Postgame Roundup: Hoyas get the victory against Western Carolina
The #15 Georgetown men’s basketball team (9-1, 0-0) prevailed 81-68 this afternoon over the Catamounts of Western Carolina (4-7, 2-0) as sophomore Greg Whittington scored a career-high 25 points to go along with 12 rebounds, with sophomore Otto Porter, sophomore Jabril Trawick, and junior Markel Starks all scoring in double figures.
After a hot start by the Catamounts who connected on their first four three point attempts, including three from the game’s leading scorer Tom Tankelewicz, the Hoyas clawed back from the early deficit, taking a 42 to 30 lead into halftime.
“Going into the game, you probably couldn’t tell by our performance, we wanted to limit their three point attempts,” head coach John Thompson III said, “we told them going into the game, he’s [Tankelewicz] probably the best shooter we’ve faced all year. I think these guys sometimes just think we’re joking around, but after he banged four or five of them we were a lot more attentive.”
This game, however, was a tale of two halves. The Hoyas started the second period on a 14 to 6 run, eventually extending the lead to 24 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game. Georgetown overwhelmed the Catamounts with their patented high-pressure defense and some timely shooting, most notably from Whittington. In the half, the Hoyas connected on 14 of 24 field goals, good for a shooting average of 58.3% for the half and 49.1% for the game. This string of dominance garnered the appreciation of Western Carolina head coach Larry Hunter, who had nothing but good things to say about Georgetown’s performance.
“Well, I was very impressed with Georgetown,” said Hunter, “I think they got a lot of versatility defensively, because they’re all about the same size there across the board…I think they got a lot of room for improvement but you know tonight Greg Whittington, I thought his decision-making, his post ups, his perimeter shooting…They got some nice pieces to the puzzle. I’m very impressed. “
Not surprisingly, Hunter’s reaction to Whittington’s performance appeared more enthusiastic than Whittington’s own coach’s.
When asked to comment on Whittington’s performance, Thompson first said jokingly, “Not good enough.”
He continued, “Greg was fine. I’ve said this before, I don’t judge by how he does just looking at the stat sheet because he can do so many different things that don’t show up on the stat sheet…in the latter part of the first half and the second half, these two [Whittingon and Trawick] are who guarded Tankelewicz, and I thought Greg was very good…”
Trawick also had a career day, setting a new scoring best with 14 on the game, including an impressive six of eight from the charity stripe.
“He [Trawick], as he always is,” Thompson explained, “was very aggressive on both sides of the court. His intensity on the defensive end led to some buckets on the offensive end and led to a rejuvenated energy that he always brings when he enters the game.”
Standout forward Porter, who surrendered some of the spotlight to his teammates’ breakout games today, produced another well-balanced performance, scoring 12 points to go along with 9 rebounds, 5 of which were offensive. Porter’s high volume of minutes however, 37 of a possible 40 played, have to be a concern against a weaker opponent like Western Carolina.
Next up for the Hoyas is D.C counterpart American University (4-6) at the Verizon Center on December 22 at 12:00 PM. This will be their final game before the holiday break and the opening of Big East Conference play.