This was the blowout for which Georgetown and its fans have been waiting, although, even in a 36-point victory, there were a few caveats.
The No. 15 Hoyas pasted overmatched Longwood, 89-53 at the Verizon Center on Monday, a decisive victory for a team that had won seven of its first eight games by an average margin of nine points.
“You look for [a rout] every game – every single, solitary game you hope that it happens, but it doesn’t,” coach John Thompson III said. “Am I glad how things turned out? Yes.”
It took a while for Georgetown to get going – with eight minutes left in the first half, the Hoyas held just a 20-12 lead – but it did, it was finally no contest.
The Lancers gave the ball away like candy on Halloween, committing 30 turnovers, and the Hoyas were more than happy to solve their shooting woes with an array of easy layups and uncontested dunks. The Lancers’ 30 miscues were the most by a Georgetown opponent since Elon committed 32 in December 2003.
“There’s good length and good defense and good pressure, obviously, but you can’t go through a game like that and give up 27 points off 18 turnovers [in the first half],” Longwood coach Mike Gillian said.
Georgetown posted a ridiculous 47-7 edge in points off turnovers, as Longwood dug its own hole with a laughable display of mostly unforced errors.
“I thought that our full-court defense and our presses were very effective,” Thompson said. “I thought our half-court defense, which has been pretty good, I don’t how good that was today, meaning they either turned the ball over or got the shot they wanted. But our pressure definitely affected them.”
Otto Porter scored a career-high 22 points on 8 of 11 shooting, and added a career-high seven assists, four steals and four rebounds, while committing no fouls for good measure to lead Georgetown to a season-high in points.
“I was getting open looks, knocking them down, and moving the ball,” Porter said. “I was getting easy buckets, basically.”
That was the theme of the entire night, as the Hoyas finished at 54 percent from the floor and tallied 25 assists on 36 made baskets.
The romp served a bigger benefit than just giving the Hoyas a confidence boost – it also allowed Thompson a chance to empty his bench, which hasn’t gotten much playing time given the close nature of Georgetown’s games.
Those players have seen such little action, though, that when Thompson inserted center Moses Ayegba early in the second half, he had to remind the junior to tuck in his jersey before the whistle blew.
Later in the half, freshman forward Stephen Domingo missed a wide-open layup after a perfectly executed back-cut, perhaps showing a bit of rust. And poor Brandon Bolden nearly tripped over his shooting shirt in his haste to get into the final minute of the contest.
But, those will turn out to be valuable minutes for the Hoyas as they enter the meat of their schedule.
“Moses rebounded well, which is something that we need,” Thompson said. “It’s a situation where guys are going to be ready once they get in. We all expect that once you get in the game, they should do what they should without much drop off.”
That’s not to say this was a perfect game for the Hoyas – shockingly, the tiny Lancers outrebounded Georgetown by a 36-26 margin, highlighting a season-long issue in which the lengthy Hoyas have been outworked on the glass.
And, aside from Markel Starks’ 4-for-5 effort from beyond the arc, Georgetown’s other shooters were 2-for-14 from 3-point range.
But, for once, the Hoyas could breathe easy in the final 10 minutes of a game, with the sparse Verizon Center crowd and the Georgetown starters celebrating the achievements of the bench players, forgoing the drama of their previous contests.
“We struggled last game with our offense, so to be able to get some offense out of our turnovers was a little boost for us,” said forward Nate Lubick, who finished with six points, seven assists and four rebounds.