WASHINGTON--The Georgetown men's basketball team used a hot start to the second half to overcome a strong shooting night for the Elon University men's basketball team, leaving the Verizon Center with an 85-76 win on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
The loss is the second straight for the Phoenix after a loss to #21 Colorado last Friday and drops the team under .500 (5-6) on the season. For Georgetown, the game marks its sixth straight victory and its 12th straight in the confines of the Verizon Center.
"Our performance tonight was a marked improvement," Elon University Head Coach Matt Matheny said. "I felt we competed and I think the number that shows that is the rebounding number. It has been an Achilles heel for us this year and we actually outrebounded Georgetown."
Despite beating the Hoyas on the boards by a 31-30 margin and going into the break up 40-39, the Phoenix could not overcome a 14-5 Georgetown run to start the second half or a 50% shooting night from the charity stripe (9-18).
"When we play Georgetown our margin of error is ever so slight," Matheny said. "So free throw percentage, missing some free throws, untimely turnovers were not good for us and we had trouble stopping [6-10, 350-pound Georgetown Center Joshua] Smith. He was a force inside and we tried multiple defenses and we were unable to stop him as well as Georgetown."
Going into halftime, Elon was shooting 57.7% from the field, but Georgetown's switch from a pressure defense to a 2-3 zone at the half slowed the Phoenix in the second half holding them to 42.9% shooting.
"They played pressure in the first half and we were able to get into a flow offensively and get open looks," Matheny said. "In the second half they came out in zone, they have a lot of length in their zone and they didn't allow us to get many open looks."
Senior forward Lucas Troutman and sophomore guard Tanner Samson led the way for Elon with 18 points apiece and senior forward Sebastian Koch added 15. Markel Starks led Georgetown with 21 while D'Vaunt Smith-Rivera and Joshua Smith scored 19 and 18 respectively.
Up next the Phoenix is hosting Central Pennsylvania on Thursday Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.