The Georgetown Take – By Pam Chvotkin
Saturday’s cross-town matchup was the 52nd all-time meeting between American University and Georgetown University, with the Hoyas leading the series 44-8. The Hoyas came in to the matching having won the last seven meetings and are now on an eight game win streak over AU after their 81-55 win.
Markel Starks led the charge for the Hoyas, totaling a game and carrier hight 18 points and hit four three-pointers for Georgetown. Henry Sims and Hollis Thompson also had a stellar games, putting up 17 and 15 points respectively. Sims also contributed with six assists and two blocks, while freshman Otto Porter recorded 10 boards to go with eight points
The game was all about turnovers with the Hoyas letting themselves go a little bit in the first half, committing seven turnovers. American simply lost fuel after halftime though, never leading in the second and totaling 15 turnovers for the game.
The Hoyas, shooting close to 70% in the second half, jumped out to a fast start after the break and never looked back. It was a valiant effort by the Eagles, whose 2nd best shooter was out with turf toe and did not dress for the game. Truth be told, even if the team was totally healthy, AU most likely wouldn’t have been able to overcome the size and talent advantage the Hoyas hold.
Of note in this one, Jason Clark finished with nine points, bringing his total to 1,056 career points. This makes him the 38th all time leading scorer for Georgetown and third in the Big East Conference as a 74% shooter.
Georgetown improves to 9-1 on the year and their next opponent will be a rematch against the University of Memphis. Possible redemption for the Tigers? Maybe so, looking to settle things on the court after falling to the Hoyas at the Maui Invitational earlier in the season.
The American Take – By Andrew Tomlinson
Despite losing to the Hoyas by 26, AU should be proud of what they did against a team clearly better than them. Georgetown is one of the nation’s 25 best teams and the fact they were able to hang tough, even for just over a half, is a testament of Jeff Jones’ ability as a coach and the team’s ability to compete at the mid-major level.
Many AU fans left the Verizon Center discouraged, as it looked like the team had a chance to really hang tough with Georgetown early, but they were really down before the game even started. The Eagles’ second best player, Troy Brewer was held out due to a turf-toe injury. Without their second leading scorer, AU was going to have a tough time keeping up with a Hoyas team that could shoot better than them, run faster than them and was bigger than them.
Brewer’s injury was not such a bad thing for every AU player though, as Blake Jolivette, a junior out of Houston, broke into the starting lineup and had a sort of coming out party. Primarily a sixth-man, Jolivette was a surprise starter, but produced consistently throughout the game. Even with a significant size difference, he was able to shoot over the Hoya defenders and tallied his third highest point total of the season, 11. He conjured up memories of one of AU’s best player in Derrick Mercer with his playing style.
Perhaps the biggest bright spot for AU was star-player Charles Hinkle. The 6-5 guard scored a team high 16 points and was 2-7 from beyond the arc. He kept up with the Georgetown players for most of the game and showed he is not afraid to use his size when he has the ball. It is encouraging to see from a guy who will be the motor of this AU team once they hit Patriot League play in a few weeks.
The loss drops the Eagles to 8-4 on the season and second place in the league, behind only Lehigh, who is 9-3 on the year. Next up for the Eagles is a rematch of their last trip to the NCAA Tournament when they travel to take on Villanova. With losses to the Santa Clara Broncos and St. Louis Bilikens, Nova may be ripe for the taking by this quick and high-powered AU team. Brewer will have to be back in the lineup though, if AU has any sure hope of an upset.