- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 23, 2003

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Now it gets real.

Georgetown’s glorified exhibition season ended last night with a convincing 85-62 victory over The Citadel before 2,431 at McAlister Field House. Now the unbeaten Hoyas (9-0) have to wait 11 days for their Big East opener against Rutgers to see how good they really are.

The Hoyas have played some lower-tier teams in their two-month waltz through the nonconference portion of their schedule, but The Citadel was arguably the worst of the lot.

All anyone needs to know about last night’s game is this: With 11:29 left in the first half, the Citadel had more turnovers (eight) than shots (seven) from the floor.

Meanwhile, the Hoyas sank a season-high 11 3-pointers in what turned out to be a shooting clinic. Senior Gerald Riley led all scorers with 23 points, including four of six from behind the 3-point arc.

“I’m very pleased,” Georgetown coach Craig Esherick said. “The only way you’re really going to find out [how good you are] is once you start playing conference games. The nonconference schedule is to try and get you ready for your conference games. I’m hoping that it’s done that. I’ve seen a lot of things that I like. There’s a few things we have to work on when we come back from Christmas break, but overall I like more things we’re doing well than things I think we need to work on.”

Was Georgetown’s bench-clearing experience a proper tuneup for the Jan.3 game against Rutgers at MCI Center?

“It all depends on how you play — it doesn’t matter who you play,” said Riley, who made seven of 11 shots. “It depends on how you play and how you perform. We were able to perform well, so that was good for us. A lot of people coming into this season, thought we were not a Division I team anymore. We’ve got players here. We’ve got players willing to throw it out.”

The Hoyas made more 3-pointers (11) than they did free throws (10). Georgetown went 11 of 21 from behind the arc and just 10 of 25 from the free throw line.

The game was over when the Hoyas took a 48-24 halftime lead. Georgetown shot a sizzling 64.3 percent (18 of 28) from the floor in the half.

Georgetown’s hot shooting was a result of the Bulldogs’ porous defense. The Citadel’s various halfcourt zone defenses — either a 2-3 or 1-3-1 with a guard running the baseline — didn’t rotate quickly to the ball.

“You saw today that we’re pretty good shooters when we’re left open,” said Esherick.

The young Bulldogs (3-7) — they have seven freshmen and five sophomores on their roster — were overmatched. That’s no surprise. The Citadel’s only wins this season have come against non-Division I competition.

Georgetown ran its record to 3-0 this season against teams from the Southern Conference. The Hoyas also went 3-0 against teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

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