Georgetown made it look easy.
The eighth-seeded Hoyas steamrollered their way into the Big East quarterfinals with a 69-49 drubbing of No. 9 South Florida Wednesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. But don't expect Georgetown to manhandle regular-season league champion Syracuse when the two clash for a Big East Tournament record 13th time in today's quarterfinals.
"We have to make shots and guard our guys," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said, referring to the Orange, which defeated his team twice during the regular season. "They are a good team. They can hurt you in many different ways. They have a terrific defense. So we just have to come out and execute at both ends of the floor."
Executing that game plan against Syracuse will be tough. But Georgetown implemented it to a T against South Florida and its one-man show, Dominique Jones.
South Florida, which defeated DePaul, 58-49, in the opening game of the tournament, pulled to within 35-29 when Jarrid Famous converted a conventional three-point play 3:08 into the second half. But the Bulls (20-12) failed to put together any significant runs against a taller, more physical Georgetown team.
The Bulls' only chance of an upset rested on the shoulders of Jones, the Big East scoring leader. But the 6-4 guard struggled from the start - and got no help from his teammates. Jones was 6-for-18 from the floor, including 0-for-5 from three-point range. He scored 12 of his team's 19 points in the first half and finished with 21.
South Florida shot 29.1 percent (16 of 55) for the game and was 1-for-10 from behind the arc.
"We really struggled to find a shot," Bulls coach Stan Heath said. "We couldn't hit a perimeter jump shot. Sometimes when that happens, you're not able to make shots and it affects your defense.
"But I'm real proud of our team. We never gave up. We kept fighting. We struggled making shots, but we tried to do anything we could to give ourselves a chance. We just couldn't get it done today."