No. 7 Georgetown stunned by hot-shooting South Florida, 72-64

By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 4, 2010

The opponent didn't boast national championship credentials. The crowd of 12,207, well shy of filling Verizon Center, lacked Washington's power elite status.

And seventh-ranked Georgetown, playing like a shadow of the team that had walloped Duke just four days earlier, crashed down to earth with a thud Wednesday, suffering a 72-64 defeat at the hands of South Florida.

A certain amount of emotional letdown might have been allowed following the Hoyas' thumping of Duke last Saturday, when it seemed as if Georgetown was at the center of the basketball universe, with President Obama looking on approvingly from a courtside seat.

But after taking a 13-point lead against South Florida in the first half of Wednesday's game, which marked the Hoyas' return to Big East competition, it appeared that Georgetown had another victory well in hand.

Thanks to a spirited defensive effort by Jason Clark, Georgetown had muzzled South Florida's shooting star, Dominique Jones, preventing the Bulls' leading scorer from scoring a single point until nearly 12 minutes had elapsed.

Meantime, Georgetown (16-5, 6-4) was shooting 60 percent from the field, with sophomore center Greg Monroe on a torrid pace.

But after returning from the halftime break with a 35-26 lead, Georgetown let its intensity slip away, and South Florida stormed back with a vengeance.

Jones, held to seven first-half points, finished with a game-high 29.

But the game hardly turned on the junior guard's offensive pyrotechnics.

Georgetown played poorly in multiple facets of the game.

The Hoyas, who had shot 71.7 percent from the floor against Duke, shot just 36 percent in the second half against South Florida. They were woefully off-target from the free throw line when it mattered most, hitting just 11 of 22 overall and missing five in a row in the waning minutes.

And the wheels came off entirely after Monroe was slapped with a second and third foul on consecutive possessions early in the second half. While Monroe stayed in the game until he eventually fouled out with 2:52 remaining, he was rendered nearly toothless.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2010 The Washington Post Company