Belmont's offense can't keep pace with efficient Georgetown

Friday, March 16, 2012 at 5:44pm
Staff reports

Blake Jenkins had 17 points and five rebounds, but Belmont’s perimeter offense was atypically inconsistent Friday in a 74-59 loss to Georgetown in an NCAA tournament game at Columbus, Ohio.

The Bruins made 10 of 27 3-point attempts but Jenkins and Scott Saunders (10 points, five rebounds) carried much of the offensive load. The point total was BU’s lowest of the season, more than 22 below its average.

It was Belmont’s fifth loss in as many tries in the NCAA tournament and the fourth time in those five games it scored fewer than 60 points.

"I'm really disappointed in this game," Belmont coach Rick Byrd said. "Not because I think we should have won or that we are the better team or that we should have been favored and there were people picking us. I don't think that was right. Georgetown is a better team than we are, and I think they're kind of supposed to be a better team than we are.

"But it should have been ... a better game from start to finish."

Jenkins and Saunders, both forwards, were a combined 10-for-16 from the field. Jenkins made his only two 3-point attempts. None of Saunders’ six shots (he made three) were 3-pointers.

Ian Clark added 12 points but was 4-for-11 on 3-pointers.

Drew Hanlen’s 3-pointer with 5:41 to play got the Bruins (27-8), the No. 14 seed in the Midwest Region, within nine, 58-49. Georgetown, the No. 3 seed, answered with a 12-2 run over the next two and half minutes that put the game out of reach.

The Hoyas (24-8) led by nine at halftime, 36-27, and never let Belmont get closer than six over the final 20 minutes.

In fact, they took the lead for good when a Harry Sims layup made it 9-8 with 16:24 to go in the first half.  That started a 7-0 run, during which the Bruins missed  pair of 3-point attempts.

"I felt like Georgetown was simply the better team pretty much from start to finish," Byrd said. "... We've got a team that can run up points pretty quick at times and kept hoping for that. ... I think the better team won the game, and I'd like to say different. But they deserve a lot of credit."

Jason Clark scored a game-high 21 points for Georgetown. Otto Porter added 16 points and a game-high eight rebounds, and Sims had 15 points and five assists.

The Hoyas attempted just 12 3-pointers (they made five) and shot 61.2 percent (30-for-49) from the field.

"They have a lot of 3-point shooters," Porter said. "We just had to focus on closing out on them, making them drive, just good closeouts."