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December 6, 2013

Hoyas turn on heat, down Panthers

December 6, 2013 - During the first half of yesterday's defeat of High Point, Georgetown raced to a 22-9 lead, before scoring only six more points over the stanza's last nine minutes. Leading just 28-16 to start the second half, G'Town proceeded to dismantle the Panthers, eventually winning 80-45 in front of 4,676 Verizon Center patrons.

Panther coach Scott Cherry shared afterward his team "put ourselves in a position to be in striking distance. But then we came out in the second half, and just didn't play well in the first four minutes, gave up some easy baskets, let them get some easy baskets. you can't do that to win, not on the road, not against a BIG EAST opponent".

Leading scorer, senior point guard Markel Starks dropped half of his 18 points and four of five assists in the second half. Backcourt mate, sophomore guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 14 points in the period, finishing with 18.

Starks shared "words were said at halftime" last night, then noted his team must stop causing followers to say 'First half they're dragging' and during the second', yet during the second second half opine 'Ok, they look like the Hoyas', as he believes the team can both start and finish strong.

His coach, John Thompson III acknowledged "We started out in the first half and we scored on the first five possessions", after which "Our execution dipped". Of the second half, "were were good at both ends of the court, to tell you the truth".

Numbers: G'Town outscore the Panthers 52-29 in the second half, held High Point to 36.7% shooting for the stanza, which in part Cherry attributed to Thompson "helping us out a little bit" by playing zone. Cherry's guys mustered only 20% from three point land in the second half, 14.3% for the game. Overall, High Point shot just 28.1%.

"They switched everything we tried to do" noted Cherry of the Hoyas' man-to-man defense, played for most of the game. He also felt his team "could never even take advantage of it" by his big men scoring on smaller players.

One key big man not playing was 5th year guy Allan Chaney, still sidelined while undergoing heart tests. Sophomore forward John Brown was held to eight points, greater than 12 under his average, though he did grab a team high eight rebounds. Freshman guard Jorge Perez Laham paced the Panthers with 10 points.

Hoya senior center Moses Ayegba led the game in rebounding, pulling down eight. Joining Starks and Smith-Rivera in double figure scoring was junior center Joshua Smith with 11. Two players, junior forward Mikael Hopkins and Reggie Cameron followed closely with nine points apiece, while Hopkins also added six rebounds.

The Hoyas finished shooting a lofty 55.2% from the field, 61.8% in second half. Their three point mark for the game stood at 41.7%, thought only 54.5% of charity stripe attempts were made.

Up next for Georgetown (5-2) is Colgate, a noon Saturday, Verizon Center affair. High Point welcomes James Madison the same day, though tip-off is 7p. The Panthers are now 3-4.


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