Madison Square Garden — Patrick Ewing in his third year is starting to turn things around at Georgetown. His fiery antics on the court have brought some life back into the program.
When speaking to Ewing the one thing you hear from him is his passion and drive-how he is committed to success to his student-athletes and to Georgetown University.
Ewing was going against the Goliath of college basketball and if he was going to beat the Duke Blue Devils at the Garden-the Hoyas would have to play flawless basketball on both sides of the court.
Duke is used to playing big games at the “World Famous Arena”, while the Hoyas are still looking for a bonafide identity.
Mike Krzyzewski set the record for wins coaching a No. 1 team as the Blue Devils got 20 points and 10 rebounds from Vernon Carey Jr. to beat Georgetown 81-73 on Friday night in the 2K Empire Classic.
Duke (6-0) beat the Cal Bears and the Hoyas on consecutive nights to win the Classic and giving coach Krzyzewski more accolades to add to his resume. Coach K is 218-34 a mark they hit this week in The Associated Press poll. Hall of Famer John Wooden went 217-11 while UCLA was No. 1 during his run there.
When Jones and Carey were asked to describe what it’s like to play for Krzyzewski in the press conference, the coach interjected, “great.”
The Hoyas came out the gate and banged with the Dukies in the first half but Carey inserted his dominance on the blocks, the Blue Devils kept calling his number and he put the team on his back.
Duke broke a 33 tie game by spacing the court for Carey. The Blue Devils scored six unanswered points over the first 57 seconds after halftime, two on Jones layups and another on Vernon Carey’s dunk off a Jones crisp pass in transition.
Carey, a five-star recruit now dons Zion Williamson’s No. 1 jersey, has become the focal point of Duke’s offense, and he had two huge games in the Garden.
Cassius Stanley, who led Duke with 21 points, made a pair of 3s to stretch the game and quiet the crowd. The Hoyas was looking to knock off two straight Top 25 teams in two days. The Hoyas went toe-to-toe with Duke in the first half.
Georgetown hit 11 of its first 18 shots, including 4 of 6 3-pointers, to lead 29-18, that put the Dukies on their heels and exposed some weakness on the elbows.
“We felt like we didn’t play that well in the first half, because we didn’t, Coach got on us. He said, look, it’s not about x’s and o’s, It’s not even about playing hard. It’s going to be a fight and we took the fight mentality. They came out throwing blows and we were throwing blows. It was very physical and a very tough game. We played together and got the win.”Duke forward Cassius Stanley said.
The Dukies calmed down and let the game come to them. They tie the game at the break. Blue Devils sped up the game in the second half and forced Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing to call the first time out of the half.
Jones and Stanley spearheaded Duke’s offensive output over the final 20 minutes of the contest. Georgetown didn’t have an answer for the dynamic duo.
Jones scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, impacting the game-creating troublesome matchups for the Hoyas down low.
Stanley, limited to only one point in eight minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, chipped in 20 points in the second half to finish with a team-best 21. He made some key 3-pointers in the second half to help the Blue Devils extend their lead.
Omer Yurtseven led the Hoyas with 21 points.
The Hoyas were in the driving seat to pull off an upset until the game started to get away from them in the middle of the second half. Ewing tossed the tie and lost his head, stomping his feet and getting hit with a technical for an outburst over a perceived missed call.
On his way to the locker room, Ewing could be heard yelling, “You can blame the officials. They screwed me.”
Playing with grit over the first 15 minutes of the second half, the Dukies extend its lead to 77-63 with 4:59 to play in the game.
Georgetown cut the lead to 77-73 with 42.2 seconds left on the clock, Jones calmly hit two free throws with 25.9 seconds of play.
Stanley hit two more free throws with 16 seconds left.
“The way we started the game was tough to come back from, especially with the atmosphere out there,” Jones said.
Jones and Stanley hit tough shots at crunch time and that was the difference in the game.
“I think at the end of the year, there’s going to be a lot of teams afraid to play us,” Ewing said.
Georgetown: The Hoyas have a short break and play UNC Greensboro on Nov. 30 at Capital One Arena.
Duke: The Blue Devils return home Tuesday to play Stephen F. Austin.