Georgetown's NCAA Run Falls Short in 66-63 Loss to North Carolina State
Columbus, Ohio - Third-seeded Georgetown trailed by 11 points in the second half and used a late run to trim the deficit to three points and had a chance to tie the game with a last-second shot, but it was not enough as 11th-seeded North Carolina State used a late 7-3 run and held on for a 66-63 win over the Hoyas in the third round of the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional on Sunday afternoon at Nationwide Arena.
The Hoyas finish the season with a 24-9 overall record, while N.C. State improves to 24-12 overall.
Junior forward Hollis Thompson (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) scored a game-high 23 points, including 17 in the second half, to lead Georgetown. Senior guard Jason Clark (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell), who scored a game-high 21 points in the win over Belmont on Friday, was limited to 10 points in Sunday's game. Senior center Henry Sims (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph) played only six minutes in the first half because of foul trouble and was limited to four points and three rebounds before fouling out. Freshman forward Otto Porter (Sikeston, Mo./Scott County Central) added nine points, eight rebounds and four steals.
After narrowing an 11-point deficit to three points, the Hoyas trailed by seven points, 57-50, after a three-pointer from Scott Wood with 4:12 to play. Georgetown chipped away over the next three minutes and narrowed it down to one possession, 62-59, on a layup from Sims with 52 seconds left.
After N.C. State missed the front end of a one-and-one, Sims was fouled and calmly sank two free throws with 35 seconds left to make it 62-61. Wood missed the back end of two free throws to make it 63-61 and after a missed shot by Porter, Lorenzo Brown hit two free throws to make it 65-61 with 10 seconds left. Clark, however, hit a layup with 5.0 seconds left and Brown missed the back end of two free throws. Georgetown inbounded the ball and Clark had a look at a three-pointer but the shot fell short as the Blue & Gray fell 66-63.
"I don't know that I've ever been as proud to be associated with a group of men, with a team as much as I am with this team this year," Head Coach John Thompson III said. "This team, in spite of whatever downs we've had and losses like today, has been a really special group that I think has represented themselves, represented our institution, represented their families, represented each other very well. It's a group that's given it their all. We haven't always had success, but it's a group that all year fought for each other and cared about each other, and I'm proud to be associated with these guys."
Georgetown led by as many 10 points (25-15) in the first half, but hit only field goal in the final five minutes of the opening 20 minutes as N.C. State took a three-point lead, 30-27, at intermission. The team's struggles continued in the early portions of the second half, with the Blue & Gray hitting only two of their first eight field goals.
Thompson's layup early in the second half cut the lead to 32-29 at 19:37, but it was four minutes before GU hit another basket - this one a Porter layup at 15:36 - and N.C. State took a 43-32 lead when C.J. Leslie grabbed a rebound after missing his own free throw and put it back.
That's when Thompson caught fire, scoring 12 points during a 15-4 run over a span of 5:46 as the Hoyas pulled to within three points, 50-47, when sophomore guard Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep), who accounted for the other three points in the run with a trey, found Thompson on the arc.
That was as close as the Hoyas would get. A layup from sophomore forward Nate Lubick (Southborough, Mass./St. Marks) kept the deficit at three points, 52-49, but Leslie hit a pair of free throws and Scott Wood followed with a three-pointer to push the Wolfpack lead to 57-50 with 4:14 left in the game.
The Hoyas led for a large portion of the first half, but a 15-2 run over the final 5:03 gave the Wolfpack a 30-27 lead at halftime. Trailing 28-27 after a free throw from NC State's Scott Wood, Clark turned the ball over and Leslie had a breakaway dunk at the buzzer to make it a three-point game.
Georgetown jumped out to the lead from the start, with two baskets from Porter giving the Hoyas a 5-0 lead. The lead was 8-5 when GU used a 7-3 spurt over 2:25 and pushed the lead to seven points, 15-8, on a three-pointer from Clark at the 11:33 mark.
Leading 15-11, the Hoyas used a 10-4 run over 2:58 and took their biggest lead, 25-15, when freshman forward Mikael Hopkins (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) fed freshman Greg Whittington (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills) for a layup. In the last five minutes, Georgetown hit only one field goal and turned the ball over six times as the Wolfpack narrowed the deficit and took the lead at the break.
Thompson hit 8-of-15 shots from the floor, including three three-pointers, while grabbing five rebounds with three assists. Whittington finished with six points and four rebounds.
Georgetown finished the game shooting 41.2 percent from the floor (21-of-51), hit 32.0 percent of its three-pointers (8-of-25) and 76.5 percent of its free throws (13-of-17). The Hoyas were out-rebounded, 41-33, and handed out 13 assists while committing 12 turnovers, only two in the second half.