Georgetown Men 87,
Coastal Carolina 60
Coach Craig Esherick wants Georgetown to be up-tempo, capable of wearing down opponents, and the 87-60 victory over Coastal Carolina at MCI Center last night was another step in building the foundation.
"I'm trying to develop a bench and younger players," Esherick said. "Point guard is very important [with four-year starter Kevin Braswell gone], so it's very important to see who can and can't run the team."
With forward Mike Sweetney earning his 24th career double-double midway through the second half, the unbeaten Hoyas had their fourth easy win in as many games.
It was the last tune-up for the Hoyas before meeting South Carolina Thursday night at MCI. The Gamecocks beat Temple last night by 19 points.
Sweetney had 26 points and 10 rebounds in just 26 minutes against the Chanticleers (2-3). Shooting guard Gerald Riley (11 points) was the only other Hoya in double figures as Esherick used several combinations and substituted freely.
Coastal Carolina has the distinction of being one of the few teams in the country to open its season with five games on the road, not all of them for hefty guarantees that help fund the athletic department. The Hoyas were the fifth road foe -- and they learned early on about the Chanticleers' ability to work for open shots and gain rebounding position inside against far taller opponents.
The Chanticleers outrebounded Georgetown for the game, but had 30 turnovers and 26 fouls. The Hoyas had 20 more points off turnovers and 16 more inside.
"Some lineups I know we're going to be good rebounding," Esherick said, "but I want to be able to rebound no matter who we put in the game. Right now, I'm not too happy with that."
In the first 12-plus minutes, Coastal Carolina had a better shooting percentage and one more rebound than the Hoyas. But they were fouling at an inordinate pace and the Hoyas at that point had a 25-19 lead. The Chanticleers' six fouls in the opening 4 minutes 2 seconds must be some sort of obscure record.
In last season's rout of the Chanticleers, Sweetney and center Wesley Wilson were 11 for 14 and 9 for 11 from the field, respectively. Wilson had four of the first nine points last night and Sweetney had an early follow-up and leaner from the right baseline.
But the Chanticleers, coached by former DeMatha player and assistant coach Pete Strickland, stayed close. Some of the sweetest moves were 5-foot-9 Alvin Green floating the ball over the 6-8 Sweetney and 6-9 Courtland Freeman once and a couple of short flips by 6-7 Mihai Raducanu over the 6-11 Wilson.
Hoya fans became mildly irritated with the lack of outside shooting, with guards Tony Bethel and Riley and forward Brandon Bowman going a combined 0 for 4 in the first 13 minutes.
That got corrected in a hurry, however, and in a three-minute stretch late in the first half the Hoyas went on a 13-0 run and opened a 38-21 lead. Riley made a three-pointer from the left baseline off a pass from Drew Hall and Bethel made two three-pointers from the right.
Strickland called three timeouts within 97 seconds, but Georgetown's run did not stop until backup center Anthony Susnjara hit from near the foul line. From a 20-point lead at the half, the Hoyas built a 63-33 lead.