By: Mark Wilson
On Thursday night, the Georgetown Hoyas and the 22nd ranked Texas Longhorns did battle in the Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden. The Hoyas entered the game 3-1, while the Longhorns brought their 4-0 record into the Championship Round, with a chance to advance to the title game on Friday night.
The first half was a back and forth battle as the Hoyas shot 50% from three-point range by hitting 4 of 8 attempts. Leading the way was Mac McClung with 11 points as he knocked down 2 of 3 and finished with 11 points.
For the Longhorns, it was all about the deep ball. Texas came out of the gate shooting as they attempted 18 three-point attempts in the first half and finished 8-18 for 44.4%. The Longhorns were led in the first half by Matt Coleman III with 12 points.
A staggering stat on the first half was that the Hoyas attempted 11 free throws while the Longhorns went 0-0.
The second half was a different story altogether. The Georgetown Hoyas came out firing on all cylinders and opened the second half with a momentum-turning run and took command of the game. Even with Texas alum and current member of the Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant sitting courtside, his alma mater could not claw their way back into the game.
The same approach that landed the Longhorns with a five-point advantage to end the first half would not be there for them during the second. Their three-point accuracy was off as they finished the half shooting .273 percent. On the other side of the court, the Hoyas were on fire.
They clamped down on the defensive end, and with Patrick Ewing leading the team, what else would you expect? While the Longhorns were steady jacking up threes, the Hoyas used their height and versatile backcourt to attack the basket and get to the foul line. The Hoyas would finish the game 21-28 at the free-throw line, while Texas hit 9-10.
Even in NYC, the Hoyas’ fan base came out to show support.
The Longhorns were led by Matt Coleman, who finished with 22 points while hitting all six of his attempts from deep. The problem for the previously unbeaten Longhorns was that he did not receive any help. Coleman was the only Texas player who scored in double digits.
For the Hoyas, it was a team effort all the way around. Not afraid of a nationally ranked team, the Hoyas attacked as if they were ranked and did not want to fall.
The Hoyas were led by McClung, who finished with 19 points. However, he had help. There were four other players who scored ten or more points for Georgetown.
With the victory, Georgetown will move on to play Duke tomorrow night in the Empire Classic Championship Game at MSG.