Georgetown uses late rally to edge Old Dominion

NORFOLK, Va. -- Georgetown didn't have many players doing much offensively in a sloppy season opener, but the three that did carried the Hoyas (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) to a close victory.

Chris Wright scored 19 points, Jason Clark had 18 and Austin Freeman 17 on Friday night, and all three had big second halves as the Hoyas rallied and then held off Old Dominion, 62-59.

"These guys, when we needed them to make shots, they put the ball in the basket," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said with all three upperclassmen seated beside him.

Freeman and Wright scored 15 points each after halftime, and Clark had nine, giving the trio all but four of the Hoyas' 43 points in the half. They had all but eight overall.

Freeman and Wright keyed a late 13-2 run that gave the Hoyas the lead, and Clark helped finish off the Monarchs, who had won two of the last three meetings between the teams.

Old Dominion had its 23-game home winning streak -- the fourth-longest in the nation -- dating to January 2009 snapped. They blew two eight-point second-half leads, the last at 49-41.

That's when Freeman, the preseason player of the year in the Big East, and Wright took over. Freeman got wide open in the right corner for one 3, then hit another from the top of the key while being clipped by Ben Finney. The four-point play pulled them to 49-48.

After Finney missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Wright made a catch-and-shoot 3 from the left side, barely beating the 35-second clock, and followed a basket by Keyon Carter for the Monarchs with another 3-pointer from the top of the key, giving Georgetown a 54-51 lead.

The shot to beat the shot clock was the killer, Old Dominion's Keyon Carter said.

"Those shots hurt when you've played 35 seconds of tough defense and the kid just kind of heaves it up there," he said.

"Hail Mary full of grace," Monarchs coach Blaine Taylor said. "The kid didn't even have time to shoot a jump shot or a set shot. He just kind of had to throw it up there."

The veterans taking over the game was no surprise to Wright.

"That was the plan," he said with a sly smile.

Old Dominion got within 56-55 on two free throws by Finney with 1:18 left, but Clark connected again from long distance, this time from the left corner, and the Monarchs got no closer than three points again. A desperation 3 by Darius James at the buzzer missed badly.

"As a first game learning experience, it was an awfully good one," Taylor said.

Finney, Kent Bazemore and Frank Hassell led the Monarchs with 13 points each.

The Monarchs led 25-19 after a first half in which both teams shot poorly. Old Dominion was 10 for 28, and the Hoyas were 9 for 26, both missed repeatedly from in close.

The difference was a 10-0 burst by the Monarchs after the Hoyas had gone ahead 13-11. Five players scored in the run, and Carter hit the only 3-pointer.