Having surrendered 10 straight points in the previous two minutes to fall behind by one entering its final possession, Georgetown appeared to be on the verge of gagging away a crucial marquee win at 12th-ranked Alabama.
Then with one flick of his wrist, Hollis Thompson came to the rescue.
Thompson took dribble handoff from guard Jason Clark on the right wing, faced up to the basket and buried a long 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left on Thursday night to seal Georgetown's 57-55 victory over Alabama. The Hoyas (6-1) now have wins over the Tide and Memphis to go with a close loss to Kansas, perhaps good enough to earn them a spot in next week's Top 25.
The biggest reason a Georgetown team projected ninth or 10th in the Big East is exceeding expectations is because its veteran leaders have thrived taking on more responsibility. Clark has emerged as a big-time scorer in the absence of former backcourt mates Chris Wright and Austin Freeman, Thompson is tapping into his enticing potential and Henry Sims is enjoying a rare breakout senior season in the low post.
Against Alabama, however, it was Georgetown's smothering defense — specifically a two-three zone — that made the difference. The length of the Hoyas' defenders caused Alabama to miss every 3-pointer it took until midway through the second half, forcing the Tide to score most of its points in transition because it was so ineffective in the half court.