- Associated Press - Monday, November 15, 2010

WASHINGTON | With three standout guards and down its one experienced big man, No. 20 Georgetown’s transition to a perimeter team was on full display during Monday night’s home opener against Tulane.

The Hoyas attempted 29 3-pointers — five off the school record — and made 12 in a 69-53 win over the Green Wave. It’s not exactly what Georgetown coach John Thompson III has in mind for his offense, but when the opportunity presents itself, his team will not hesitate to shoot.

“There was a stretch there where I told them, ‘We’re taking too many,’ but then I thought about it and Tulane made a concerted effort; that’s what they were going to give us,” Thompson said. “They clogged everything up when we threw it down and said, ‘We’re going to let you take shots and see if you can make them.’ I’m comfortable with that because I think we have guys that can make them.”

Austin Freeman was the early beneficiary of Tulane’s strategy, scoring 13 points in the game’s first 13 minutes, including three 3-pointers. The rest of Freeman’s teammates went 8 of 12 during that stretch as Georgetown (2-0) built a 32-12 lead over the flustered Green Wave.

“We missed some defensive assignments. We were a step slow and they made us pay. Freeman was obviously very, very tough for us to handle,” Tulane coach Ed Conroy said. “The eight early 3-pointers were the tale of the game.”

With senior forward Julian Vaughn out of the game with an undisclosed illness, Georgetown didn’t even bother to work the ball inside, finishing the first half with six points in the paint. But the 3-pointers began to dry up as the Hoyas missed 13 of their next 17 3-point attempts.

“In a perfect world we would get more of a mix,” Thompson said.

With Georgetown struggling from the outside, Tulane (1-1) went on 15-4 run to close the margin to 36-27 with 16:22 left in the second half. Kris Richard, who led Tulane with 22 points and nine rebounds, helped mount the comeback with several big baskets.

Georgetown then turned up the defensive pressure and used a 17-3 run to take control of the game. Freeman delivered on a four-point play to push the lead to 40-27, and Jason Clark chipped in with seven points during the decisive five-minute swing.

Clark finished the night with 17 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and five steals. The junior was playing after the death of his grandmother early Monday, and decided to suit up to honor her wishes.

“I think the biggest decision was speaking to her over the last couple of weeks. She wanted me to stay at school … she wanted me to keep playing basketball,” Clark said. “She said when this day comes, she wanted me to continue, so I knew she would want me to play today.”

The other piece of the Hoyas’ talented trio, guard Chris Wright, had an off night shooting, but had a career-high eight assists to go with his seven points.

“My role is bigger than just scoring the ball,” he said. “I have to get people involved, and Jason was shooting the ball well and Austin was shooting the ball well, so you have to keep getting them the ball. If I hit a shot every now and then, that would be pretty cool.”

Tulane shot 36 percent for the game, as Richard was the only Green Wave player to score in more than double figures. Georgetown finished at 48 percent, with more 3-pointers (29) than 2-pointers (23).


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