Memphis 88, Georgetown 91By JOHN MARSHALL, AP Basketball Writer Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011
LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP)—Despite losing by just four to a Top 25 team, Georgetown coach John Thompson III was frustrated by his young squad for not being able to make plays down the stretch against Kansas to open the Maui Invitational.
Two days later, against another Top 25 team, the Hoyas were the ones making the plays.
How’s that for some quick improvement?
Jason Clark hit a big 3-pointer in overtime on his way to 26 points and Georgetown played with poise down the stretch hold off No. 8 Memphis 91-88 in the fifth-place game of the Maui Invitational on Wednesday.
“In the Kansas game, I told our guys we made mistakes coming down the stretch that we can control,” Thompson said. “Tonight we made plays as opposed to making mistakes at key points, so hopefully that’s growth for this group.”
Memphis and Georgetown didn’t look like two teams playing for fifth place, trading monster dunks, 3-pointers and leads throughout regulation.
The Hoyas (4-1) went up 90-86 in overtime after Clark hit a 3 with 51 seconds left and Markel Starks followed with two free throws.
The Tigers (2-2) cut the lead to two on Stan Simpson’s two free throws and had a shot to tie after Georgetown’s Hollis Thompson made just 1 of 2 at the other end. But Memphis didn’t get a good look at the end of regulation and did it again in overtime, with Antonio Barton’s 3-pointer coming up well short at the buzzer.
Will Barton led Memphis with 22 points and Joe Jackson added 20.
“It was really frustrating, because we didn’t play our best ball,” Will Barton said. “We regrouped and got ourselves together … then we come here in our last game and we just came up short.”
Memphis had trouble with patient and talented No. 15 Michigan in its tournament opener, unable to get the 15th-ranked Wolverines to speed up in a 73-61 loss.
The Tigers tried to run away from Tennessee on Tuesday with a big opening spurt, but the Vols chipped away in the second half and forced overtime on a shot with 5 seconds left. Memphis battled through two overtimes, dodging two more last-second shots, and pulled out a hard-fought, 99-97 win.
Georgetown opened with a four-point loss to No. 14 Kansas that left Thompson III a little disgruntled after the Hoyas couldn’t come up with the big plays down the stretch.
Georgetown rallied against tournament host Chaminade, rolling over the Division II Silverswords with a big run early and keeping the cushion from there in an 88-61 win.
Experienced and fleet, Memphis was going to be a much bigger challenge for the Hoyas, more like the Jayhawks than Chaminade. Unlike the Kansas game, the Hoyas came through with the plays down the stretch.
Henry Sims had 24 points and eight rebounds for Georgetown, while Hollis Thompson and Starks scored 12 each.
“We’re getting better,” Clark said. “I think we responded well after the loss after Kansas. I think everybody’s starting to pay a lot more attention to what we need to do on the court.”
Both teams put on a pretty good show in the first half.
Swapping acrobatic shots and deep 3-pointers, the Tigers and Hoyas had the crowd inside Lahaina Civic Center on its feet seemingly every other trip down the floor.
Clark, who hit six 3-pointers and scored 28 points against Chaminade, had 17 by halftime, shooting 7 of 12. Starks chipped in 10 points and the Hoyas made 19 of 36 shots.
Memphis kept up with Georgetown most of the way, hitting five 3-pointers while making 16 of 29 shots. Barton, who had 25 points and 11 rebounds against Tennessee, had 14 points by halftime.
The Tigers led by seven early, Georgetown answered with a 19-2 run to go up 10 and Memphis chipped away to get within 47-42 by halftime.
The second half was more of the same.
Tarik Black had a couple of monster dunks early, throwing one down over Sims and another on an alley-oop. Sims had a few power moves of his own, throwing down a vicious dunk and scoring on a tough reverse to keep the Hoyas close.
Memphis had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but had trouble setting up a shot and Adonis Thomas’ 3-pointer was well off the mark. The Tigers had trouble setting up a shot again in overtime, sending them home from Maui with two losses in three games.
Memphis also played a regional game on the mainland before arriving in Maui.
“These four games that we’ve played, it’s been a great tournament—it’s been great for us,” Memphis coach Josh Pastner said. “So we take these four games and it gives us an opportunity to watch the film and show the guys and things that we did well and did not do well.”