WASHINGTON -- Coming off its first loss of the season, Georgetown was stuck in a something of a struggle against Harvard, tied late in the first half Wednesday.
Led by Wright's career-high 34 points and Monroe's 16 points and 16 rebounds, and propelled by a half-ending 11-0 run, Georgetown (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) pulled away to beat Harvard 86-70.
"We just outworked them today," said Monroe, last season's Big East rookie of the year.
The 6-foot-11 sophomore played a significant role in the game-changing spurt, with three rebounds, two blocks, two steals, an assist and a basket. By the time he and his teammates were done, a game that was 33-all with 3½ minutes left in the half was 44-33 at halftime.
"We were never able, obviously, to recover," Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said.
Jason Clark got things started with a 3-pointer, Monroe scored off a putback, Austin Freeman hit a 3, and Wright made a free throw. Then came this sequence: Monroe lost the ball on the blocks, then went to the other end and stole it right back, before feeding Wright for a layup.
"That was all the difference in the game," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "We prodded the Big Fella a little bit. It was just the effort."
Freeman matched his career best with 21 points for Georgetown (9-1), which was playing its first game since a 61-57 loss to Old Dominion on Saturday.
That upset came at the Hoyas' tiny on-campus McDonough Arena. On Wednesday, Georgetown was back at the usual site of its home games, Verizon Center, and the Hoyas extended their winning streak there against non-conference opponents to 22 games.
Against Old Dominion, Wright scored only four points and shot 2 for 8.
He was a different player against Harvard.
The 6-foot-1 junior guard from Bowie, Md., shot 13 for 21 and had six rebounds and four assists. Wright scored 21 of his points in the second half before heading to the sideline for good with 1:15 left and the game's outcome clear.
"I don't even think I was looking for my shot today. I just think I was being aggressive and trying to make plays," Wright said. "I don't think I was really trying to force anything. I was just playing in the flow of the game. I got opportunities today, and luckily I capitalized on them."
Harvard (7-3) was coming off a two-week layoff since a victory over Boston College on Dec. 9. In its game before that, the Ivy League school also tested Top 25 team Connecticut, losing by six on Dec. 6.
Jeremy Lin led Harvard on Wednesday with 15 points. He made his first six shot attempts but missed his other four.
Georgetown was the squad that looked rusty at the outset Wednesday, finding trouble getting into its offense and trailing 12-9 after 5 minutes. After the Hoyas went up by as many as eight midway through the first half, Harvard chipped away, tying the score for the last time on Oliver McNally's fastbreak layup.
"We started very well. We were pretty sharp. We competed and battled, and we were right there," Amaker said. "I just thought that the end of the first half -- that was the dagger for us. It certainly gave them a lot of energy going into the halftime, and we certainly had our heads down."