Behind Sims, Hoyas Slam Tigers
Georgetown center Henry Sims squeezes his way along the baseline. The Hoyas defeated Savannah State 83-54 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, November 12 2011. Eugene Huskey/DC Sports Box
WASHINGTON, D.C.- It isn’t as if the Savannah State University Tigers are one of college basketball’s powerhouse program, but Hoyas fans had to breath at least a little sigh of relief Saturday after the Hoyas closed out an 83-54 victory.
 
The MEAC’s Tigers weren’t the cause of concern – it’s almost tradition that programs schedule a perceived lesser opponent as a “warm up” game and by all means, Savannah State qualifies as a lesser opponent.  The concerns were about a Hoyas team who lost the heart-and-soul (and most of the team’s offensive firepower) in May when senior guards Chris Wright and Austin Freeman graduated.

Where would the offense come from?  Is there enough on-the-court leadership for a team short on experience?  Could chemistry be an issue, particularly early, with so many new faces on the court?

Nothing like a blowout victory, even over a lesser opponent, and a breakout game from one of the more familiar faces on the team to ease some of those concerns and offer some early answers to the questions.

Center Henry Sims, one of just two seniors remaining on the roster, dominated the Tigers, dropping in all but two of his attempts from the floor to lead all scorers with 19 points.  Sims did much more than score in leading the Hoyas.  Sims also chipped in six rebounds, did his best Chris Wright impression with five assists, and blocked three shots.

Junior forward Hollis Thompson, the only other Hoya to reach double digits in scoring, added 13 for Georgetown who will open the season 1-0.  Despite the contest being closer than perhaps it should have been, with the Tigers providing some drama in the second half.   Savannah State trailed by eight at the half, but quickly closed that deficit to just three early in the second with a three pointer and the conversion of a Hoyas turnover into another two points.

From there, though, the Hoyas took over.  Turning a 20-2 run into an absolute rout of the visiting Tigers, and giving the nearly 10,000 in attendance a reason to believe that the Hoyas might just be able to hold their own despite their youth and inexperience.

The Hoyas highly touted freshman class, led by forward Otto Porter, showed well in their debut in Hoyas grey and blue.  Porter connected on four of his five attempts, scoring nine points, hauling in eight rebounds, and blocking three shots.  Classmate Greg Whittington also missed just one of his attempts (one of three of his attempts from beyond the arc), but displayed a quick-trigger and a shooting touch that extends to NBA three-point range.

Georgetown enjoyed an excellent day shooting as a group.  The Hoyas shot 66 percent from the floor as a unit, and 53 percent from beyond the arc.  They left a little to be desired from the charity stripe, where they hit just 7-of-12, however.   Nitpicking a performance this dominate wouldn’t be fair though.

No Tigers starter scored in double figures although the team did get double-digit contributions from reserves Rashad Hassan (11) and Deric Rudolph (12).  The Hoyas didn’t give up easy looks, and it took the duo 22 combined attempts to manage their 23 points.

Georgetown will begin Maui Invitational play on Monday against the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Spartans – another layup game before the tests truly begin for the young squad when they face no. 13 Kansas Jayhawks on the 21st.   

PHOTO GALLERY - Georgetown Hoyas vs. Savannah State Tigers
 
Georgetown guard Jason Clark tips an inbounds pass from Savannah State. The Hoyas defeated Savannah State 83-54 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, November 12 2011. Eugene Huskey/DC Sports Box
 
Georgetown forward nate Lubick shoots a tough hook shot over a Savannah State player. The Hoyas defeated Savannah State 83-54 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, November 12 2011. Eugene Huskey/DC Sports Box
 
Georgetown center Henry Sims blocks a shot at the rim. The Hoyas defeated Savannah State 83-54 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, November 12 2011. Eugene Huskey/DC Sports Box
 
Georgetown forward Nate Lubick is fouled aggressively on his way to the basket. The Hoyas defeated Savannah State 83-54 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, November 12 2011. Eugene Huskey/DC Sports Box
 
Georgetown forward Hollis Thompson shoots an open jumper. The Hoyas defeated Savannah State 83-54 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, November 12 2011. Eugene Huskey/DC Sports Box
 
Georgetown forward Nate Lubick slams a vicious dunk. The Hoyas defeated Savannah State 83-54 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, November 12 2011. Eugene Huskey/DC Sports Box
 
Georgetown forward Hollis Thompson struggles to get to the basket along the baseline. The Hoyas defeated Savannah State 83-54 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, November 12 2011. Eugene Huskey/DC Sports Box
 
Georgetown center Henry Sims rejects a jump shot in the lane. The Hoyas defeated Savannah State 83-54 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, November 12 2011. Eugene Huskey/DC Sports Box
 
Georgetown guard Jabril Trawick makes an easy lay up during a fast break. The Hoyas defeated Savannah State 83-54 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, November 12 2011. Eugene Huskey/DC Sports Box
 
Georgetown forward Mikael Hopkins goes to the basket for a wide open lay up. The Hoyas defeated Savannah State 83-54 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, November 12 2011. Eugene Huskey/DC Sports Box
 
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