Georgetown vs. Louisville: Chris Wright leads Hoyas to fifth straight win

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 1, 2011; 12:17 AM

Two days after failing to score for the first time since his freshman season, Chris Wright reminded everyone he still can carry Georgetown's offense when the situation requires it.

Monday was one of those times.

With leading scorer Austin Freeman contained and Jason Clark struggling, Wright scored 16 of his season-high 24 points in the second half to help the 13th-ranked Hoyas fend off Louisville, 62-59, and win their fifth straight Big East Conference game, extending their longest such streak in four years.

The victory moved the Hoyas (17-5, 6-4) into sole possession of seventh place in the nation's toughest conference, while Terrence Jennings's 18 points and seven rebounds weren't enough to keep the No. 15 Cardinals (17-5, 6-3) from dropping into a tie for second place.

"Things were there for him," Coach John Thompson III said of Wright, who also had five rebounds and went 8 for 8 from the free throw line. "It's true, it's not just coachspeak, not just me standing up here talking: We have an unselfish group. In as much as Austin Freeman is Austin Freeman, we still have other guys who will put the ball in the basket."

Georgetown opened an 11-point lead with about 12 minutes left to play, but Louisville's long-range shooters warmed up after a cold first half. Consecutive three-pointers by Peyton Siva, Chris Smith and Kyle Kuric sparked a 15-4 Cardinals run, which culminated with a layup by Jennings that tied the score at 49 with 7 minutes 12 seconds remaining.

Louisville entered the game averaging a conference-leading 9.1 three pointers per game, and another from Mike Marra with 6:19 left to play gave the Cardinals their first lead since the opening minutes, 54-53. For the game, Louisville shot 8 for 23 from long range.

Moments later, Wright and Hollis Thompson made back-to-back shots that turned the game back in the Hoyas' favor. Wright first scored a spinning, driving off-balance scoop in the lane that tied the score at 55.

"I work on that," Wright said jokingly. "That's something in my repertoire. I thought the ref was going to call a foul, but I'm glad it went in."

John Thompson added: "That's one of those, as a coach, you're like: 'No, no, no, no, no. Yes'. When it dropped through the basket."

After Wright's clutch score, Thompson (six points) made a three-pointer that put the Hoyas ahead for good, 58-55.

"Julian [Vaughn] set a great screen and I saw an open shot," Hollis Thompson said. "I wasn't really thinking about time and score." Looking at John Thompson, he added with a smile, "Maybe I should have."

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