Early in the second half of Georgetown’s tilt with the Savannah State Tigers Nov. 12, the Hoyas surprisingly found themselves ahead by just three points after the Tigers scored five straight to open the half. That’s when Georgetown coach John Thompson III decided to give his team an attitude adjustment.
“It was an awful start to the second half,” Thompson said. “The person we wanted not to get a shot gets a wide open shot. Then we come down and get a turnover. So we took a quick timeout, had a quick conversation and then we came out and played.”
That’s exactly what the Hoyas did as they went on a 12-0 run to put the game out of reach on their way to an 83-54 win.
The Hoyas were led by Baltimore native Henry Sims’ career high of 19 points. It was an unexpected total according to Savannah State head coach Horace Broadnax. He was expecting Sims; a senior center who graduated from Mount Saint Joseph’s in 2008, to revert to old form and thus didn’t have a game plan for the senior at all.
“I didn’t expect Sims to do much based on what he did in the past,” Broadnax said. “I guess I went against what I try to tell the kids; ‘the past doesn’t dictate the future.’”
Sims says he was able to surprise because of the work he did in the offseason. He says it is his last year and he wants to leave his mark.
“I prepared a lot in the offseason. I worked hard in practice every day and that’s what happens when you work hard,” Sims said. “The plays came off of effort and when you play hard everything will take care of itself.”
In the first half, the freshman tandem of forwards, Greg Whittington and Otto Porter, buoyed the Hoyas. While Whittington scored eight points off the bench, Porter pulled down five boards. Savannah State was able to stay within single digits at halftime behind sharpshooting junior guard Deric Rudolph, who knocked down three long-balls in the first half.
Rudolph opened the scoring in the second half with another three, followed by a layup by junior forward Joshua Montgomery, but then the game turned in favor of the Hoyas for good.
The Hoyas ratcheted up the intensity on their way to putting the Tigers away--forcing the Tigers to shoot only 34.5 percent for the game and forcing 16 turnovers.
Key Players: For Georgetown, Sims’ 19 points were augmented by junior forward Hollis Thompson’s 13 while Porter finished with 9 points, 8 rebounds and three blocks. Savannah St. was led by Rudolph’s 12 points and junior forward Rashad Hassan’s 11.
Key Stretch: Georgetown’s 12-0 run early in the second half buried any chance Savannah St. had to spring an upset.
Next Up: The Hoyas return to action on Nov. 14 at home against UNC-Greensboro while the Tigers travel to North Florida the same day.