by Bobby Bancroft

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Good teams find a way to win ugly games when the shots just aren’t falling.  That’s exactly what twelfth-ranked Georgetown did by defeating Providence 49-40 in front of 11,384 at the Verizon Center on New Year’s Eve for their tenth-straight win.

Georgetown (12-1, 2-0) shot a season low 30.5 percent (18-of-59) in picking up their sixth-straight win against Friars.  The Hoyas made just eight shots after halftime in what was the worst shooting performance in a win since John Thompson III took over in 2004.

Jason Clark led all scorers with 16 and was joined in double-figures by Henry Sims (11 points).

“We went for a long period where we weren’t scoring,” Thompson III said.

“So then you just have to figure out how to get stops.  You have to figure out how to get rebounds.  Jason ends up with eight rebounds, Otto [Porter] twelve.  Otto’s were all key.”

Georgetown put up 17 points in the first ten minutes but then scored just 32 over the final thirty.  So with points few and far between, the Hoyas had to find other ways to win.

And they did.

Porter, who continues to impress in his role as the sixth-man, added six points and to go a long with his rebounding but it’s when he is making his plays that is so impressive.

After leading by as many as 14 points in the first half, and by a score of 27-19 at the break, Georgetown found themselves all knotted up after a La Dontae Henton free throw evened the score at 35-all with 8:03 remaining.

That’s when Porter went to work.

Porter had four rebounds, a steal, and a lay-up during a 14-5 run that the Hoyas used to close the game.  The talented freshman also tipped a few offensive rebounds back out to his teammates that, even though won’t end up in his final numbers, will be appreciated by his coach.

“Otto made the plays that you have to make to win games – and it was glaring,” Thompson III said.

Georgetown’s shooting woes came from every part of the court and seemed to leave Coach Thompson III searching for answers.

“Earlier I thought we were taking too many long shots,” Thompson III said after his team connected on just 3-of-10 three-pointers in the first half.

“Then in the second half we tried to focus on throwing it inside.  We were pounding it in.  We were getting it in, and still, it felt like there was a lid on the basket.  A lot of the shots that Henry missed today, I don’t think he’s going to miss.”

Sims came into the game shooting 52 percent from the field but was a woeful 2-of-13 from the field, with ten of those attempts coming in the second half when the Hoyas were looking to score inside.

To his credit, Sims still found a way to impact the game by hitting seven big free throws in scoring to go along with his seven rebounds, team-high three assists, and four blocks.

Providence (11-4, 0-2) had their own shooting problems to worry about in Coach Ed Cooley’s second-ever conference road game.  The Friars shot even worse from the field, 25.5 percent, but it was their abysmal free-throw shooting of 55 percent (11-of-20) that ruined any chances of an upset.

Two-time Big East Rookie of the Week Henton led the Friars with 13 points and eleven rebounds.

Up Next:  Georgetown hosts No. 14 Marquette (12-2, 1-0) on Wednesday night at 7pm on ESPNU in the first of two meetings this season.  The Golden Eagles are led by Darius Johnson-Odom (17.8 ppg) and Jae Crowder (17.2 ppg).

Hoyas Notes:  Clark moved into 5th place in school history with his 158th made three-pointer against Providence.


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