WASHINGTON (AP) — Chris Wright scored a career-high 34 points, Greg Monroe added 16 points and 16 rebounds, and No. 14 Georgetown used a half-ending 11-0 run to break open a tight game and beat Harvard 86-70 Wednesday, avoiding a second consecutive loss.
Wright is the first Georgetown player to reach 30 in a game since Jeff Green hit that mark against Notre Dame in the Big East tournament in March 2007.
Georgetown and Harvard were tied at 33 with 3½ minutes left in the first half before the Hoyas took control at both ends of the court to go up 44-33 at halftime.
Austin Freeman scored 21 for Georgetown (9-1), which was playing its first game since its first setback of the season, a 61-57 loss to Old Dominion on Saturday.
Harvard (7-3) was led by Jeremy Lin’s 15 points. He made his first six shot attempts but missed his other four.
Wright, a 6-foot-1 junior guard from Bowie, Md., shot 13 for 21 and had six rebounds and four assists. His previous best for Georgetown was 28 points against Syracuse last season. Against Harvard, Wright scored 21 of his points in the second half before heading to the sideline for good with 1:15 left and the game’s outcome clear.
Wright made quite a turnaround from the Old Dominion defeat, when he scored only four points and shot 2 for 8.
That upset came at the Hoyas’ tiny on-campus McDonough Arena. On Wednesday, Georgetown was back at the usual site of its home games, Verizon Center, and the Hoyas extended their winning streak there against non-conference opponents to 22 games.
Harvard, meanwhile, was coming off a two-week layoff since a victory over Boston College on Dec. 9. In its game before that, the Ivy League school also tested Top 25 team Connecticut, losing by six on Dec. 6.
Georgetown was the squad that looked rusty at the outset Wednesday, though, finding trouble getting into its offense and trailing 12-9 after 5 minutes. With Monroe, Freeman and Wright leading the way, the Hoyas eventually got going in the right direction.
But even though Georgetown led by as many as eight points midway through the first half, coach Tommy Amaker’s Crimson Tide kept chipping away. When Harvard guard Oliver McNally put in a fastbreak layup, the score was 33-33.
And that’s when Georgetown got serious.
With disciplined play on offense and some good old Georgetown shutdown defense, the Hoyas scored the next 11 points.
Jason Clark got things started with a 3-pointer, Monroe scored off a putback, Freeman hit a 3, and Wright made a free throw. Then came this sequence: Monroe lost the ball on the blocks, then went to the other end and stole it right back, feeding Wright for a layup.
Monroe nearly collected a double-double by halftime, with 10 points and nine rebounds. His final rebound total was a career best for the sophomore.