The Georgetown Hoyas escaped in a nail-biter against the 12th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide tonight, 57-55. The Hoyas showed extreme poise, led by their seniors, Jason Clark and Henry Sims. It was their other upperclassman, Hollis Thompson, who came up with the dagger and truly went “Hollywood” when he drained the game-winning three-pointer with 1.8 seconds to go. As Uncle Jeff Green of the Boston Celtics aptly stated on Twitter, this win should cement the Hoyas into the top 25 when the national rankings come out on Monday.
Getting in their Offense
Before the contest, all five Hoya starters and Coach John Thompson III emphasized staying in their element and running their offensive sets. Although Alabama’s defense certainly stunted their final score, the Hoyas were able to play their game, creating nifty backdoor cuts and open threes all night. Clark led the Hoyas with 22 points on the night, featuring clutch three-pointers and strong finishes in the lane. Sims gave the vaunted Crimson Tide defense fits all night, often drawing two or three defenders from the undersized team. He finished with 13 points, complementing the heroic Thompson’s 12 point effort.
Heart Attack Hoyas
This moniker reared its ugly head again, as Georgetown simply could not stop Alabama late in the game, allowing a 10-0 run in a two-minute stretch that gave the Crimson Tide the lead. Thankfully for the Hoyas, Clark’s inadvertent foul on Travis Releford left the Blue and Gray with plenty of time on the clock to set up Thompson for a wide-open three pointer. At the buzzer, Alabama’s freshman guard Levi Randolph missed a three-quarter court heave by a small margin, preserving the Hoya victory. Aside from that near-miraculous shot, the Crimson Tide gave the Hoyas everything they had—Trevor Mitchell played an athletic game, going above-the-rim for many of his 20 points on the night. For much of the night, Alabama’s three-pointers did not fall and the Hoyas did a solid job containing highly-acclaimed senior forward JaMychal Green to 13 points on the evening.Mature Beyond their Years
After their statement win against Memphis in Maui, Coach Thompson noted that the Hoyas would not be able to excuse poor performances on their status as a young team for much longer. The Hoyas are well on their way to breaking that crutch, as this group showed a mature level of poise in the Coleman Coliseum’s first non-SEC sellout since 2003. The Crimson Tide faithful filled the arena with a capacity 15,383 person crowd, but Georgetown still became the first opponent to defeat Alabama in their house over an approximately two year span. As expected, they were led by Clark and Sims, who continues to be a revelation this season. When put up against a defensive wall, the veterans came through, quite the promising sight for Hoya fans as the team inches closer and closer to Big East play.
If there’s ever a chance for a letdown this early in the season, it will be the Hoyas’ matchup with the Highlanders of NJIT in 36 hours. Although it will take a nightmare performance to lose Saturday’s contest, a loss would erase their efforts to propel themselves to national prominence. The Hoyas need to put the Highlanders away early and enter Finals Week on a high note, ranked for the first time in this young season.