Georgetown vs. Western Carolina: Greg Whittington leads Hoyas to win


Hoyas guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera makes a steal against West Carolina’s Rhett Harrelson. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
December 15, 2012

Greg Whittington broke out of a shooting slump, scoring a career-high 25 points while grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. Reserves Jabril Trawick, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Moses Ayegba contributed valuable minutes. And Georgetown won the battle of the boards en route to its sixth consecutive victory, defeating Western Carolina, 81-68, at Verizon Center on Saturday.

It was the Hoyas’ second consecutive 80-point performance, amounting to an offensive explosion for a young team that failed to break the 50-point barrier during a recent three-game stretch.

The good news all but obscured the fact that No. 15 Georgetown (9-1) allowed a mid-major opponent to swish 11 three-pointers, with the Catamounts’ 6-foot-4, 180-pound Tom Tankelewicz (24 points) accounting for a career-high six from beyond the arc.

“We told them going into the game, ‘He’s probably the best shooter we’ve faced all year,’ ” Coach John Thompson III said of his players. “I think these guys sometimes just think we’re just joking around, but after he banged four or five of them, we were a lot more attentive.”

Joining Whittington in double figures was Trawick, who scored 11 of his career-high 14 points in the first half, sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. (12) and junior guard Markel Starks (10).

It was the first meeting between the teams.

Western Carolina (4-7) started only one player taller than 6-4. But it hardly proved a handicap at the outset, with the Catamounts swishing four three-pointers in the first four minutes to take a 13-6 lead.

But Georgetown leveled the score and pulled away with help from frequent trips to the free throw line. The 6-5, 208-pound Trawick was especially effective at drawing fouls on aggressive forays to the basket, earning six of his 14 points on the stripe.

After taking a 42-30 lead at the break, Georgetown set a brisk pace to start the second half.

With his team ahead by 23, Thompson brought Ayegba and freshman Stephen Domingo off the bench.

Whittington notched his 10th rebound off a miss by Porter and the sophomore followed with a terrific jumper that made it 74-56.

The Hoyas have just one more game, hosting American next Saturday, before traveling to Milwaukee for their conference opener against Marquette. It will be their first true road game of the season, having played their previous “away” games on neutral courts.

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