- The Washington Times - Monday, December 6, 2004

Georgetown used the Big Ten’s worst team as a tuneup for the Big Ten’s — and the nation’s — best.

Forward Brandon Bowman scored a season-high 28 points, and freshman Jeff Green added 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Hoyas held off Penn State 66-53 last night before 6,127 at MCI Center.

The Hoyas (3-1) won their third consecutive game and snapped a four-game winning streak for Penn State (5-3). On Thursday, Georgetown will play host to top-ranked Illinois (7-0).

“This is a big win for this team,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “It’s a big win because of how we won. We get up to a big lead, and they come back at us. We could have caved in, and we could have given in and said, ‘OK, here we go.’ We decided to go in and give it to Jeff and let him make the plays. It was the way our guys responded.”

Georgetown responded with defense against the Nittany Lions, who closed within three points midway through the second half after trailing by double figures. The Hoyas blocked 11 Penn State shots and finished with 12 steals, while the Nittany Lions finished with 19 turnovers.

Bowman made 11 of 15 shots, and Green was 6-for-11 from the floor. Green scored 13 points in the second half, many of them in the post after Penn State got close.

“I knew Jeff could play since the moment he came in last year before our season started on his visit,” Bowman said. “He’s a heck of a player. I’m so glad that we got him. He’s the type of player that rebounds, goes hard all the time, plays defense, blocks shots and will get you buckets down low when you need them. It was really a mismatch all night — and I think we kind of exposed it in the second half — I didn’t think their big men could stay with Jeff.”

It didn’t look like it would be that close in the first half. The Hoyas scored the game’s first 17 points before Aaron Johnson, who came in as the Big Ten’s leading rebounder at 14.8 a game, nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 12:04 left in the half. Before Johnson’s 3, the Nittany Lions had attempted just three shots and had turned the ball over seven times.

“We didn’t do a good job offensively with anything tonight,” Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said. “We didn’t screen. We didn’t execute. We didn’t pass and catch. We were very, very sloppy and lethargic on offense.”

Still, Georgetown led just 31-21 at halftime, settling for 3-pointers and allowing the Nittany Lions to hang around.

Penn State cut the deficit to 42-39 with 11:45 remaining behind Marlon Smith, who played on a bad ankle. He scored 11 of Penn State’s first 18 points in the second half.

However, that was as close as Penn State would get. Green, a freshman from Hyattsville, scored six of Georgetown’s next 11 points and helped the Hoyas get the lead back to double digits. Georgetown went on an 11-3 run and led 53-42 with 7:55 left.

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