LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Follow along for updates from No. 12 Georgetown’s Big East opener at No. 4 Louisville tonight.
UPDATE 9:12 p.m.: Georgetown survives a frantic late effort by Louisville to emerge with the 71-68 upset. The crowd wasn’t pleased with the officiating. One empty bottle of Jim Beam was thrown at one referee as he exited the court. Off the postgame. More to come.
UPDATE 8:50 p.m.: Huge night for Markel Starks. The sophomore point guard has scored eight of Georgetown’s last 10 points, upping its lead to 63-55.
UPDATE 8:40 p.m.: Two critical 3-pointers from Hollis Thompson and Markel Starks push Georgetown’s lead to 56-49 with 6:35 remaining. Same thing struck me on both shots: how calm and confident both guys appear. Again, not something to overlook in this environment.
UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: Last year’s meeting was a nightmare for Louisville point guard Peyton Siva, to the tune of eight turnovers and 1-for-5 shooting from the field. But Siva appears to have put the performance well behind him. That includes an acrobatic stretch in the second half tonight, where he corralled a steal and layup, fed Gorgui Dieng on a dunk, hit a free throw, then sank a scoop shot while falling down. The last shot gave Louisville a 47-46 lead it clings to with 10:31 remaining.
UPDATE 8:12 p.m.: An unchallenged drive to the hoop by Jason Clark gives Georgetown a 36-35 lead with 17:54 left in the game. Clark, you may remember, scored two points and was 0-for-6 from the field in last season’s meeting.
UPDATE 7:51 p.m.: A pair of dunks from Chane Behanan brought the crowd to life — and I’m seated three feet from Louisville’s pep band, so I likely won’t be able to hear until next week — and sent the Cardinals into halftime with a 35-32 advantage.
Trawick, Porter and Hopkins combined for 17 of Georgetown’s points and, between them, missed one free throw and committed one turnover. An impressive effort in a difficult environment.
And now, some energetic (and erratic) baton-twirling for the halftime entertainment.
UPDATE: 7:30 p.m.: The red-and-black clad crowd in this $238 million arena hasn’t bothered Georgetown’s youngsters. In fact, they looked more composed then the veterans. During one stretch late in the first half, the Hoyas went on a 9-2 run while playing three freshmen and two sophomores. Sure, Greg Whittington missed an easy layup. But reliable Otto Porter drained a pair of difficult jumpers and Jabril Trawick sank a 3-pointer and hit a pair of free throws. Georgetown trails 24-21 with 6:27 left in the half, but the seemingly unflappable youngsters bodes well for the Hoyas.
UPDATE 7 p.m.: Georgetown starts its usual lineup of Jason Clark, Nate Lubick, Henry Sims, Markel Starks and Thompson.
Louisville goes with Chane Behanan, Gorgui Dieng, Peyton Siva, Chris Smith and Kyle Kurcic.
6:43 p.m.: Good evening from the KFC Yum! Center (yes, the exclamation point is part of the official name). No fried chicken in the media room. Pork chops instead.
Before the game tips off, here’s our Elliott Smith’s look at Georgetown freshman Otto Porter from today’s paper.
And here’s the Louisville Courier-Journal’s preview, talking about focusing on the Hoyas before a New Year’s Eve showdown with Kentucky.