Whittington Leads Three in Double Figures as Georgetown Tops Notre Dame, 59-41
WASHINGTON - On a night when the Georgetown men's basketball team honored its two graduating seniors - guard Jason Clark (Arlington, Va./O'Connell) and center Henry Sims (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph) - it was one of the freshmen who led the team in scoring, as forward Greg Whittington (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills) led three players in double figures with a career-high 15 points and the No. 11-ranked Hoyas beat Notre Dame, 59-41, in front of 14,514 at Verizon Center.
It was the fourth win in the last five games, and the sixth in the last eight, as Georgetown improves to 22-6 overall and 12-5 in the BIG EAST. Notre Dame falls to 20-10 overall and 12-5 in league play.
Whittington connected on 5-of-6 shots from the field, including all three of his three-point field goal attempts and both of his free throws to lead the Hoyas, who connected on 52.3 percent of their shots from the field (23-of-44), including 36.4 percent from three-point land (4-of-11) and 69.2 percent from the free throw line (9-of-13).
Clark finished with 13 points and six rebounds, while Sims added 12 points, six rebounds and five assists and freshman forward Otto Porter (Sikeston, Mo./Scott County Central) scored six points and grabbed 10 rebounds, his sixth game with at least 10 this season.
The Hoyas limited Notre Dame to 33.3 percent shooting from the field, the second-straight sub-40 percent performance and the 13th time this season GU held an opponent below that mark. It was the second-fewest points allowed in BIG EAST play for Georgetown (GU beat Providence 49-40 on Dec. 31) and it was the seventh time they held a team below 50 points.
The Hoyas led by 10 points at the break and Notre Dame cut it to seven on a three-pointer from Scott Martin early in the second half and had it to eight points, on a layup from Jack Cooley, with 17:38 left in the game, but that was as close as the Irish would get.
The lead was back to double digits, 33-23, on a Porter jumper and a layup from ND's Eric Atkins made it 39-29, but the Hoyas responded 13-2 run over 6:31 and pushed the lead to 21 points, 55-34, on a three-pointer from Whittington. Georgetown took its biggest lead, 59-36, on a pair of free throws from Sims with 2:59 to play in the game.
The Hoyas jumped out to a 10-point lead at the break, 28-18, thanks to a solid shooting half (52.2%) and its typically tough defensive, holding Notre Dame to 34.8 percent shooting from the floor (8-of-23) and to only one three-point field goal.
The teams traded the lead over the first three-plus minutes four times, with Notre Dame taking an 8-7 lead on a jumper from Scott Martin at the 16:13 mark. After GU took an 11-8 lead on a jumper from Porter and a tip-in from Sims, Eric Atkins tied the game at 11-all with 13:00 left.
Georgetown, however, used a 13-5 run over a span of 9:11 and took a 24-16 lead when Sims fed Whittington for a dunk with 3:38 to play. Baskets from Sims and Clark in the final two minutes gave the Hoyas the 10-point lead at the break.
Junior forward Hollis Thompson (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola), added five points and six rebounds, while sophomore forward Nate Lubick (Southborough, Mass./St. Marks) added four points, two rebounds and two assists and sophomore guard Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep) chipped in four points and two assists.
Georgetown closes out the 2011-12 regular season on Saturday, March 3, visiting BIG EAST rival Marquette in a rematch of one of the most exciting games of the season, when the Hoyas came back from a 17-point second half deficit and Thompson hit a three-pointer in a 74-72 win. The game will be shown live on MASN, with Mike Gleason and Mike Kelly calling all of the action. It can be heard locally on ESPN 980 AM.