WASHINGTON (AP) — John Thompson III wasn’t happy. His Georgetown Hoyas had upset No. 11 UCLA on Monday and taken No. 1 Indiana into overtime before losing Tuesday. Four days later, the Hoyas were barely ahead of Mount St. Mary’s at halftime.
“I didn’t recognize the team that was on the court,” Thompson said.
Georgetown shot 63.6 percent (14 of 22) in the first half but turned the ball over 11 times.
The Hoyas outscored Mount St. Mary’s 22-6 in the final 8 1/2 minutes in a 72-50 win on Saturday.
“In the second half, we picked it up a little bit,” Thompson said.
Georgetown was led by Otto Porter with 17 points and 13 rebounds, Greg Whittington had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Markel Starks scored 15.
Mikael Hopkins, who added 13 points, hit a layup to start the second half, and after the Mountaineers’ Xavier Owens scored to make it 36-34, the Hoyas (4-1) scored eight straight — including four points by Hopkins — to lead 44-34.
The second half started off well. Thompson wanted to forget the first half.
“I thought we were just too casual as dribblers and too casual as receivers,” Thompson said. “Once we stopped being too casual out there, it wasn’t as bad.”
The Mountaineers (1-3), who missed their first five 3-pointers of the second half, drew to within 50-44 on Rashad Whack’s 3-pointer with 8:22 remaining. Whack led Mount St. Mary’s with 11.
“I was really excited how well our team played for about 32 minutes,” Mountaineers coach Jamion Christian said.
Georgetown quickly answered with eight points — four by Porter — to lead 58-44 with 5:13 left and finished the game on that 22-6 run.
“He said: ‘Pick up that intensity.’ As soon as soon we walked into the locker room, we knew we had to come out with more intensity,” Porter said.
After the Hoyas’ heady week, which will likely culminate with their vaulting into the Top 25 on Monday, Thompson knew he’d have a hard job selling his team on the difficulty of playing Mount St. Mary’s.
“Yeah, but so what? That’s easy to say, but good teams really get to a level — mentally focused — where that does not happen,” Thompson said.
The Hoyas had a 42-21 rebounding advantage and held Mount St. Mary’s to 25.8 percent shooting (8 of 31) in the second half.
Mount St. Mary’s, in its first year under the 30-year-old Christian, played Georgetown well for the first half. Taylor Danaher’s jump tied the score at 23-all 5:29 before halftime.
Georgetown scored six straight to take a 29-23 lead, but Sam Prescott’s 3-pointer pulled the Mountaineers to within 34-32 at halftime.
Thompson confirmed that he and Florida coach Billy Donovan are discussing a resumption of the Nov. 9 game played on the deck of the USS Bataan in Jacksonville, Fla., which was ended at halftime because of a wet court. Florida led Georgetown 27-23 when the game, was halted.
“We’re talking. There are so many moving parts as it relates to that. “Where? A full game? A half game?” Thompson said. “I don’t know whether it’s going to happen, but is there interest on both of our parts? Yeah.”