Georgetown Defeats Butler 72-65
Dec. 8, 2009
NEW YORK (AP) -- Georgetown dominated inside because of Greg Monroe and the Hoyas had success from the perimeter because of him as well.
Monroe had 24 points and 15 rebounds--both career highs--to lead the 15th-ranked Hoyas to a 72-65 victory over No. 22 Butler on Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.
"You look at the stat sheet and obviously you see the numbers Greg put up," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "But I thought that was a total team effort. It's easy to talk about what Greg and Austin did, but our other guys were huge."
Austin Freeman was 4 of 5 from 3-point range and added 18 points for the Hoyas and he was quick to point out that he was able to do that because Monroe.
"I was just taking the first open shot I had and wasn't forcing them," he said. "Greg gets everybody else open because they have to pay attention to him."
Monroe, last season's Big East rookie of the year, recorded his third double-double of the season as the Hoyas (7-0) used their size advantage to control the paint at both ends.
Georgetown finished with a 43-30 rebound advantage, outscored the Bulldogs (6-3) 30-16 inside and held Butler forward Matt Howard to nine points on 1-of-9 shooting.
"Monroe was a real authoritative spirit inside," Butler coach Brad Stevens said. "To see how big an effect he had just look at our shooting percentages, we were higher on 3s than 2s."
The loss was the third in as many games against ranked teams for Butler, which hosts No. 13 Ohio State on Saturday. The Bulldogs, who lost to Minnesota and Clemson in the 76 Classic, have lost eight of their last nine games against teams in Top 25.
"We have to get better," Stevens said. "We've played a tough schedule and it's not going to get easier. We have a ton of things to work on. We have to do a better job on the glass. There was a huge discrepancy there."
Gordon Hayward had 24 points for Butler.
The 6-foot-11 Monroe, who scored 21 points against Notre Dame as a freshman and had 13 rebounds against American last weekend, started slowly from the field, missing four of his first six shots. His defense against Howard was strong from the start as the 6-8 junior and reigning Horizon League player of the year missed his first eight shots from the field, many with Monroe having a hand in his face or leaning on him as he tried to establish position down low.
"We knew what they wanted to do coming in and we had to get position before they did," Monroe said. "We had to keep it out of the post and not let them get to opportunity to score."
Monroe finished 9 of 20 from the field and he was asked if taking that many shots was going to become the norm for him.
"Ask his coach," Thompson interrupted. "The number of shots is not important. The number of good shots is what matters. Greg is unselfish and that's because we have a lot of players in that locker room who can score."
The Hoyas did go outside to take their biggest lead of the game as Freeman hits two 3-pointers and Hollis Thompson made another from long range to make it 52-35 with 13:35 to play.
The Bulldogs went on a 7-0 run--that included Howard's first field goal, to get to 52-42. Monroe was all alone at the other end of the court for a monster dunk to end Georgetown's 4:13 scoreless drought. But Howard made two free throws and Hayward hit a 3 to get the Bulldogs to 54-47 with 8:37 to go.
Butler was at 68-62 in the final minute when Monroe blocked a drive by Shelvin Mack and the Hoyas closed it from there.
Georgetown will play its first game in California since 2001 when it plays No. 17 Washington on Saturday in the Wooden Classic at Anaheim.
"This is a week that was put together by design, it wasn't by accident" Thompson said. "In the Big East we will play a tough game on Tuesday or Wednesday and then another tough one on Saturday. I want our guys to be used to that emotional ride."
The Jimmy V Classic is held annually to raise money for the V Foundation, the cancer research organization founded in the name of the late Jim Valvano.