The teams were tied at 26 at halftime, but the Hoyas missed their first eight shots of the second half and committed seven turnovers before finally making a field goal — Hollis Thompson’s 3-pointer with 9:31 remaining. By then, the Bearcats had opened the half with a 17-3 run to take a 43-28 lead. Gates scored seven points during the run and was an offensive rebounding force who kept possessions alive.
Georgetown stayed as close as it did because of the game’s free-throw discrepancy. The Hoyas made 17 of 20 from the line; the Bearcats took only two free throws in the first 35 minutes and finished 9 for 13 because Georgetown was forced to foul late.
Gates’ three-point play put the Bearcats ahead 48-35 with 4:43 to play. Freeman’s fast-break layup and Vee Sanford’s 3-pointer got the Hoyas within eight, but Bishop banked in a 3-pointer as the shot clock was about to expire to restore a double-digit lead with 3:13 to play. Freeman looked exasperated, slumping his shoulders and rolling his eyes as the shot went in.
“I was surprised it went in, too,” Bishop said. “When it went in, I was just happy. It gave us some breathing room after they made a couple of shots, got the crowd back into it, so that was a big play.”