<
>

Georgetown 72, Providence 62

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Georgetown nearly redefined careless
basketball Thursday night. The Hoyas committed 15 turnovers in the
first half, many of them unforced bad passes and balls that were
simply lost out of bounds.

The only cure was a halftime speech from a furious coach.

"I yelled at them," John Thompson said. "We peeled a little
paint."

The Hoyas responded with a 20-4 run to open the second half,
pulling away for a 72-62 victory over Providence in the Big East
opener for both teams.

"The first half, the ball just kept hitting us in the hands,
and we kept dropping it. It was 'I throw it to you, you drop it,"
Thompson said. "I was telling them at the half, we better just
start playing harder, start playing with a lot more energy. That
was the difference."

Ashanti Cook scored 14 of his 15 points in the second half,
Brandon Bowman had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Roy Hibbert had 16
points and 10 rebounds before fouling out, and Jonathan Wallace had
15 points and five steals for the Hoyas (9-2, 1-0), who finished
with a season-high 22 turnovers but won their sixth straight.

Trailing 30-24 at the break, the Hoyas outrebounded the Friars
28-11 in the second half and avenged last year's regular
season-ending loss, when a last-second shot virtually ended
Georgetown's hopes of making the NCAA tournament.

Randall Hanke had 17 points and seven blocks, and Donnie McGrath
scored 17 for the Friars (7-5, 0-1).

"What was tough for us was the backboards," Providence coach
Tim Welsh said. "They were dominating the backboards. Their size
is part of it, but we've got to do a better job -- we've played big
teams before."

The Hoyas had more turnovers (15) in the first half than made
field goals (nine) and made free throws (three) combined. The
careless ball-handling put them in a 23-14 hole before their only
good stretch of half -- jumpers by Bowman, Wallace and Jessie Sapp
that cut the lead to one. But four more Hoyas turnovers in the
final three minutes of the half allowed the Friars a 7-0 run that
put Providence ahead by six at halftime.

Cook spurred Georgetown's run to open the second half, scoring
on a 3-pointer, a steal and layup, and a putback. Meanwhile,
Providence started 0-for-7 with four turnovers before Hanke's layup
six minutes into the half.

"Our guys are so green and new to this whole world of Big East
basketball," said Welsh, who starts two freshmen and two
sophomores. "We're going to have to learn from it."
^