Georgetown Hoyas and Jason Clark beat Villanova Wildcats, 103-90
Sunday, February 7, 2010
On a day when a blizzard of historic proportions brought Washington to a standstill, Georgetown came alive at the Verizon Center to knock off No. 2 Villanova, 103-90.
A crowd of 10,387 braved Saturday's driving snow and gusting winds for the hazardous trek downtown, where both teams and the game officials had spent the previous night in nearby hotels to ensure they'd be present for the highly anticipated clash between top 10 teams.
Unlike three weeks ago, when Villanova exploited a sloppy, sluggish start by the Hoyas to win on its home court, seventh-ranked Georgetown (17-5, 7-4 Big East) came out blazing and torched the Wildcats from three-point range to bolt to a 23-point lead with 1 minute 44 seconds remaining in the first half.
Sophomore guard Jason Clark, valued primarily for his defensive intensity, had the hot hand and scored a career-high 24 points, which included 6-of-7 shooting from three-point range.
Junior guard Austin Freeman led the Hoyas with 25 points, and sophomore center Greg Monroe added 19.
Georgetown's victory snapped an 11-game winning streak by Villanova (20-2, 9-1), whose leading scorer, Scottie Reynolds (Herndon High), did his best to preserve the streak with 24 points.
But despite an explosive four-guard starting lineup and prodigiously talented reserves, Villanova had just three players score in double figures (Corey Fisher also had 24 points, while Corey Stokes scored 10) and never led after 14-12.
Georgetown's dominant performance delivered the affirmation its fans longed for on the heels of a dispiriting loss to South Florida earlier in the week -- a defeat that raised questions about the Hoyas' focus and fight heading into the final stretch of the season, with games against No. 3 Syracuse and No. 6 West Virginia still on the docket.
"It says a lot," Freeman offered when asked about the significance of bouncing back from a flat performance to hand Villanova its first loss in Big East play. "It says that we can beat almost every team in the country. It says that right there -- just the way we played today."
It was a physical, fast-paced game in which the lead swung back and forth early.
Villanova was careless with the ball to start, committing 16 turnovers in the first half, but the Hoyas converted few of the gaffes to points.
Freeman hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions to put the Hoyas up, 25-18. A minute later, he hit Chris Wright with a slick behind-the-back pass as they thundered downcourt on a fast break, and Wright's bucket made it 29-20, capping a 10-2 run.