New York- Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing remembers the glory days at Madison Square Garden and embraces the moment every time he steps back into the “World Famous Arena”.
All the former New York Knick great has to do is look up to see his orange, blue, and white jersey hanging in the rafters to get a sense of how special the Garden was to him.
Hoyas Mac McClung scored 19 points to help give Ewing another special moment at the Garden, leading Georgetown to an 82-66 victory over No. 22 Texas on Thursday night.
When the final seconds ticked off the clock, loud chants turned to ones for the coach: “Patrick Ewing! Patrick Ewing! Patrick Ewing!”
“It felt like back in my Knick days,” Ewing said.
Georgetown (4-1) used a 12-0 run early in the second half that rallied the crowd and chants start to echo throughout the Garden.
“This is still my home. I still have a lot of fans here, still a lot of family here, still have a lot of supporters here, so it was a great night,” Ewing said. “And my team, these guys stepped up and got the job done.”
Texas’s second-half shooting percentage (6 for 27) — that was partly because Georgetown closing out on shooters on the perimeter and restricting the paint area.
Georgetown in the second-half shot 57.7 percent (15 for 26) — which, through teamwork and the ball moving around the offense in a way that Texas couldn’t concentrate on just one player.
The Hoyas are trying to make their first NCAA Tournament since 2015 and a win over a Top 25 team could have them in the conversation.
The Hoyas made a concerted effort to open the second half with full-court pressure, now they will advance to the title against the winner of Duke and California game.
The game plan all started when Ewing inserting Qudus Wahab up from the bench for a late first-half pep talk. The coach had a few things to say to his freshman center and they ended the conversation with a fist bump.
Ewing’s motivation speech worked on his big man. Wahab had a ferocious dunk for a 54-52 lead and the aggressive Hoyas defense forced Texas into turnovers. Ewing was pumping his fist as Georgetown was pushing for an upset.
“I just wanted to let my team know we have a lot of support from Georgetown alumni here and we want them to stand up and do it again tomorrow,” Ewing said.
Georgetown was down 42-35 in the last minute of the first half to an 82-64 lead just before the last minute of the second half rallied by scoring on 11 straight possessions which everyone was integral in the scoring.
McClung’s had 19, Jamorko Pickett’s 15, Akinjo’s 14, Omer Yurtseven’s 10, Josh LeBlanc’s nine, Qudus Wahab’s nine and rebounds (seven guys with three or more).
“To foul 25 times completely goes against what we value and what we work on,” Smart said. “But they had a lot to do with that. They deserve a ton of credit.”
Hoyas fans and New Yorkers haven’t forgotten the big man: Ewing walked off the court hugging and high-fiving fans on his way to the press conference.
The Hoyas will play No. 1 Duke/ Cal on Friday in the 2K Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project championship.