WASHINGTON – Chris Wright scored a season-high 24 points, and No. 13 Georgetown overcame a major dose of Big East ugly Monday night to get its fifth straight win, blowing an 11-point second-half lead before pulling out a 62-59 victory over No. 15 Louisville.
Wright, who was held scoreless in the Hoyas' win at then-No. 8 Villanova on Saturday, went 8 for 8 from the free throw line, including making two with 4.4 seconds left that forced the Cardinals to attempt a 3-pointer to tie. Peyton Siva, who had perhaps his worst collegiate game, dribbled down the court and missed from the top of the key at the horn.
The Hoyas (17-5, 6-4) won a game that featured 32 turnovers — 16 for each team — but their winning streak has them in the top half of the conference standings after a 1-4 start.
Austin Freeman, who was averaging 24.3 points during the Hoyas' winning streak, was held to 13 points and committed six turnovers. He had his streak of 23 consecutive free throws end, but he did move into the top 10 on Georgetown's career scoring list.
Terrence Jennings scored 18 points for the Cardinals (17-5, 6-3), who dropped into a tie for third in the Big East. Siva committed a career-high eight turnovers in 29 minutes and scored five points on 1-for-5 shooting from the field.
A falling-down layup by Wright tied the game at 55 with 2:55 to play, and, after a missed Louisville shot, Hollis Thompson hit a 3-pointer with 2:01 remaining to give the Hoyas a 58-55 lead. The Cardinals missed three shots on their next possession but chased down the rebound each time until Siva was fouled in the lane. He made both free throws to cut the lead to one with 49 seconds to go.
Jason Clark made two free throws with 25 seconds left to restore the three-point lead. With the clock winding down, Siva opted not to take a contested 3-pointer and instead passed to Jennings for an easy dunk to make it 60-59 with 5.9 seconds to go.
That forced Louisville to foul immediately, and Wright made both shots for the game's final points.
Both schools were coming off upset wins of top 10 teams on Saturday — Georgetown over Villanova and Louisville over Connecticut — and apparently 48 hours wasn't long enough for either team to recover. The teams combined to commit 12 turnovers before they could score a combined 12 points. The Hoyas shot 31 percent in the first half, the Cardinals 26 percent.
Clark missed all six of his shots in the game, and Louisville's Preston Knowles was 3 for 14, but no one was more off-kilter than Siva, who had seven turnovers in just 13 first-half minutes. Siva had never committed more than five turnovers in his 52 career games at Louisville, and many of them on Monday were embarrassing unforced errors, including a bad pass out of bounds that followed a timeout by coach Rick Pitino.
The way the game was going, Georgetown's 22-18 halftime lead looked insurmountable, and indeed that seemed to be the case for a while. The Hoyas had a 10-2 run early in the second half.
The lead was 43-32 when 3-pointers from Siva (his first points of the game), Chris Smith and Kyle Kuric ignited a 15-4 Louisville run. Suddenly, it was Georgetown's turn to commit turnovers, and a steal by the Cardinals in the backcourt led to a layup that tied the game at 47 with about 8 minutes to play.
Pitino made a change in the lineup, giving Kuric his first start since Jan. 5, ahead of Stephan Van Treese. Kuric finished with nine points.