Georgetown turns slumbering start into rout over USF

Georgetown turns slumbering start into rout over USF
February 4, 2012, 8:03 pm
Share This Post

Updated 4:42 p.m.Sleepy offensively early during the oddly timed 11 a.m. home contest against South Florida, Georgetown surged out of the halftime locker room with the energy of a well-rested squad. The second half point production ballooned accordingly, turning a potentially dreary scenario into a dreamy rout.The No. 14 ranked Hoyas scored a staggering 52 points in the second half and Henry Sims 13 points paced five double-digit scorers as they rolled to a 75-45 over the Bulls on Saturday.Points figured to be at a premium with the two stingiest defenses in the Big East squaring off and both sides had lengthy first-half stretches without a made field goal. Still, the ghastly offensive display in the first half was more about missed shotsthan shutdown defense. Good thing the Hoyas (18-4, 8-3) proved to be the earlier risers, pushing the initial second half pace during a 16-4 run that turned a 23-15 halftime lead into a comfortable 39-19 advantage. Winners of two straight and six of seven games, Georgetown shot 65.2 percent (15-for-23) in the second half. Thesizable conference victory was the Hoyas largest since downing St. Johns 74-42 on the road during the 2007-08 season.Combined with Marquette's loss against Notre Dame,the Hoyasmove back into a second place tie in the BigEast with the Golden Eagles. Georgetownfaces first place and No. 2 ranked Syracuse at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday.All 11 available players saw action and only walk-on John Caprio failed to score. John Thompson III was certainly content to have a clear the bench kind of game.Absolutely, absolutely, the Hoyas coach said, briefly flashing a satisfied grin.The Bulls (13-10, 6-4) stood as the biggest non-scoring offenders, going almost 11 minutes without a field goal in the first half. USF shot 26.1 percent (6-for-23) while committing turnovers on nine consecutive possessions. Yet the Hoyas lackluster offense provided stiff competition, overlapping the Bulls futility with a 9 minute 29 seconds span sans field goal. After Otto Porters layup with 11 minutes remaining gave the Hoyas a 15-5 lead, neither team scored a basket until Augustus Gilchrist (15 points) sank a 3-pointer for the Bulls with 4:12 left before halftime.That score pulled the Bulls within 18-8 and ended a 14-0 run for the Hoyas. South Florida cobbled together some buckets late and the two clanking squads entered halftime with Georgetown up 23-15. Thompson dismissed the earlytip for any of the Hoyas initial struggles, noting hestarted recent practices earlier than usual to help with the adjustment. The head Hoya also said he was not discouraged about his squad being unable to separate from the Bulls despite the opportunity their misfiring foe presented.We felt we were getting stops and we knew the shots were going to start going in, said the Hoyas coach. I think they had 15 points at halftime and probably half of those we gave them, so as long as we get stops and rebounds, well be able to score enough points." Quickly the Bulls established their slumber had not ended,their first possession of the second half resulting in two missed free throws. The Hoyas however, emerged energetic with six straight points including a long jumper in front of the Hoyas bench from therecently struggling Markel Starks (10 points). The score earned the sophomore guard a slap on the back from his coach as he transitioned to the defensive end.Sims followed with a turnaround jumper, forcing South Florida coach Stan Heath into a timeout. The pause in action simply slowed the surge, but ultimately the Bulls never stopped the Hoyas. An 8-0 run pushed the score to 39-19 and the Hoyas lead never dipped below 15 points in front of the 11,916 on hand at the Verizon Center.In the second half things just opened up a little bit more and it became easier to find guys, said Sims,who grabbed ateam-high nine rebounds. The 6-10 center also dished out five assists and kept his turnovers to a minimum after committing seven against Connecticut on Wednesday. Collectively the Hoyas finished with only nine turnovers, their fewestin any of their last nine games. Otto Porter scored 12 points, Jason Clark added 11 and Jabril Trawick scored 10. This marked the first time the Hoyas had five double-digit scorers since 103-90 win over Villanova during the 2009-10 season.Defensively, the lengthy Hoyas held a second straight opponent under 50 points, providing further proof the dismal effort in the late January loss to Pittsburgh was more anomaly than trend.Theyre more talented last year, much better team this year, said USF coach Stan Heath after his team committed 17 turnovers and dropped its third straight to Georgetown. Their length bothers you. They have a lot of different weapons."