Austin Freeman 7 for 9 from 3-point range to lead 6-0 Georgetown

WASHINGTON -- Georgetown coach John Thompson III sure can sound like a demanding, never-satisfied guy.

After Austin Freeman tied a school record with seven 3-pointers and scored 32 points Saturday to lead the 16th-ranked Hoyas to a 87-72 victory over UNC Asheville, the senior guard was asked about converting his third four-point play of the season.

Standing a few feet away, Thompson interrupted to note: "Could've had another one today, from the far corner in front of our bench, right?"

The line was delivered with a wink and a smile, and Freeman dutifully agreed, saying, "Yeah, yeah."

Georgetown (6-0) used a 23-0 run in the first half to turn a 7-all tie into a 30-7 lead, holding UNC Asheville (2-3) without a point for 8½ minutes.

"We jumped on them," said Hoyas guard Chris Wright, who had nine assists and said he was fine despite rolling his right ankle early in the second half.

When Thompson was asked to assess his team's defensive performance, he used words such as "lulls" and "dip." As in: "We, without a doubt," he said, "had some lulls in there that we talked about just now in the locker room."

Now matters could get more challenging for Georgetown, which plays Missouri (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, before hosting Utah State and going to Temple (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP).

"We're a work in progress," Thompson said. "There is a lot of room for growth in that locker room."

Asheville opened the season by beating Auburn and entered Saturday averaging 80.5 points. But it's safe to say the Bulldogs hadn't encountered a defense quite like Georgetown's.

The hosts' game-breaking run came after J.P. Primm -- who led Asheville with 17 points -- tied the game at 7-7 at 16:47. The Bulldogs wouldn't score again until Matt Dickey's 3-pointer with 8:18 left in the half. Asheville missed 11 straight shots and turned the ball over six times in that span.

Freeman scored 10 points in a row during that stretch by making three 3-pointers -- one that was part of a four-point play.

"I just wanted to be aggressive," said Freeman, averaging 20.2 points this season. "Just come out and take good shots, don't force anything."

The Big East preseason player of the year made his first four attempts from behind the arc and wound up 7 for 9 on 3s, equaling the Georgetown record held by Mark Tillmon and Darrel Owens.

"I expected him to make them when he's open, and he did," Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach said. "But when we guarded him a couple of times, he just leaned back a bit and made them anyway. He truly is a great shooter."

Julian Vaughn added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Hoyas. Hollis Thompson had 11 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, but needed stitches above his left eye after getting cut with less than 1½ minutes to go.

Asheville, playing without starting forward John Williams because of a concussion, twice pulled within 12 points. After Trent Meyer's 3-pointer made it 39-27 with about a minute left in the opening half, Freeman made a reverse layup, then a 3, to make it 44-27 at halftime. He had 20 points by then.

Later, a 16-3 run allowed the visitors to cut a 70-45 hole to 73-61 with less than 4½ minutes remaining. But Hollis Thompson's 3-pointer made it 76-61 for Georgetown, and Vaughn and Freeman followed with baskets.

"Coach says every team makes runs," Vaughn said. "So I felt like late in the second half, they were making their run. Their guards were getting off a little bit, hitting some big shots. ... We had to refocus and be like, 'The game isn't over.'

Asheville showed it could cut into a big deficit in its previous game, when it trailed No. 25 North Carolina by more than 20, before whittling that to a six-point margin with about five minutes left. The Bulldogs lost by 11.

Asked to compare the Tar Heels and Hoyas, Biedenbach said: "At this point, Georgetown's better, because they shoot it better. And Georgetown's guards are superior to North Carolina's guards -- but I think [UNC coach] Roy Williams would tell you that."