The Georgetown Hoyas (7-1, No. 19 AP, No. 19 Coaches) extended their home winning streak to 27 games as they upset the Memphis Tigers (5-2, No. 17 AP, No. 15 Coaches) 79-70 in overtime Saturday.
The game was hard fought and very physical from both teams—there were 18 lead changes, 14 ties, and Memphis had the largest lead in regulation when the score was 17-11 halfway through the first half.
Sophomore guard Chris Wright was the Georgetown player of the game—while he only had 14 points, he held Memphis protege Tyreke Evans to 8-24 from the floor and helped him pick up four fouls.
Wright also had the play of the game when he split a trap at half-court by spinning through the defense and then made a tough layup to give Georgetown a 73-70 overtime lead.
Shawn Taggart came off the bench to lead all players with 23 points and 11 rebounds. It was his second time coming off the bench since Memphis fell to Xavier. Evans was the only other Tiger with double-digit points, and he managed 20 points and three steals for the game.
This was only the Tigers' second game since their Nov. 23 loss to Xavier, and rust clearly formed during their ten day exam break
While the Hoyas did manage to pick up the win, there are a couple of 800 pound gorillas in the room that need to be addressed.
Lazy passes, sloppy dribbling, and errant inbounding creates unnecessary turnovers, some of which can shift the momentum of a game in a heartbeat. While Austin Freeman managed 18 points, he also had four turnovers, one of which was a lazy pass at half-court that lead to Wright picking up his third foul.
The other quick note for the Hoyas: stop forcing three-point shots.
Georgetown was 4-20 from beyond the arc, but one of those was a practice half-court shot from Jessie Sapp to end the game when the Hoyas were up 76-70. There was the heave at the end of regulation as well, so they were really 3-18 with the long ball.
A lot of those shots were forced to try and match the Tigers. Had they merely swung the ball and drove on the defense they would not have even had to go into overtime.
But the bigger message here is that Georgetown needs to remember to play at their own pace—a slow game that wears down the defense leads to great late second half play for the Hoyas, and long forced shots do not yield that outcome.
Fortunately, the Hoyas have two games to work on that before they begin Big East conference play against UConn later this month.
The Tigers face Arkansas-Little Rock on Wednesday before facing their next Big East opponent, Syracuse, next Saturday.