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No. 8 Hoyas open year with tough win over Hartford

WASHINGTON (AP) -- What's supposed to be a special season for
Georgetown sure got off to a slow start.

Jeff Green scored 17 points and Roy Hibbert added 16 to help No.
8 Georgetown pull away from Hartford for a tougher-than-expected
69-59 victory Saturday in the opener for both teams.

The Hoyas trailed in the second half and didn't gain any
separation until Hibbert's three-point play with 4:59 left put them
up 59-54. Until then, Georgetown's problems on offense (the Hoyas
shot 42 percent from the field) and Hartford's reliance on
3-pointers kept things interesting.

"I don't think our guys have any illusions of anything. I
honestly do not. I think our guys know exactly where we stand. They
know that we have to improve," coach John Thompson III said. "No.
8 or No. 80 does not enter our consciousness."

Hartford led 39-38 on Alex Zimnickas' drive with 13:56 remaining
and then was within 54-53 with under seven minutes left, before
Georgetown began to take control.

It wasn't supposed to be that close. As one courtside Hoyas fan
yelled, "This is Hartford, guys!"

Hartford went 13-15 last season and was picked to finish last in
the America East. Dan Leibovitz was in his first game as a head
coach after 10 seasons as an assistant to Temple's John Chaney, and
Hartford deployed various zones that would have made the mentor
proud.

Since moving up to Division I in 1984-85, Hartford has played 17
season openers on the road -- and won twice.

Georgetown, meanwhile, returned three starters -- including two,
Green and Hibbert, nominated for the Wooden Award -- and boasted its
highest ranking in The Associated Press preseason poll since 1995.
The Hoyas reached the NCAA tournament's round of 16 last season
before losing to eventual champion Florida.

"You have your goals and aspirations, but you can't look down
the road that far," said John Wallace, who like Green and Hibbert
is a member of the junior class that arrived on campus when
Thompson did. "A game like this tested us a lot."

Wallace, the Hoyas' third returning starter, scored 13 points.

Zimnickas and Joe Zeglinski led Hartford with 14 points apiece,
combining to make seven 3-pointers.

Eventually, Georgetown's edges in size -- Hibbert is 7-foot-2,
Green is 6-9 -- and experience wore down the visitors.

"Sometimes, size is just too much to overcome," Leibovitz
said. "It's hard to win games when you don't have a consistent
low-post threat. You're operating with fool's gold at times, where
you're making 3s, making 3s, making 3s, but you haven't established
anything solid."

Still, his team stayed in it as the Hoyas threw the ball away
(Green finished with seven turnovers) or missed inside shots.

Georgetown failed to score over the final 2:13 of the first half
-- which ended with the hosts ahead 31-27 -- and first two minutes of
the second.

Georgetown shot only 37 percent in the first half, and one of
the new starters, Tyler Crawford, finished 3-for-12 for the game.
He took 14 shots all of last season.

"He did jack it up there, huh?" Thompson said. "Tyler
Crawford can shoot. He missed today."

Georgetown is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the start of
its men's basketball program and a pregame video montage showed
highlights from the past. That includes, of course, when Thompson's
father coached the Hoyas to the 1984 national title with help from
center Patrick Ewing.

Ewing's son, Patrick Jr., played his first game in a Hoyas
uniform after sitting out a season when he transferred from
Indiana. Wearing his dad's No. 33, Ewing entered with 7:46 left in
the first half, played eight minutes and didn't attempt a shot.