- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Georgetown looked tired last night. Playing three games in five days can do that.

But even a fatigued Hoyas bunch was too much for Coastal Carolina.

Sophomore point guard Ashanti Cook led a big run at the end of the game as the Hoyas pulled away in the final five minutes for an 81-68 victory over the Chanticleers before 4,189 at MCI Center.

Seven of Cook’s 16 points came in the 21-9 run in the last 4:58. Cook paced four double-figure scorers. Senior swingman Gerald Riley also finished with 16 points. Freshman guard Ray Reed scored a career-high 14 points, including 10 of 11 from the free throw line, and forward Darrel Owens added a career-high 13 points, including six points during Georgetown’s pivotal run.

“We started playing harder,” Hoyas coach Craig Esherick said. “We were getting our fingertips on balls, but we were letting other people get rebounds, and we weren’t pursuing the ball. The second part of that second half we started pursuing the ball.”

Perhaps the slow start was a hangover from the win over Penn State on the road less than 48 hours earlier. Georgetown’s 13-point margin of victory last night made it the closest game of the five between the two teams.

“Yes, that wasn’t easy. That was tough,” Riley said of beating Penn State on the road. “[Coastal Carolina] played well, and they are a better team than they were last year.”

For the first 10 minutes of the game, nothing would drop for the Hoyas (3-0). Riley scored eight of Georgetown’s first 12 points, and with 7:47 left before halftime, the Hoyas were just 5-for-23 from the floor.

At least half of Georgetown’s misses were from six feet or closer. Even though the Hoyas made five of their next 10 shots, they only led 33-30 at halftime.

With Georgetown forwards Brandon Bowman and Owens shooting a combined 2-for-14 in the first half, somebody needed to help Riley with the scoring load. Reed answered the call.

Reed came off the bench midway through the half and matched his previous career high — 10 points at Penn State — before halftime. Reed broke down the Chanticleers (1-2) off the dribble and penetrated the lane for layups with superior quickness.

Georgetown turned the ball over 10 times in the first half, leading to eight Coastal Carolina points. The turnovers and poor shooting kept the game close even though Georgetown outrebounded the Chanticleers 27-18, including 13 offensive rebounds. In addition, the Hoyas made 12 of 17 free throws in the half.

Coastal Carolina’s players are aware coach Pete Strickland’s job may be on the line this season, and they have responded with decent performances so far. Strickland, a former DeMatha High assistant under Morgan Wooten, has gone 47-94 in six seasons.

The Chanticleers opened this season in the Pepsi-Marist Classic last weekend and beat the host Red Foxes 74-70 before losing to Yale 75-70 in the championship game.

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