Georgetown Loses to Cincinnati, Loses Chris Wright
Yancy Gates scored 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead a balanced attack for the Bearcats, who held Georgetown to 25 percent shooting from the field, by far a season low. Dion Dixon also scored 17 points, and Rashad Bishop had 12.
The win ended Cincinnati's 20-game road losing streak against ranked teams, their last win coming against then-No. 21 Marquette on Jan. 14, 2004.
It also moved the Bearcats (22-6, 9-6) into a tie for seventh in the Big East standings, which would be good enough for a first-round bye in the conference tournament, and gives another boost to the school's hopes to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in Mick Cronin's five seasons as coach. A loss would have dropped them to 11th in the conference.
The Hoyas (21-7, 10-6) experienced a similar swing as they lost for only the second time in 11 games. Instead of moving into third place, which would be worth a double-bye in the Big East tournament, Georgetown dropped into a tie for fifth.
Austin Freeman broke out of his latest mini-slump to score 19 points for the Hoyas, but he was the only player with any degree of success against a Bearcats team that entered the game leading the Big East in scoring defense, allowing 58.7 points per game.
Chris Wright went 0 for 6 from the field and appeared to hurt his wrist as he hit the floor after losing the ball early in the second half. Julian Vaughn was 1 for 9 and fouled out late in the game.
Overall, Georgetown shot 12 for 48, including 5 for 23 from 3-point range, a stunning display from a team that entered the game shooting 49.7 from the field - second in the nation. The Hoyas were 4 for 23 from the field in the second half.
The teams were tied at 26 at halftime, but the Hoyas missed their first eight shots of the second half and committed seven turnovers before finally making a field goal - Hollis Thompson's 3-pointer with 9:31 remaining. By then, the Bearcats had opened the half with a 17-3 run to take a 43-28 lead. Gates scored seven points during the run and was an offensive rebounding force who kept possessions alive.
Georgetown stayed as close as it did because of the game's free-throw discrepancy. The Hoyas made 17 of 20 from the line; the Bearcats took only two free throws in the first 35 minutes and finished 9 for 13 because Georgetown was forced to foul late.
Gates' three-point play put the Bearcats ahead 48-35 with 4:43 to play. Freeman's fast-break layup and Vee Sanford's 3-pointer got the Hoyas within eight, but Bishop banked in a 3-pointer as the shot clock was about to expire to restore a double-digit lead with 3:13 to play. Freeman looked exasperated, slumping his shoulders and rolling his eyes as the shot went in.
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