Postgame Roundup: Georgetown 81, IUPUI 58
The Hoyas defeated the IUPUI Jaguars 81-58 tonight in the Verizon Center, despite having trailed for most of the first half. Up just one at halftime, the Hoyas relied on a 21 point performance from Hollis Thompson, as well as strong supporting efforts from Markel Starks and Henry Sims to avoid the upset. Alex Young led the way for the Jaguars with 16 points, all coming in the first half. Yet, the Hoyas ultimately proved their quality, outscoring IUPUI 49-27 in the second half to give them their third straight win since the tough loss to Kansas in Maui.
The Hoyas looked sluggish in the early going, falling behind to some sweet shooting from the Jaguars. Swingman Alex Young, the Summit League Preseason Player of the Year, made his first three shots and had the Hoyas back peddling with his versatile offensive game. Nate Lubick and Henry Sims struggled to control the glass, as the Hoyas outrebounded the Jaguars by just 20 to 16, despite IUPUI not starting a player over 6’7”. The offense was also out of sync, as the Hoyas shot just 22.2% from three and 66.7% from the foul line, demonstrating their early struggles.
Caging the Jaguar
Despite his scintillating first half, Alex Young was held scoreless after the break, finishing a dismal 1 of 12 from the field after his perfect start. Though John Thompson III didn’t make any formal changes to his defense during halftime, there was clearly an emphasis from the players to take away IUPUI’s top scoring threat. Coming into the game as the top career scorer in the nation, Young was blanketed by the outstanding second half effort from the Hoyas defense, baiting him into bad shots, if he ever got the ball. The Jaguars second leading scorer, point guard Stephen Thomas, also came apart in the second half. Though he seemed to enter the lane at will against a haphazard Hoya defense, he was just 2 of 10 from the field and cost the Jaguars valuable points in the paint with his poor finishing.
Nate Lubick and Hollis Thompson both put forth double-digit rebounding performances. Lubick collected 14 rebounds to bounce back after a tough performance against Memphis, while Thompson added ten rebounds to his game-high 21 points. Going forward, these two will need to continue to help Henry Sims on the boards if the Hoyas are going to compete against bigger and better opponents, especially considering JT3’s reluctance to play the freshman big men, Mikael Hopkins and Tyler Adams, at crucial moments during the game.
Jason Clark scored his 1,000th career point for the Hoyas midway through the second half. The milestone, however, was the lone highlight in a rather passive and unproductive game for Clark, who has been the Hoyas most consistent scorer this season. Shooting just 1-7 from the field, Clark’s seven points almost entirely came from the foul line. Nevertheless, he proved his value to the Hoyas, using his speed to spearhead the up-tempo second half performance, helping the Hoyas to pull away.
The Hoyas face one of their toughest tests of the season on Thursday as they travel to Tuscaloosa to take on No. 12 Alabama. The Crimson Tide are 7-0 already this season, having defeated Purdue to win the Puerto Rico Tip-Off title. Bama have won their last 24 home games, meaning the Hoyas will be serious underdogs heading into a hostile environment. Tonight’s performance will not suffice if the Hoyas want to pull the upset, a win that would all but guarantee a place in the top 25.
Photo: Max Blodgett