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Chris Wright leads No. 11 Georgetown past Seton Hall

Georgetown's Chris Wright, left, and Greg Monroe, right, battle for the ball against Seton Hall's Keon Lawrence, center, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Georgetown's Chris Wright, left, and Greg Monroe, right, battle for the ball against Seton Hall's Keon Lawrence, center, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Nick Wass - AP)

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By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 15, 2010

It was a matchup of sharply contrasting Big East teams Thursday at Verizon Center, where 11th-ranked Georgetown hosted Jeremy Hazell and the rest of the Seton Hall Pirates.

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With Hazell averaging more than 30 points per game in conference play, Seton Hall makes no apologies for putting its offense in the hands of one player -- in this case, a 6-foot-5 guard with a knack for hitting from all points on the floor.

Georgetown famously spreads its offense around.

And with Jason Clark and Chris Wright leading a collective muzzling of Hazell until the waning minutes, Georgetown romped to an 85-73 victory on the heels of its best shooting performance against a Big East opponent under Coach John Thompson III.

Georgetown (13-2, 4-1) hit 68.2 percent of its shots from the floor and led by 19 in the second half. A sloppy stretch midway through the period allowed the Pirates to pull within seven. But Clark swished two three-pointers in quick succession to spur the surge that put the game out of reach.

Four Hoyas finished in double figures: Wright led the team with 21 points while contributing six assists, three steals, a block and no turnovers. Clark had 20 points, making all four of his three-point attempts. Junior guard Austin Freeman scored 16, while junior forward Julian Vaughn added 13.

Georgetown sophomore center Greg Monroe was rendered largely irrelevant on offense, taking just four shots and sitting out much of the second half after drawing four fouls. But after Seton Hall (10-6, 1-4) made a late run, Thompson re-inserted the 6-11 Monroe in the lineup, and he came up with two pivotal rebounds.

Hazell, for his part, also spent some time on the bench in the second half. In his case the rest was a rebuke from Coach Bobby Gonzalez for his inattentiveness on defense.

"I didn't think he gave a great effort defensively, and that's why I took him out," Gonzalez said of Hazell, who scored most of his team-high 17 points in the final minutes. No other Pirate managed double figures.

Hazell's struggles started far earlier in the game, with the Hoyas bolting to an energetic start. Much of that first-half energy was directed at the wiry Hazell, who hit just two of his six shots -- and only 1 of 4 three-pointers -- in the first half.

Seton Hall couldn't do much anything but turn the ball over in the early going.

After taking a 7-6 lead, the Pirates coughed up the ball on nearly every possession that followed. And Georgetown was quick to take advantage, with Wright racing down court for easy buckets on back-to-back, mirror-image plays to cap a 15-0 Hoyas run.


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