No. 9/10 Georgetown Upends Memphis, 86-69
Dec. 23, 2010
By: Preston McClellan
MEMPHIS – Memphis (9-2) showed toughness and battled for 40 minutes, but Austin Freeman’s 24 points and Georgetown’s offensive efficiency proved too much as the Tigers fell 86-69 to the Hoyas in front of 17,842 fans Thursday night at FedExForum.
Freeman finished 9-of-12 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from deep, as the senior guard showed his experience by hitting timely shot after timely shot. Freeman and fellow senior backcourt star Chris Wright–who finished with 19 points of his own–combined for 43 of Georgetown’s 86 points and kept the Tigers at bay with clutch shots throughout the second half.
Overall, the Hoyas finished an impressive 33-of-58 (56.9 percent) from the floor, including 5-of-11 from beyond the arc. Georgetown (11-1) came into the game as one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country, averaging better than 52 percent from the floor.
“Georgetown is a very good team and we knew that coming,” said Memphis head coach Josh Pastner. “They have veteran guys and they can flat out play.”
When Will Barton dunked a Chris Crawford pass at the 7:35 mark to cut the lead to single digits, 65-56, the Tigers appeared poised to make a run. Barton, however, was whistled for a technical foul for hanging on the rim and Freeman calmly converted both free throws to extend the Hoya lead back to 67-56 with 7:33 remaining.
The Tigers last chance to make a run came after a Will Coleman hook shot went through to pull Memphis to 67-58 with six minutes remaining. Freeman again responded, however, as the senior buried a triple to regain the double-digit, 70-58, advantage for good.
Barton led Memphis with 18 points, 14 of which came in the first half, to go along with seven rebounds in a game-high 38 minutes. Coleman finished with 12 points and six rebounds on the evening as the Tigers rebounded their opponent for the second straight game.
Tarik Black, battling flu-like symptoms, was the only other Tiger to finish in double figures. The freshman from Memphis, Tenn., finished with 10 points, eight coming in the second half, in the losing effort. Chris Crawford finished with nine points, all coming on three-point buckets.
As a team, Memphis struggled from the floor as the Tigers finished just 26-of-66 (39.4 percent), including just 6-of-19 from three-point territory. Memphis converted 11-of-14 chances from the charity stripe.
Julian Vaughn joined Wright and Freeman in double figures for the Hoyas as the senior finished with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. The performance of the three Hoya senior starters, who accounted for 58 of the team’s 86 points, led Georgetown to outscore Memphis 46-33 in a dominating second half performance.
With Wesley Witherspoon battling injury and Black affected by flu-like symptoms, Georgetown took advantage of a thin Tiger frontline by pounding it inside for 48 points in the paint. Memphis did put up 18 second chance points en route to outrebounding the Hoyas, 36-33.
The loss was the worse suffered by the Tigers since moving from the Pyramid to FedExForum in 2004-05. The Tigers’ only other double-digit defeat in FedExForum came at the hands of Texas, which defeated the 2005-06 team, 69-58.
The Tigers return to action Thursday, Dec. 20, when they take on the Bisons of Lipscomb. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at FedExForum.