Tuesday's Late game

In OT, Hoyas withstand Missouri

By Tarik El-Bashir
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO. - Chris Wright sank a three-pointer as time expired in regulation to force Missouri to overtime. Then Jason Clark made sure the Tigers and their raucous, gold-and-black-clad supporters went home disappointed.

Clark scored three times from behind the arc in the extra session, and 16th-ranked Georgetown pulled away for a 111-102 victory that preserved the Hoyas' unblemished record and handed the ninth-ranked Tigers their first defeat Tuesday before 14,647 at Sprint Center.

Georgetown Coach John Thompson III brought his team halfway across the country seeking to test his players mentally, physically and emotionally against a top opponent in a hostile environment. Well, he certainly got what he was looking for.

"We accomplished all of that," he said. "This was a very good win against a very good team that you had to be prepared for, and attentive to, for 40, well, 45 minutes."

Austin Freeman scored a game-high 31 points, including four in overtime, and Wright finished with 21 points and 10 assists. But it was Clark and his career-high 26 points that put the Tigers (5-1) away.

Clark, who finished with 26 points, broke open a tie game at 3 minutes 5 seconds of overtime, shooting a three-pointer to put the Hoyas (7-0) ahead 101-98. After a Missouri (5-1) turnover, the smooth-shooting junior guard knocked down another three-pointer 51 seconds later to extend the visitors' lead to 104-98.

And Clark wasn't done. After a dunk by Missouri's Kim English at the other end reignited the raucous crowd, Clark coolly nailed a third three-pointer with 1:18 left in the extra session.

"The guys beside me kept telling me to keep shooting," said Clark, who entered overtime 1 for 6 from three-point range. "They had confidence in me, so I kept shooting."

The Hoyas led by as many as 18 points in the first half of the game. But turnovers coupled with poor shot selection allowed the Tigers to make a 20-10 run midway through the second half. The run culminated with a three-pointer by Marcus Denmon (team-high 27 points) that gave the Tigers their first lead of the game, 77-75.

The score stayed tight until the final minutes of regulation, when the Tigers opened a 93-89 lead on a pair of free throws by Michael Dixon that appeared to put Missouri in control. But the Tigers missed three of their next four free throws, while at the other end, Wright knocked down a pair of free throws and then made the three-pointer he called the biggest shot of his career.

"I felt like whoever took the shot was going to make it," said Wright, who finished with 21 points and 10 assists and credited Clark for chasing down an offensive rebound and getting the ball to him at the top of the arc as the clock wound down. "As soon as it left my hand, I felt like it was going in."

Although the game technically was played on a neutral floor, one look into the stands of this gleaming, three-year-old arena in downtown Kansas City, two hours from Missouri's campus, suggested otherwise. An almost exclusively black-and-gold-clad crowd of 14,647 packed the stands. At times, their cheering was so loud it drowned out the referees' whistle.

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