On the first day of the Big East-SEC Challenge, Georgetown traveled to No. 12 Alabama on Thursday with much more on the line than conference pride. For the young, rebuilding Hoyas it would be their only chance at a quality non-conference road win. Ending the nation’s fourth-longest home winning streak would be exactly the type of win that can go a long way on Selection Sunday.
Hollis Thompson, one of only three upperclassmen on the roster, took a handoff from Jason Clark right in front of the Georgetown bench and drilled a 27-foot three-pointer with 1.8 seconds remaining to give the Hoyas an important 57 – 55 win over the Crimson Tide.
Georgetown (6-1) snapped Alabama’s 24-game home winning streak in front of 15,383 at a sold-out Coleman Coliseum. It was the first non-SEC sellout in Tuscaloosa since 2003.
The Hoyas looked to be in total control as they took their largest lead of the game at 54 – 45 with 2 minutes and 57 seconds remaining on a Thompson jumper. But after trailing for most of the game, Alabama (7-1) got a combined eight points from Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green during a 10-0 run that put the Crimson Tide back on top at 55 – 54 with 12.7 seconds left.
Mitchell finished the game with 20 points and nine rebounds while Green tallied 13 points.
After John Thompson III called a timeout, Clark took the inbounds pass and dribbled the length of the court, tried to come off of a Henry Sims screen at the top of the key, and instead ended up near his own bench before finding Thompson for the dramatic ending.
Georgetown’s experienced trio of Clark, Sims, and Thompson combined for 47 of the team’s 57 points.
Clark led the way with a game-high 22 points, including 4-of-7 from three-point range. Sims went for 13 points and three assists while Thompson added 12 points and eight rebounds.
The Hoyas came into the game as one of the nation’s stop scoring teams at 82 points per game but it was their defense that was the difference against Alabama.
Thompson III’s decision to employ a 2-3 zone against Alabama paid off right away as the Hoyas limited the Crimson Tide to a season-low 16 first half points
Alabama missed their first eleven three-pointers and finished just 3-of-16 for the entire game from behind the arc.
It was the second Top 12 win of the young season for Georgetown as the Hoyas also knocked off then-No. 8 Memphis in Maui last week.
Up Next: Georgetown hosts NJIT on Saturday at 1pm at the Verizon Center. It will be the school’s first ever meeting. NJIT began playing Division 1 basketball in 2006.
Hoyas Notes: Since 2009, Georgetown is 8-3 against ranked non-conference opponents.