- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 22, 2005

Georgetown concluded the post-exam portion of its schedule with a 78-49 throttling of Savannah State last night at MCI Center.

The Hoyas (6-2) break for the holidays before returning to the floor Dec. 27-28 for the Sun Bowl Tournament in El Paso, Texas, where they will face Colgate and then likely UTEP, the event’s host. Though the Hoyas are favored to win the event, any level of resistance they encounter in Texas will be a significant improvement over the last week’s double-dip doormat special of Stetson and Savannah State.

The Tigers (1-12), ranked 331st out of 333 Division I teams in the latest RPI projections, haven’t beaten a Division I team since the 2003-04 season. And given the rabble with which former Georgetown guard and first-year Savannah State coach Horace Broadnax has to work, that streak might well survive this season.

The Hoyas could have beaten the Tigers in any manner or by any score they desired. As has often been the case thus far this season, Georgetown chose the quickest and surest route to dispatching an undersized, overmatched foe: 7-foot-2, 283-pound sophomore center Roy Hibbert.

Hibbert put together a 15-point, eight-rebound first half to carry the Hoyas to a 41-22 lead at intermission that could have been far worse if the noticeably indifferent Hoyas had made their perimeter shots. Instead, most of the team’s scores came on offensive putbacks or free throws from Hibbert (16 points, 11 rebounds), who posted his second consecutive double-double in just 26 minutes against the small Savannah State roster.

Almost all of Hibbert’s minutes came in the first half. Coach John Thompson III decided to use what was for all intents and purposes an experimental game to test Hibbert’s endurance by playing him for 19 minutes before halftime.

“We clearly had a huge size advantage, so Roy was pretty effective,” Thompson said. “It was clear at the end that he was getting tired, but it was good to see him push himself through it even when he was fatigued. These are all learning experiences — tonight it was more minutes against smaller players.”

Thompson devoted the entire second half to the development of freshmen, playing point guard Jessie Sapp and forwards Tay Spann and Marc Egerson for large chunks of time. Sapp, a 6-3 guard from New York City, again was the Hoyas’ most impressive newcomer, posting 11 points, four assists and no turnovers in 26 minutes, many of them while serving as the team’s principal ball-handler.

“Jessie is settling in, and I thought he played very well tonight,” Thompson said. “Some guys just play — they don’t think about what they’re doing. Jessie is starting to think his way through things, so that he can play and understand sequencing at the same time. He’s growing, and that’s one of the major benefits of a game like this one — you get to see what some guys can do and get them minutes that you might not ordinarily get them against an Oregon or an Illinois.”

That said, both the team and the coaching staff seemed ready for stiffer competition after a third consecutive rout.

“We’re definitely happy to have exams behind us,” senior captain Ashanti Cook said. “We don’t focus on opponents. We focus on what we need to do to get better. We focus on us and our development. But after a little break here, it will be nice to go out to Texas for that tournament.”



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