- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2002

Now it gets serious.
Georgetown's early season run of assorted cupcakes, marshmallows and creampuffs came to an end with last night's 87-60 rout of Coastal Carolina.
For the second straight game, Georgetown's perimeter shooters opened the game ice cold. Good thing the Hoyas have Mike Sweetney. Sweetney, Georgetown's consensus first-team All-American forward, powered his way to a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds before 4,366 at MCI Center.
Thursday, the Hoyas finally play a meaningful game when undefeated South Carolina comes calling to MCI Center. That means the underrated Hoyas get a chance against a quality opponent to prove to their skeptics they are indeed top-25 material. Last night, the Gamecocks (4-0) pounded defensive-minded Temple 66-47, setting up the key nonconference showdown for the Hoyas (4-0).
Georgetown's perimeter players struggled early the starting backcourt was a combined 2-for-9 with 5:42 left before halftime but got better as the game wore on. However, Sweetney was there to corral their misses.
What separates Sweetney from other college players are his great hands. Sweetney, who recorded his 24th career double-double last night, turned several dicey entry passes from Georgetown's guards into assists.
"He can do that every night if we get it down to him," Hoyas sophomore point guard Tony Bethel said. "We just get it down to him, and he does his thing. We're there if he needs to pass it out to us."
The Chanticleers (2-3), out of the Big South conference, had no answer for Sweetney, who kept backing his way into the low post. Coastal Carolina tried everything various zone defenses, double-teams and triple-teams but Georgetown's main weapon steamrolled its physically undermanned frontcourt.
After scoring just 10 points against Towson, the 6-foot-8, 260-pound Sweetney came ready to play from the opening tip.
Sweetney made seven of 11 shots from the floor, all inside of eight feet. The junior power forward's most important contribution came at the foul line, where he made 12 of 15 free throws. The only way the Chanticleers could stop Sweetney was to foul him, and he made them pay for it by making his free throws.
"It was pretty rough getting triple- and double-teamed," said Sweetney, who also had three blocks, four steals and two assists. "We just kept moving and keeping the defense occupied."
Entering the game, Sweetney was shooting only 58.8 percent from the line, but against the Chanticleers, he raised that to 68.8 percent. As a team, Georgetown made 24 of 31 free throws.
The Hoyas essentially put the game away in the final seven minutes of the first half. Leading 25-21 with 7:23 left, Georgetown closed the half on a 20-4 run to take a 45-25 lead.


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