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12/08/2012 3:53 PM EST
Clankfest II: No. 15 Georgetown tops Towson 46-40
GEORGETOWN 46, TOWSON 40

By JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The first time it was kind of funny. Win a
game with 37 points? Hadn't seen anything like that since
elementary school.



The second time, Georgetown coach John Thompson III was more
defensive about the offensiveness of his offense. He said he was
concerned about the No. 15 Hoyas' lack of scoring in Saturday's
46-40 win over Towson, but not overly concerned. He insisted he
has "good offensive players," but he said they are "immature
offensively" and "have a lot of growing up to do."



"We have a lot of guys that are thinking, trying to figure out
where to go, what to do, what reads to make," Thompson said.
"It's something we have to work on."



Eight days after setting the school record for scoring futility
in the shot clock era with a 37-36 win over Tennessee - a game
Thompson compared to one he played when he was 8 years old - the
Hoyas made it back-to-back home clankfests by scoring 17 points
and shooting 17 percent in the first half.



They shot 29 percent for the game and won by getting to the free
throw line in the second half and with defense, forcing 22
turnovers and pulling away - if it could be called that - with a
4-0 game-ending run over the final 4 1/2 minutes.



"It was one of those games where we said, `Let's try to make it
as ugly as possible,"' Thompson said. "This group, we can win a
lot of different ways. We can win at a fast pace. We can win at
a slow pace. We can win what purists may call pretty. But we can
also win ugly, and I thought that in the second half we had to
win ugly today."



If that's the case, the strategy was a roaring success. Eleven
of Georgetown's 29 second-half points came from the free throw
line, and Towson's final possessions were a hodgepodge of
turnovers and air balls. The Tigers' final points came on a
3-pointer from freshman point guard Jerome Hairston that cut the
Hoyas' lead to 42-40 with 4:35 to play.



Greg Whittington scored 11 points, and Mikael Hopkins and Otto
Porter had 10 apiece for the Hoyas (7-1), whose only loss came
in overtime against No. 1 Indiana. Towson was the first of four
home opponents in the soft part of the schedule that, in theory,
is supposed to give Thompson a chance to give his bench some
much-needed work, but Tigers showed they are no longer a punch
line of a team.



Towson (4-5) went 1-31 last season, but only three scholarship
players returned to a roster that added three Big East
transfers. The standout among the three is Georgetown transfer
Jerrelle Benimon, who returned to his old home court to lead the
Tigers with 11 points and 16 rebounds. He also played traffic
cop on defense for a team that seemed to know what was coming
from the Hoyas' Princeton Offense.



"I could read stuff. I played in the offense, so it's just a
whole bunch of reads, so once you see one thing you can sniff it
out," Benimon said. "It helped a lot, especially in the first
half."



With Benimon on the floor, Towson's defense blanketed
Georgetown's shooters, crowded the passing lanes and frequently
cut off the backdoor option, forcing the Hoyas to settle for
jumpers early on.



"He might know what we're trying to do more than some of the
guys in our locker room," Thompson said. "He's a very smart
player."



The Tigers are holding their own this season despite the fact
they've yet to play at home: Saturday's game was the ninth in a
10-game road stretch to start the season.



"The biggest thing is our new and better players," Towson coach
Pat Skerry said. "When you get good players, it makes you look
like a pretty good coach."



Georgetown started a staggering 2 for 24 from the field before
Whittington's 3-pointer cut Towson's lead to 12-11 late in the
first half. The Hoyas had more shots blocked (6) than made field
goals (5) in the half, but they connected on a pair of backdoor
plays in the final two minutes to take a 17-15 lead at the
break.



Thompson downplayed the scoring woes vs. Tennessee and Towson by
pointing out the differences in the two games. Good shots
weren't falling against the Volunteers, he said, while lack of
offensive flow was the problem against the Tigers.



Asked how many such games it will take before the lack of
scoring becomes a trend of real concern, Thompson answered:
"When we get there, I'll let you know."



---



Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

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