No. 16 Georgetown uses huge second half to overwhelm American

Georgetown's Hollis Thompson (1) looks for room around American's Charles Hinkle (23) and Mike Bersch (43) during the second half, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, in Washington. Thompson had 15 points and eight rebounds in Georgetown's 81-55 win. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)Georgetown’s Hollis Thompson (1) looks for room around American’s Charles Hinkle (23) and Mike Bersch (43) during the second half, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, in Washington. Thompson had 15 points and eight rebounds in Georgetown’s 81-55 win. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
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No. 16 Georgetown led American at halftime Saturday. It sure didn’t feel like it.

The usually sure-handed Hoyas committed nine turnovers before the break, providing a listless start to an intra-city game.

There was nothing sluggish about the next 20 minutes.

Georgetown rolled to an 81-55 victory at Verizon Center, providing a much different start to the second half than the opening moments of the game.

“We started off the game, I feel like, several of our first possessions were turnovers,” coach John Thompson III said. “I don’t remember, but I feel as though three of the first five were turnovers. You start off in a rut.”

His memory was close. The Hoyas (9-1) had three turnovers and scored only once in their first six possessions. At the start of the second half, Georgetown had 24 points in its first 16 trips.

“Georgetown came out in the second half and came right at us,” American coach Jeff Jones said. “We obviously didn’t respond very well and didn’t have an answer.”

What was tight throughout the first half quickly turned into a blowout. The Hoyas shot 21-for-31 from the floor after the break and needed a little more than five minutes to seize a double-digit lead for good.

Most notably, the Hoyas committed only three more turnovers.

“We had nine turnovers in the first half,” Thompson said. “I think that might have led to what happened in the second half.”

Five more observations from Saturday …

* Sims‘ communication. Georgetown senior Henry Sims scored 17 points, the third-highest total of his career. He had six assists, his second best distribution total in four seasons. He had a hand in 11 of the Hoyas’ 21 field goals in the second half (six assists, five baskets).

Yet Thompson was most pleased with something else.

“I think he was best today at his communication on defense,” Thompson said. “The whole time you heard Henry talking, and our defense got better in the second half because I thought our talking got better. He was outstanding. You heard Henry’s voice calling screens, calling a switch, watch this. I think that’s what he did better than anything.”

* Hinkle works for his points. American’s Charles Hinkle entered the day averaging 22.2 points, clearly establishing himself as the nexus of the Eagles’ offense.

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