Georgetown vs. Cincinnati: Chris Wright suffers broken hand in Hoyas' 58-46 loss

Georgetown senior Chris Wright (4) averaged 21.7 points in the past three games, but he was 0 for 6 against Cincinnati before his injury in the second half.
Georgetown senior Chris Wright (4) averaged 21.7 points in the past three games, but he was 0 for 6 against Cincinnati before his injury in the second half. (John Mcdonnell)
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Georgetown Hoyas suffered one of their ugliest defeats of the season Wednesday at Verizon Center, falling to Cincinnati, 58-46. But it was a loss they sustained in another spill, near center court, that could end up hurting more.

Chris Wright, the senior point guard and heart and soul of the 11th-ranked Hoyas, broke his left hand during a scramble on the floor after he turned over the ball early in the second half. Further information on the injury - and a timetable for his return - were not immediately available.

"He's a tough kid," Coach John Thompson III said. "He would play with one hand if he could. One trip up the court and you could see he was in excruciating pain. The doctor and trainer came over and said, 'We're pretty sure it's broke.' For him to ask to come out, he's in a lot of pain. He's as tough as they come."

Wright, who had led the Hoyas in scoring each of the previous three games, was called for a foul with 15 minutes 54 seconds remaining as he dived for the ball he had just lost. After getting up, he began flexing his fingers.

Wright returned from a media timeout with his wrist wrapped but removed himself 30 seconds later. After spending several minutes in the locker room with the team's trainer, Wright returned a second time, with a heavier wrap, but again left the floor wincing in pain.

Wright's injury only added to the Hoyas' misery on a night that saw them fall to 21-7, 10-6 and into a fifth place tie in the Big East standings.

Cincinnati, meantime, ended a 20-game road losing streak against teams ranked in the Associated Press top 25, which dated from a triumph over then-No. 21 Marquette in January 2004.

The Bearcats, led by 17 points apiece from Yancy Gates and Dion Dixon, improved to 22-6, 9-6, and boosted their chances of earning a spot in the NCAA tournament's field of 68 by authoring their signature win.

And they did it with a swarming defense that held Georgetown to 25 percent shooting, a season low for one of the nation's most efficient offenses. Georgetown's previous worst shooting performance was 38 percent in a loss to Pittsburgh.

Austin Freeman, Georgetown's leading scorer, snapped out of his slump. He scored 15 of his team-high 19 points in the first half. But a reinvigorated Freeman didn't get much help from his teammates. In fact, no Hoya other than Freeman made more than one basket.

Center Julian Vaughn struggled the most, missing eight of his nine shots before fouling out with 1:59 left to play.

"He missed a lot of shots he had been making," Thompson said. "We went through a stretch where we said, 'Okay, let's stop taking threes, let's get it inside, get good, deep post position'. And the ball just didn't go in. Should I give some of their post defenders credit? Probably. But Jules was getting the ball two or three feet from the basket."

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