- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 1, 2007

Georgetown got over the hump courtesy of a sophomore bump.

Buoyed by the stretch-run play of DaJuan Summers and Jeremiah Rivers, the 5th-ranked Hoyas held off pesky Fairfield, 61-49, Saturday at Verizon Center.

Georgetown (5-0) now prepares for its toughest test to date, a Wednesday non-conference meeting with Alabama (3-2) as part of next week’s Big East-SEC Challenge.

But, if the Hoyas expect to handle the Crimson Tide in Birmingham, they’ll have to come up with a significant improvement on Saturday’s offensive performance.

The afternoon began on an ominous note for the Hoyas, as starting junior guard Jessie Sapp crashed to the ground amid a tangle of bodies attempting to corral a rebound on the game’s first possession. After lying on the floor for several minutes, Sapp walked to the bench under his own power. But the 6-foot-3 guard from Harlem, whom the Georgetown staff feared suffered a mild concussion, did not return to the lineup until the second half and logged only six minutes of ineffectual play.

Without their second-leading scorer, the Hoyas struggled to find an offensive rhythm in a first half in which the Stags made 7 of 11 3-point attempts to forge a midpoint tie (33-33). The second frame started much the same way for the Hoyas offensively. But the combination of increased defensive intensity and the sophomore cavalry helped the Hoyas pull away down the stretch.

The key sequence began with the Hoyas leading 45-44 with 6:39 remaining. Asserting himself more than he has all season, Summers (16 points) scored Georgetown’s next five points and recorded a monster block to start the closing run. And Rivers (nine points, five assists) finished what Summers started, following the block with a critical layup to put the Hoyas ahead 52-46 with 3:42 remaining and harassing Fairfield leading scorer Jonathan Han (17 points) into a miserable late-game slump.

After scorching the nets in the opening period, the Stags made just 5 of 27 second-half shots (18.5 percent) while watching the Hoyas pull away to victory on a game-closing 16-5 run.



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