a guy like Monroe, you always have a chance.”
Thompson is proud of the large number of Georgetown players who have become excellent NBA players. He compared Clark with Allen Iverson, who played two years for his father.
“For his whole career, everyone talked about, ‘He’s too little, he’s going to wear down.’ He hasn’t yet,” Thompson said. “They’re both scrawny little kids, but they haven’t worn down.”
Clark, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, admits that Georgetown practices are sometimes harder than games.
“I take a lot of hits. They beat me up in practice. I don’t have a lot of concerns about wearing down,” Clark said. “(Iverson) plays hard the whole game, and that’s what I try and do.”
Hollis Thompson, who had just a single field goal in Georgetown’s first three games, hit all six shots he attempted—four of them 3-pointers.
The Leopards (4-2) were led by Jared Mintz’ 16 points. Jim Mower had 12.
The Hoyas led throughout the game, but Lafayette trailed just 25-23 with 8:41 to play in the first half. Then Georgetown, led by Monroe’s seven points, closed the half with a 20-6 run to lead 45-31 at the break.
Georgetown had held its first three opponents to an average of 49 points, and while it wasn’t that stingy, it still forced Lafayette into 11 first-half turnovers.
The Hoyas came out quickly in the second half, outscoring the Leopards 12-1 for a 57-32 lead with 17:28 to play. The highlight was a steal by the 6-foot-11 Monroe, who dribbled three-quarters of the court for a pretty left-handed layup.
Clark had six points in the first half, but hit three 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the second. The outcome was never really in doubt after that, unlike the Hoyas’ other home game, when they escaped with a 46-45 win over Temple on Nov. 17.
Even though Georgetown built a 25-point lead early in the second half, pesky Lafayette managed to avoid embarrassment by scoring six straight points. They kept firing 3-pointers, although they missed nine of their 12 attempts in the second half.
The Leopards, who were playing the Hoyas for the first time in 30 years, hit five of seven from 3-point range in the first 10 minutes of the game.