NEW ORLEANS -- Greg Monroe said his return home went just as he expected, and that was good news for everyone wearing Georgetown colors.
Monroe, who grew up just across the Mississippi River from downtown New Orleans, finished with game-highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds, and the Hoyas (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) defeated Tulane 74-58 in their season opener Friday night.Monroe had his own cheering section behind the bench to watch Georgetown use its superior size to wear down the Green Wave in the second half."My main focus coming in was to get the win," Monroe said, "and me and my teammates accomplished all that we wanted to accomplish. Coming in I knew we would have good fan support. It was everything I expected coming in."As a team in the second half we started to run our offense and use more of the clock and we kind of wore them down."Austin Freeman scored 16 points, Jason Clark had 13 and Chris Wright 11 for the Hoyas.Kris Richard scored all but two of his team-high 15 points in the second half for Tulane (0-1). David Booker had 14 points, but scored just four in the second half.The Hoyas held guard Kevin Sims, Tulane's leading scorer last season, to just three points as he missed all six of his shots."To come in here and hold Sims to only three points, the stars must have been aligned properly," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "He's a terrific player. Our guys did a good job on him, but we were fortunate that he had somewhat of an off night.Georgetown scored the first seven points of the second half to extend its five-point halftime lead to 12. Eight of the its first nine baskets were layups or dunks, including four driving layups by Wright, as Georgetown increased its lead to 53-38 with 12:54 remaining.The Hoyas' lead was never fewer than 13 points after that."I thought our team did a terrific job in the second half of taking a businesslike approach," Thompson said. "We got some stops and got some good shots."Our whole approach the second half was good and I like the way we went about things for a first game that is not a typical opening-game opponent on the road."Georgetown scored the first 11 points of the game as Freeman made two 3-pointers. Tulane missed its first eight shots, four of which were 3s.The Green Wave scored their first point on a free throw by Asim McQueen, who followed with his team's first basket on a hook shot. Aaron Holmes scored four straight points as Tulane got within 13-7.The Hoyas started getting the ball inside, making three layups, the last by Monroe to give them a 23-13 lead. The Green Wave responded with a 6-0 spurt to get within four.Julian Vaughn's layup stopped the run, but two 3-pointers by David Booker helped Tulane get within 32-27 at halftime."We didn't play well in the second half," Tulane coach Dave Dickerson said. "It was a tale of two halves. Near the end their size and length and athleticism got the best of our team."We had the momentum going into halftime, but we were not good enough tonight to get over the hump. If we could have played the first four minutes of the second half the way we played the last four of the first half we would have been right there."