Georgetown vs. Louisville: Chris Wright leads Hoyas to fifth straight win
Tuesday, February 1, 2011; 12:17 AM
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."