CHARLESTON, S.C. | Looks like No. 20 Georgetown found another way to put away teams.
The school with the storied tradition of dominant centers — from Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning to last year’s first-round draft pick, Greg Monroe — found success from the outside on Thursday, shooting its way to an 80-61 rout of Coastal Carolina in the Charleston Classic.
“We have guys across the board in that locker room who can make open shots,” Hoyas coach John Thompson III said.
They showed as the Hoyas improved to 3-0 for the fourth straight season.
Clark was 8 of 12 overall and made five of his seven attempts from long range.
Meanwhile, Freeman had 14 of his 20 points in the second half, hitting six of the seven shots he took over the final 20 minutes. Wright chipped in too with 12 points and a career-high 12 assists, surpassing his previous best of eight.
“You’re looking at a potential Final Four-type team because they’ve got four good shooters,” Coastal Carolina coach Cliff Ellis said.
Georgetown will face Wofford, last year’s Southern Conference champion, which defeated USC Upstate 79-61 on Thursday. The winner of that game plays for the championship Sunday night.
Kierre Greenwood had 16 points to lead Coastal Carolina.
Georgetown pushed a 32-26 halftime lead to 51-33 after consecutive 3s from Clark, before Coastal went on an 11-0 run over the next three minutes to tighten things up one final time. The Hoyas responded again with Freeman and Clark hitting 3s and Clark making a wide-open 12-footer to go ahead 59-46 with 9:15 left.
Coastal Carolina didn’t get any closer the rest of the way.
“We’re getting a lot of confidence in our shooting,” Clark said.
Georgetown’s defense did its work, too.
Danny Nieman, Coastal Carolina’s second-leading scorer at 11 points a game, was held without a point. Chad Gray scored 13 points for the Chanticleers on 3 of 11 shooting.
Georgetown, the only ranked team among the eight tournament participants, had its outside touch going from the start, making 8 of 12 from beyond the arc and opening a 30-18 lead with six minutes left in the first half.
But the Hoyas, with Freeman watching from the bench with two fouls, got ragged the rest of the way and let the Chanticleers back in it. Georgetown had only one basket and committed half of its 10 first-half turnovers during that stretch.
Greenwood’s steal and breakaway basket got Coastal Carolina within 32-26 at the break.
Georgetown has improved its outside production each of its three games. It made eight 3s in an opening victory over Old Dominion and upped that total to 12 against Temple this past Monday.
The Hoyas supporters on hand included former player and NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan. He played for John Thompson’s Hoyas and was most notably a practice partner for Georgetown star Allen Iverson in 1995-96.