The atmosphere inside MCI Center last night for Georgetown's first-round National Invitation Tournament game against Boston University was a far cry from the pressure cooker that the Hoyas experienced last week at the Big East tournament.
But the Hoyas maintained the same kind of intensity and focus they displayed during their two games in New York, cruising to a 64-34 victory over the Terriers in front of 2,797.
The Hoyas' Jeff Green (7-of-10 shooting, 7 rebounds) leaps past Boston University's Chaz Carr, left, Shaun Wynn on the way to 2 of his 17 points.
(Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)
The Hoyas were dominant on both ends of the court against their opponent from the America East conference. Georgetown executed on offense and got good shots, which allowed it to shoot 51.9 percent in the first half and 44.8 percent for the game against the team that led Division I in field goal percentage defense (36.8 percent).
Defensively, the Hoyas forced 14 turnovers that led to 22 points. The 34 points were the fewest given up by the Hoyas in a postseason game. The Terriers, who shot just 23.6 percent, were held under 40 points for the first time since 1971.
"There are so few teams that have the opportunity to play right now, and it's special," Georgetown Coach John Thompson III said. "Let's go out and work and execute and do the things we've done all year. If you're playing this time of year, you're a good team. . . . Whoever you play you can beat, and whoever you play can beat you. That focus and that understanding is what we talked about."
Georgetown (18-12) will have to wait to find out its next opponent. The winner of the game between Cal State-Fullerton and San Francisco this weekend will take on Georgetown early next week. The site of the Hoyas' next game is yet to be decided, but it will not be MCI Center, which is unavailable because of the circus.
The Hoyas are 26-3 in first-round postseason games (NCAA and NIT) during the past 30 years. But this was the first postseason victory for Thompson; in four seasons at Princeton, his teams lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament twice and in the NIT once.
Georgetown hadn't had a game like this since December, before its Big East schedule began. The Terriers (20-9) weren't a pushover -- they won 20 games for the fourth consecutive season, and boasted wins over Michigan and Vermont, as well as a close loss to Boston College -- but the Hoyas essentially took them out of the game in the first 15 minutes.
BU led 9-7 with 12 minutes 40 seconds left in the first half, but Georgetown closed the half on a 27-6 run. The Hoyas went into the break up 34-15.
Senior swingman Darrel Owens and freshman forward Jeff Green each scored 17 points. Green dominated inside; he had three early dunks, and outscored the Terriers by himself, 12-11, over the first 13 minutes of the game.
Owens, meantime, continued his strong shooting from the outside. He made 5 of 7 shots from beyond the three-point arc and has made 12 of 21 shots from three-point range over his past three games.
"I think the Big East tournament led up to this game and gave me a little more confidence to come out and shoot the ball well tonight," Owens said. As a team, "we've had a sense of urgency since the Big East tournament. We went into the tournament with a five-game losing streak, and no one wants that to happen again."