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The No. 1 Ranked NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Preseason Top-25 Poll, Georgetown College men's basketball team connected on 34 free-throws as the Tigers defeated Olivet Nazarene in the opening game of the Central Bank Jim Reid Classic on Friday night at the Davis-Reid Alumni Gym.
"Once again we got off to a terrible start that's something we'll have to fix," said GC coach Chris Briggs. "I'm very pleased with how they fought back, and this team has a will to win, as they showed tonight."
As a team, Georgetown outshot the visitors 79.1 – 69.0 percent from the charity stripe in a game that featured combined 56 fouls.
Senior guard Monty Wilson was one of three Georgetown players to score in double figures. The Decatur, Ill., native scored a game and career-high 40 points on 11-of-19 shooting. Trenity Burdine and Deondre McWhorter joined Wilson in double-figures with 13 and 11 points respectively.
McWhorter, a sophomore from Louisville, Ky., recorded a team-high 10 rebounds as the 6-foot-8 forward recorded his third career double-double and first since Feb. 9, 2013.
Wilson who came into the game ranked No. 19 in NAIA Division I men's basketball in points per game (19.5) topped his previous record (33) by scored his previous record of 33 points on Feb. 16, 2013 in a 104-100 victory over Bluefield (Va.) at Davis-Reid.
Georgetown (5-0) fell behind 7-0 as the Tigers missed their first three shots, all 3-pointers through the opening 1:31 as the visitors from Bourbonnais, Ill., made their first three shots from the floor.
After a miss by Noah Cottrill at the 18:29 mark Zach Wagner was whistled for an offensive foul. That foul, the first of three straight called on Wagner over the following 30 seconds.
McWhorter netted the Tigers first point of the night when he hit 1-of-2 free throws to cut the deficit to six (7-1) at the 17:58 mark.
That point spurred on ONU to a 4-0 run to take a 10 point (11-1) lead with 14:39 left in the first half.
Georgetown responded with a 7-2 run over the next 1:02 as Cottrill, McWhorter and Montavious Marc put the Tigers within five (13-8).
Over the next 5:27 Olivet outscored the top-ranked Tigers 15-4 to take a 16 point (28-12) lead.
Georgetown clawed back within 12 (50-38) as they closed the half on a 9-0 run.
At the half Wilson had a team leading nine points on 2-of-8 shooting and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe as Georgetown took advantage of 17 team fouls against Olivet to shoot 17-of-22 (.772) from the foul line as a team.
Georgetown came out of the locker room firing as it outscored Olivet Nazarene 19-7 over the first 5:36 of the second half to tie the game at 57-57.
Following an ONU timeout the Tigers converted with an emphatic dunk by Marc to give Georgetown its first lead of the contest (59-57) with 13:53 remaining in the game.
Wilson gave Georgetown its largest lead of eight points (74-66) when the 6-foot-4 guard knocked down one of his six 3-pointers with 9:15 remaining.
Olivet Nazarene closed within one (79-78 when Matt Ryan put back a Tony Banks miss with 5:58 remaining.
The two teams traded baskets till Banks made both shots of a double bonus free throw with less than a minute remaining to cut Georgetown's lead to one (88-87).
Over the final 58 seconds Georgetown held off the visitors to move to 37-2 all-time at the Central Bank Jim Reid Classic since its first contest in 1994. During that stretch GC has won 17-titles in the 19-year history of the classic.
The Central Bank 20th Annual Jim Reid Classic continues tomorrow when the Running Eagles of Life University face the Tigers of Olivet Nazarene University at 2 p.m. at the Davis-Reid Alumni Gym.
Georgetown returns to action on Sunday when the Tigers host Life (Ga.) in the final contest of the Central Bank Jim Reid Classic at 2 p.m.