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College basketball: Georgetown 37, Tennessee 36 … and, yes, it's the final score

Published November 30, 2012 9:15 pm

College basketball • No. 20 Georgetown edges Tennessee.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • John Thompson III kept saying over and over that he'd never been a part of a game like it. Then he finally thought of one.

"I think I was 8," the Georgetown coach said. "Playing with St. Anthony's. The game ended 13-11."

"I had 10," he added with a chuckle and sly glance at one of his players. "And we won that game, too."

It's easier to laugh about it when you win, but there was no sugarcoating it: The No. 20 Hoyas' 37-36 win over Tennessee on Friday night in the SEC/Big East Challenge was an offensive display of offensive basketball, and the coach knew it.

"If you just look at the numbers and the stat sheet and say we won the game — before the game, I'd say you're crazy," Thompson said. "I'd think it's virtually impossible."

It was Georgetown's worst scoring tally of the shot clock era, its lowest total since a 37-36 win over Southern Methodist in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1985. It was Tennessee's second-lowest since the shot clock went into effect in the 1985-86 season, better only than in a 43-35 loss to Auburn in 1997.

Tennessee (4-2) also had the humility of being outscored by its own losing football team, which averaged 36.2 points this season despite a 5-7 record.

It was so bad even the free throws weren't falling. The teams combined to make just 7 of 20. The field-goal shooting was just as horrid, with the Vols hitting 33 percent and the Hoyas 36 percent. Georgetown's Mikael Hopkins had an especially miserable time, missing three easy lay-ins and four free throws in the first 20 minutes.

"We were getting easy shots that we were missing," Thompson said. —

Friday's Top 25 scores

• No. 6 Syracuse 91, Arkansas 82

• No. 10 Kansas 84, Oregon State 78

• No. 20 Georgetown 37, Tennessee 36