By JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON — Whether the games were ugly or pretty,
Georgetown found all sorts of ways to lose the close ones last
season – enough to sink the Hoyas down to the NIT.
This year’s home opener on Tuesday afternoon was as unwatchable
as could be. Georgetown had more fouls (18) and turnovers (16)
than made baskets (15), yet the No. 19 Hoyas escaped with a
46-45 win over Temple when Greg Monroe scored the winning basket
with 6.5 seconds to play.
“The growth of this team, I think we’re definitely not going to
lose these games this year,” said Monroe, who drove around Lavoy
Allen for the decisive layup. “I think everybody’s really
focused, and everybody understands what they need to do
personally and what we need to do as a team to win games like
Chris Wright scored 15 points, and Monroe had 11 points and nine
rebounds for the Hoyas (2-0), who blew a 12-point second-half
lead, shot 36 percent from the field and 3 for 18 from 3-point
Allen had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Owls (1-1), who
recovered from an abysmal first half and almost pulled off the
upset. Temple was left to rue a 6-for-13 performance from the
free throw line, and Ramone Moore’s miss on the front end of a
1-and-1 with a one-point lead and 23 seconds to play gave Monroe
and the Hoyas the chance to win it.
“We had a great opportunity to win the game; we just didn’t
close it out,” Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. “We shot poorly
down the stretch at the foul line, and we weren’t able to get a
shot off on that last possession.”
After Monroe scored, the Owls had their own final chance to
regain the lead, but Luis Guzman was tied up for a jump ball
while driving to the basket with 1.3 seconds remaining.
“The momentum was all with them,” Georgetown coach John Thompson
III said. “And for us to be able to maintain our poise, our
composure, and whether it was ugly or not, to make the plays,
get the rebounds at both ends of the floor to win the game, that
was good. It was ugly – don’t get me wrong. They do a good job
of making the game ugly.”
The loss ended Tempe’s streak of 68 straight wins when holding
opponents to under 50 points, but for a while it seemed neither
team would score as much as 30. This was the 4 p.m. game in
ESPN’s 24-hour Tip-Off Marathon, but it was more suited for the
6 a.m., should’ve-stayed-in-bed snoozer.
The halftime score was 19-13, with Georgetown leading by
default. Here are more ugly facts from one of the worst halves
of basketball ever seen at the Verizon Center:
-There were more combined fouls (14) and turnovers (13) than
made baskets (12).
-Both teams shot 1 for 10 from 3-point range.
-Ryan Brooks, who scored 23 points in Temple’s season-opening
win over Delaware, was 0 for 6 with two turnovers. He finished
the game 2 for 14. Monroe, the Big East rookie of the year last
season, was 1 for 5 with three turnovers in the half.
-Temple shot 19 percent (5 for 26), Georgetown a relatively
robust 30 percent (7 for 23). During one painful stretch, the
teams combined to miss 11 straight shots.
The Hoyas appeared to get their act together at the start of the
second half, opening with an 8-2 run, but Allen and Moore
started playing as if they were ready to lead the Owls to a
third straight Atlantic 10 title. A 24-6 run gave Temple a
six-point lead, but Monroe converted a pair of three-point plays
in a 9-0 spurt that put Georgetown back in front.
Craig Williams’ 3-pointer tied the score at 42 with 4:53 to
play. The Hoyas didn’t lead again until Monroe’s game-winner.
The final score brought back memories of low-scoring Ivy League
games when Thompson was at Princeton and Dunphy was at
Pennsylvania, a point made to Thompson by one of the assistant
coaches after the game ended.
But Thompson’s Princeton teams made 46-point games look much
“It’s like Princeton because I was sitting on one bench, and
Fran was sitting on the other bench,” Thompson said. “Every
other way, it’s not like Penn and Princeton.”