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February 5, 2008

Hoyas overcome sluggish start to down USF

Box score

WASHINGTON The worst team in the Big East was leading the conference's best team by nine points late the first half. South Florida was shooting 77 percent. One player, DaJuan Summers, had accounted for four of Georgetown's meager tally of five baskets.

Enough of that craziness. The Bulls missed their next nine shots. The Hoyas went on a 12-0 run to take the lead for good. Summers finished with a career-high 24 points, and No. 6 Georgetown did just enough in the second half Tuesday night to hold on for a 63-53 victory.

Summers made eight of 13 field goals, including 4-of-8 3-pointers, and had nine rebounds to lead the Hoyas (19-2, 9-1) to their sixth straight win and 18th in a row at home. Roy Hibbert, who had his hands full with Kentrell Gransberry, missed his first three shots but finished with 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting and eight rebounds.

As for the rest of the team? They shot 9-for-34, and no one had more than one field goal until Jessie Sapp's 3-pointer with 11 minutes to play. Overall, the Hoyas shot just 39 percent, the worst performance of the season for a team that entered the game leading the Big East with a 50.3 percent average.

Dominique Jones scored 15 points, and Gransberry had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Bulls (10-13, 1-9), who have lost nine straight.

For a while, it seemed South Florida was capable of pulling a repeat of their 63-56 stunner over then-No. 20 Georgetown in Tampa two years ago, the last time the teams met. Gransberry outplayed Hibbert early, and his feed to Mobolaji Ajayi for a layup gave the Bulls a 13-3 lead. Orane Chin's jumper made the score 22-13 with eight minutes left in the half.

But Hibbert started to find his groove. His running hook ended the team's 5 1/2-minute drought, and he followed with a putback and a pair of free throws for the first six points in the 12-0 run. Summers scored the next six, and Hibbert added another basket in the final minute of the half to give Georgetown a 27-24 lead at the break.

Still, the Hoyas had a hard time putting the Bulls away. Austin Freeman's 3-pointer capped an 8-0 run to make the score 37-29, but the lead didn't start to look comfortable until Vernon Macklin's layup put Georgetown ahead 56-42 with 6:02 to play.

Even then, the Bulls came back with a 7-0 run and cut the deficit to seven in the last two minutes. Hibbert stopped the momentum with a hook shot, and Summers followed with a 14-footer to put the game away.

Summers, a sophomore forward, topped his previous high of 20 points against North Carolina in last year's NCAA tournament.

For more coverage of Georgetown, visit HoyaReport.com; for more on USF, visit USFBullsEye.com.

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