- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 23, 2004

HONOLULU — Georgetown’s Brandon Bowman showed up in a big way yesterday.

After two sub-par outings in the 41st annual Rainbow Classic, Georgetown’s leading scorer erupted like Mount Kilauea. Bowman’s second double-double of the season carried the Hoyas to their most impressive win and salvaged their participation in this prestigious tournament.

Bowman scored a game-high 22 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Hoyas to a 75-60 victory over Clemson in the fifth-place game of the Rainbow Classic before 6,227 at Stan Sheriff Center.

Behind Bowman’s heroics, the Hoyas improved to 6-3 and handed Clemson its third loss in 11 games. Bowman was a high-flying dunking machine, and the only thing the Tigers could do was watch in awe.

“I took what was given me,” said Bowman, who made eight of 13 shots from the floor. “The backdoor cuts were open all night, and I just went with that. I got a lot of open dunks, hit some shots and hit some free throws.”

The Hoyas broke up a tense game in the second half outscoring the Tigers 47-33. Bowman led four Hoyas in double figures for the game. Georgetown freshman 6-foot-8 strongman Jeff Green also finished with a double-double, getting 15 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman point guard Jonathan Wallace scored 13 points, making two of four shots from behind the 3-point arc, and guard Ashanti Cook added 12 points.

“Our effort was terrific,” said first-year Georgetown coach John Thompson III. “We played as much as a team as this group has. It was big. We are very young and we are learning and we are improving. This was a very big win for us.”

Clemson erased an eight-point, first-half deficit with a tenacious fullcourt press that disrupted Georgetown’s ballhandlers. Trailing 13-5, Tigers coach Oliver Purnell unleashed a 1-2-2 fullcourt zone that lasted for about three minutes. When Purnell’s frenzy was over, the Tigers led 15-13 with 10:49 left before halftime, courtesy of a 10-0 run.

The Hoyas took a slim 28-27 lead at the break. Georgetown’s frontline of Bowman, Green, and 7-2 center Roy Hibbert did a great job of shutting down Clemson scoring leader Sharrod Ford, who came in averaging 14.1 points and a team-leading 7.9 rebounds. The 6-9 Ford, from Prince George’s County’s Gwynn Park High School, took only two shots in the first half and finished with four points.

Clemson guards Vernon Hamilton and Shawan Robinson were the difference in the half, combining for 15 of Clemson’s 27 points.

But the story of this game was Bowman, who had been missing for the first two games of this tournament. In the Hoyas’ opener against Oral Roberts, Bowman scored just eight points on three of nine shooting and the Hoyas were blown out 81-63. Against Long Beach State in the loser’s bracket, Bowman had another eight-point effort (two of eight shooting), but the Hoyas prevailed 57-51.



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