Georgetown's Whittington is up to the task in win over Western Carolina

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Sports,College,Brian McNally

Career-best game lifts Hoyas

The skill is there for Georgetown forward Greg Whittington, and the heart is often willing. But sometimes the results on the court remain ugly during his transition to a key cog during the Hoyas' strong start to the 2012-13 season.

Whittington, a versatile 6-foot-8 sophomore, was at his best Saturday in an impressive 81-68 win over Western Carolina at Verizon Center. He scored a career-high 25 points and capped a double-double with 11 rebounds as No. 15 Georgetown improved to 9-1 on the year with just one game left before Big East Conference play begins Jan. 5.

Whittington made eight of 12 from the floor, knocked down three 3-pointers and consistently got to the free throw line, where he made six of eight shots. He committed just two turnovers and helped the Hoyas survive a 3-point barrage by Western Carolina in the first half. The Catamounts (4-7) took an early lead and made 11 of 22 3s on the afternoon.

"I don't judge by how [Whittington] does just looking at the stat sheet because he can do so many different things that don't show up on the stat sheet," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "I thought Greg was very good, with a few mix-ups, for the most part not allowing [Western Carolina guard Tom Tank?elewicz] to get the easy looks he was getting at the beginning of the game."

Indeed, Tankelewicz finished with 24 points and played all 40 minutes. Despite the coaching staff telling Georgetown's players that the junior would be one of the best shooters they will face all season, he was left open far too often. Tankelewicz knocked down a career-best six 3-point shots.

But in the end Whittington and Jabril Trawick, who finished with 14 points and two assists in 23 minutes, proved to be too much. The Hoyas finished the first half on a 13-3 run to take a 41-30 lead. After a 3-pointer by Whittington with 14:30 to play, they were up 59-38 and had taken complete control of the contest. That lead built to a high of 26 after a Markel Starks reverse layup at 11:24. The lead never dropped below 13 again.

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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Brian McNally

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner