- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Georgetown is beginning to dominate with depth.

On a night when neither of its frontcourt stalwarts was in fine form, Georgetown flourished thanks to some of the squad’s lower-profile pieces.

Driven by a career performance from freshman forward DaJuan Summers, the deadly efficiency of junior Jonathan Wallace and a second-half spark from Patrick Ewing Jr., the Hoyas throttled Towson 69-41 last night at Verizon Center.

Georgetown (8-3), which has won four straight by an average margin of 31 points since falling out of the national rankings after back-to-back losses to Oregon and Duke, faces Navy on Saturday before breaking for the holidays.

Neither workhorse center Roy Hibbert, the team’s leading scorer this season, nor dynamic point forward Jeff Green looked particularly interested in the visitors from the Colonial Athletic Association for most of last night’s action. Hibbert (six points) missed a pair of early layups and then found himself on the bench in foul trouble for all but 17 minutes. And despite his solid final line, Green (12 points, six rebounds, five assists) also lacked his customary fire, committing four turnovers and playing somewhat passively.

Earlier this season, Georgetown withered when Hibbert and Green struggled. Thankfully for the Hoyas, other options presented themselves against the plucky Tigers (5-5) last night, taking turns as heroes for coach John Thompson III.

Wallace, the team’s steady third-year starter at the point, was the first to shoulder the load. Wallace drilled all four of his first-half shots (all 3-pointers) to stake the Hoyas to a 34-26 lead at intermission and finished the game 5-for-5 from the field with 14 points, four assists and only one turnover.

Ewing picked up the slack in the second half, keying a run that helped the Hoyas turn an eight-point game at halftime into a 53-36 rout at the 9:04 mark.

“I think Patrick has been spectacular in three straight games for us,” Thompson said after watching the junior transfer from Indiana score six points in just nine minutes. “When he was put into the game is when we really played. That’s when we really blew it out and built a nice lead.”

Finally, Summers was a steady performer on the wing despite his youth whenever the Hoyas needed a basket. The team’s top recruit and a Baltimore native, the 6-foot-8, 241-pound forward made seven of nine shots (including four 3-pointers) en route to an 18-point performance that bettered his previous high (vs. Fairfield) by a point.

Summers also contributed significantly on the defensive end, where his length kept Towson sniper Gary Neal (26 points) at bay after the 6-4 senior guard torched the Hoyas for 17 first-half points.

“Did anyone guard Gary Neal all night?” Thompson asked jokingly, refusing to heap defensive praise on anyone after Neal shredded his charges.

In startling contrast to the deep and dangerous Georgetown roster, however, Towson had no offensive options other than Neal. And after single-handedly keeping Towson within striking distance until intermission, a tiring Neal and the Tigers quickly faded.

The Tigers scored just 15 points in the second half and finished with the program’s lowest scoring output since managing just 37 points vs. UNC Wilmington in January 2002. Subtract Neal’s baskets and the rest of the Tigers were 5-for-33 from the field (15.2 percent).

Georgetown, meanwhile, struck efficiently from all quarters, shooting 58.7 percent for the game and closing the night on an exclamatory 16-3 run powered by Summers, fellow freshman Vernon Macklin (five points, four rebounds) and Tyler Crawford (six points, four assists).

“Earlier in the season, I think the whole burden was on [Green and Hibbert], and I think that’s changing,” Thompson said. “We are becoming deeper. Guys are growing and adjusting, learning how to contribute. It’s a process.”

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