That's when Chris Wright, Greg Monroe and the Hoyas seized control.
Led by Wright's career-high 34 points
and Monroe's 16 points and 16 rebounds, and propelled by a half-ending
11-0 run, Georgetown pulled away to beat Harvard 86-70.
"We just outworked them today," said Monroe, last season's Big East rookie of the year.
The 6-foot-11 sophomore played a
significant role in the game-changing spurt, with three rebounds, two
blocks, two steals, an assist and a basket. By the time he and his
teammates were done, a game that was 33-all with 3 1/2 minutes left in
the half was 44-33 at halftime.
"We were never able, obviously, to recover," Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said.
Jason Clark got things started with a
3-pointer, Monroe scored off a putback, Austin Freeman hit a 3, and
Wright made a free throw. Then came this sequence: Monroe lost the ball
on the blocks, then went to the other end and stole it right back,
before feeding Wright for a layup.
"That was all the difference in the
game," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "We prodded the Big Fella a
little bit. It was just the effort."
Freeman matched his career best with
21 points for Georgetown (9-1), which was playing its first game since
a 61-57 loss to Old Dominion on Saturday.
That upset came at the Hoyas' tiny
on-campus McDonough Arena. On Wednesday, Georgetown was back at the
usual site of its home games, Verizon Center, and the Hoyas extended
their winning streak there against non-conference opponents to 22
Against Old Dominion, Wright scored only four points and shot 2-for-8.
He was a different player against Harvard.
The 6-foot-1 junior guard from
Bowie, Md., shot 13-for-21 and had six rebounds and four assists.
Wright scored 21 of his points in the second half before heading to the
sideline for good with 1:15 left and the game's outcome clear.
"I don't even think I was looking
for my shot today. I just think I was being aggressive and trying to
make plays," Wright said. "I don't think I was really trying to force
anything. I was just playing in the flow of the game. I got
opportunities today, and luckily I capitalized on them."
Harvard (7-3) was coming off a
two-week layoff since a victory over Boston College on Dec. 9. In its
game before that, the Ivy League school also tested Top 25 team
Connecticut, losing by six on Dec. 6.
Jeremy Lin led Harvard on Wednesday with 15 points. He made his first six shot attempts but missed his other four.
Georgetown was the squad that looked
rusty at the outset Wednesday, finding trouble getting into its offense
and trailing 12-9 after 5 minutes. After the Hoyas went up by as many
as eight midway through the first half, Harvard chipped away, tying the
score for the last time on Oliver McNally's fastbreak layup.
"We started very well. We were
pretty sharp. We competed and battled, and we were right there," Amaker
said. "I just thought that the end of the first half — that was the
dagger for us. It certainly gave them a lot of energy going into the
halftime, and we certainly had our heads down."
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