WASHINGTON (AP) -- Georgetown (unranked by ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) rotates its leading scorers as well
as the Hoyas rotate the ball in the Princeton offense.
On Saturday, it was Jeff Green's turn.
Last year's Big East co-rookie of the year, whose scoring output
has yo-yoed for much of the season, had 20 points, seven rebounds
and five assists in Georgetown's 76-57 victory over Cincinnati.
"A lot of people who don't really understand the game equate
playing well with scoring points," Hoyas coach John Thompson III
said. "And Jeff Green has played well all year for us. Some games
he's scored, others he hasn't, but he has played well all year."
Back home for the first time since their upset over then-No. 1
Duke, the Hoyas (14-4, 5-2 Big East) pulled away early and held the
Bearcats to 35 percent shooting to win their fourth straight.
Brandon Bowman scored 12 points, and Jonathan Wallace added 10 in
another balanced effort that included 22 assists on 30 baskets.
"The Princeton offense was in full effect today," Cincinnati
coach Andy Kennedy said of the patient style that usually results
in a high-percentage shot.
The Hoyas vaulted into the national rankings after beating the
Blue Devils last Saturday, then survived a double-overtime thriller
at Notre Dame on Tuesday. The win over Cincinnati was much more
comfortable: The Hoyas trailed only twice, at 2-0 and 4-3, and
notched their biggest margin of victory in a Big East game in
nearly four years.
Green went 8-for-19 from the field and lately he has been
hitting the jump shots that weren't falling earlier in the season.
The versatile Hoyas haven't needed his shooting touch every game --
they haven't had the same player lead the team in scoring in
consecutive games since late December.
"I was just patient," Green said. "My father and Coach
Thompson were always telling me that my shot would fall, just keep
shooting, and now my shot's starting to fall."
James White scored 22 points to lead Cincinnati (14-7, 3-4),
which has lost five of six and is feeling the effects of a thin
bench, especially since senior forward Armein Kirkland was lost for
the season with a knee injury on Jan. 9.
The Bearcats were 4-of-24 from 3-point range and nearly set
season lows in points and field goal percentage for the second
straight game, performing only slightly better than the 50-point,
30 percent effort in Wednesday's 17-point loss to Louisville. The
starting backcourt of Devan Downey and Jihad Muhammad went 1-for-15
from the field, and Downey, a freshman, failed to score for the
first time in his collegiate career.
"We've lost a little bit of our edge," Kennedy said. "I think
we're tentative. It seems as if we're not as confident as a group.
In a league like the Big East, against an opponent like Georgetown
on the road, you certainly can't expect to back your way into any
success. You have to go out and be aggressive, you have to be
assertive, and you have to continue to find a way.
"We were exposed by a better team, and we didn't fight the way
that I would have hoped we would, and really the way we have up
until this past week. I'm hopeful we can find some answers, because
the games keep coming."
Georgetown is the only Big East school with five players
averaging in double figures, and the share-the-wealth style was
evident from the opening tip. All five starters scored a basket
each to get the Hoyas off to an 11-4 lead, a run that extended to
28-11 after Darrel Owens and Green hit consecutive 3-pointers.
The lead was 36-20 at halftime, and there was more of the same
after the break. The first six Hoyas baskets were scored by six
different players. Bowman flipped a blind reverse layup over his
shoulder to push the lead to 20.
White tried to keep the Bearcats competitive -- he scored 10 of
Cincinnati's first 13 points to start the second half -- but
Georgetown answered each time. A 3-pointer from Jessie Sapp with
10:10 to play put the Hoyas ahead 62-35, their biggest lead of the