Georgetown's defense comes up big in conference opener

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- John Thompson III saw the stat sheet and wasn't impressed. His seventh-ranked Georgetown Hoyas had just beaten Rutgers 58-46 on Saturday, improving the numbers in the two categories in which they lead the nation.

That didn't draw much of a response from the man in charge.

"I don't approach coaching by looking at stat sheets, and maybe that's a negative thing," Thompson said. "I know how I feel about us and what we should do and how we should do it every possession at the offensive end and every possession at the defensive end. It is something the guys have to expect from each other and we didn't do that at either end of the floor today."

Georgetown entered the game leading the country in points allowed (55.2) and field goal percentage defense (35.2) and those numbers both went down as Rutgers shot 31.1 percent (19-for-61).

"Not really, to be honest," Thompson said when asked if he was happy with the Hoyas' defense. "We allowed them to get a few things we didn't want them to get and it was how they got them. I'm not necessarily happy with our defensive effort."

Guard Jessie Sapp agreed with his coach about the defense.

"We can do a lot better," he said. "They missed a lot of open shots we should have contested. We'll get better at that."

The Hoyas (11-1, 1-0) opened defense of their Big East championship with their sixth straight win over the Scarlet Knights (8-7, 0-2) and the eighth in their last nine meetings. It was the Hoyas' seventh consecutive victory in a Big East opener.

"A road win in this league is great, no two ways about that," Thompson said. "But we got one in the opener, now there's the second one and the third one and hopefully it's a progression."

Freshman Austin Freeman scored 13 points for Georgetown, while Jonathan Wallace had 11 and DaJuan Summers and Sapp both had 10.

J.R. Inman had 11 points for the Scarlet Knights, who entered the game shooting 40.2 percent from the field. Rutgers has lost four of its last five games.

"They're a very good defensive team. There's a reason they're holding people to 35, 36 percent shooting, but I've got to be honest with you, I don't say it too much, but we missed dunks, we missed layups, we missed free throws," Rutgers coach Fred Hill said. "We did everything we needed to do to win the game but the ball won't go in the hole. It sounds like a broken record but right now that's the thing that we struggle with, shooting the basketball."

Anthony Farmer hit a 3-pointer with 18:07 to play that brought Rutgers to 32-25. The Hoyas then went on a 12-3 run that included 3s by Freeman, Sapp and Patrick Ewing Jr. and gave them a 41-25 lead with 15:16 to play.

Consecutive 3s by Wallace and Summers gave the Hoyas their biggest lead of the game, 47-30 with 10:03 to play.

Georgetown finished 11-for-23 from behind the arc, while the Scarlet Knights were 4-for-12.

"We took what the defense gave us," said Wallace, who was 3-for-3 on 3s. "You want to get inside and draw contact but if it's not there you have to look for what's there."

Despite Georgetown's size advantage, Rutgers finished with a 43-26 rebound advantage, including 22-4 on the offensive end. That didn't matter as the Scarlet Knights missed a slew of shots in close, including a breakaway dunk by Earl Pettis off a steal midway through the second half.

"That's something we will have to work on," Sapp said of the rebounding. "If we all box out we'll be fine."

Freshman Corey Chandler returned for Rutgers after missing the last three games with a right foot injury. Chandler, the team's second-leading scorer with a 14.1 average, had six points on 2-for-13 shooting in 16 minutes.

"He didn't practice in two weeks. I'm not sure I'm being very fair to the kid but I know how much he wants to play," Hill said. "He was a little out of sync. Hopefully he'll practice this week and get a few more minutes against Providence."

Rutgers junior Jaron Griffin was 1-for-4 from the field for two points and missed all three of his 3-point attempts, extending his streak of missing to 16 straight over the last five games.

The Scarlet Knights failed to match the total points scored by the Rutgers football team Saturday in its 52-30 victory over Ball State in the International Bowl.