WASHINGTON -- Whether the games were ugly or pretty, Georgetown found all sorts of ways to lose the close ones last season -- enough to sink the Hoyas down to the NIT.
This year's home opener on Tuesday afternoon was as unwatchable as could be. Georgetown had more fouls (18) and turnovers (16) than made baskets (15), yet the Hoyas (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) escaped with a 46-45 win over Temple when Greg Monroe scored the winning basket with 6.5 seconds to play.
"The growth of this team, I think we're definitely not going to lose these games this year," said Monroe, who drove around Lavoy Allen for the decisive layup. "I think everybody's really focused, and everybody understands what they need to do personally and what we need to do as a team to win games like this."
Chris Wright scored 15 points, and Monroe had 11 points and nine rebounds for the Hoyas (2-0), who blew a 12-point second-half lead, shot 36 percent from the field and were 3-for-18 from 3-point range.
Allen had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Owls (1-1), who recovered from an abysmal first half and almost pulled off the upset. Temple was left to rue a 6-for-13 performance from the free-throw line, and Ramone Moore's miss on the front end of a 1-and-1 with a one-point lead and 23 seconds to play gave Monroe and the Hoyas the chance to win it.
"We had a great opportunity to win the game; we just didn't close it out," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "We shot poorly down the stretch at the foul line, and we weren't able to get a shot off on that last possession."
After Monroe scored, the Owls had their own final chance to regain the lead, but Luis Guzman was tied up for a jump ball while driving to the basket with 1.3 seconds remaining.
"The momentum was all with them," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "And for us to be able to maintain our poise, our composure, and whether it was ugly or not, to make the plays, get the rebounds at both ends of the floor to win the game, that was good. It was ugly -- don't get me wrong. They do a good job of making the game ugly."
The loss ended Tempe's streak of 68 straight wins when holding opponents to under 50 points, but for a while it seemed neither team would score as much as 30. This was the 4 p.m. game in ESPN's 24-hour Tip-Off Marathon, but it was more suited for the 6 a.m. should've-stayed-in-bed snoozer.
The halftime score was 19-13, with Georgetown leading by default. Here are more ugly facts from one of the worst halves of basketball ever seen at the Verizon Center:
There were more combined fouls (14) and turnovers (13) than made baskets (12).
Both teams shot 1-for-10 from 3-point range.
Ryan Brooks, who scored 23 points in Temple's season-opening win over Delaware, was 0-for-6 with two turnovers. He finished the game 2-for-14. Monroe, the Big East rookie of the year last season, was 1-for-5 with three turnovers in the half.
Temple shot 19 percent (5-for-26), Georgetown a relatively robust 30 percent (7-for-23). During one painful stretch, the teams combined to miss 11 straight shots.
The Hoyas appeared to get their act together at the start of the second half, opening with an 8-2 run, but Allen and Moore started playing as if they were ready to lead the Owls to a third straight Atlantic 10 title. A 24-6 run gave Temple a six-point lead, but Monroe converted a pair of three-point plays in a 9-0 spurt that put Georgetown back in front.
Craig Williams' 3-pointer tied the score at 42 with 4:53 to play. The Hoyas didn't lead again until Monroe's game-winner.
The final score brought back memories of low-scoring Ivy League games when Thompson was at Princeton and Dunphy was at Pennsylvania, a point made to Thompson by one of the assistant coaches after the game ended.
But Thompson's Princeton teams made 46-point games look much more elegant.
"It's like Princeton because I was sitting on one bench, and Fran was sitting on the other bench," Thompson said. "Every other way, it's not like Penn and Princeton."