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built an 11-point edge be­fore the grind­ing Hoyas had pos­ses­sion down 63-61 with 24.1 sec­onds re­main­ing com­ing out of a timeout.

The ini­tial plan was to fun­nel it into Henry Sims, the hub of the Hoyas’ of­fense all year. He even­tu­ally kicked it out to Otto Porter, and the fresh­man’s midrange jumper clanked harm­lessly off the front of the rim with 13 sec­onds left.

“The play just broke down,” Porter said. “I tried to put up a shot, and it just didn’t go in.”

A harm­less trade of free throws and a layup en­sued, with Clark’s shot with N.C. State’s Lorenzo Brown bad­ger­ing him pro­vid­ing the only sus­pense the rest of the way. The Hoyas could have waited, and maybe they should have.

After all, there was time re­main­ing, and Porter had a de­fender nearby. Maybe too nearby.

“You want to get the last shot, but at that time it was the best avail­able shot,” guard Markel Starks lamented. “He got fouled. He got fouled.”

It was that sort of af­ter­noon for Ge­orge­town, which found it­self on the wrong end of bell­wether de­vel­op­ments for both teams.

Scott Wood, the Wolf­pack gun­ner so of­ten flus­tered by larger foes, made four 3-point­ers — and N.C. State im­proved to 10-0 when he does so.

Sims, so vi­tal to the func­tion­al­ity of the Hoyas’ of­fense, rapidly found him­self in foul trou­ble. He played only six min­utes in the first half and didn’t score un­til the fi­nal 52 sec­onds.

His four points were a sea­son low, and Ge­orge­town lost for the fourth time in its last five games when the se­nior did not reach dou­ble fig­ures.

“Are we bet­ter when Henry’s on the court? Yes,” coach John Thomp­son III said. “But do we have other peo­ple that con­sis­tently all year have stepped up when he hasn’t been on the court? The an­swer to that is yes, also.”

Sims’ pres­ence is a lux­ury Ge­orge­town no longer will en­joy, his break­out se­nior sea­son com­plete. Clark, too, de­parts after a fairly quiet finale in which he was score­less for a 28minute stretch and fin­ished with 10 points.

The in­di­vid­ual dy­nam­ics, though, weren’t the root cause of the out­come.

The Hoyas al­lowed N.C. State to re­bound 40 per­cent of its misses, lead­ing to a 15-8 edge in sec­ond-chance points. Ge­orge­town also hoisted 25 3point­ers, Sims’ ab­sence for ex­tended swaths only a par­tial ex­pla­na­tion for the sud­den shot-hap­pi­ness from the perime­ter.

“We had the right guys tak­ing the shots,” Thomp­son said. “They just didn’t go in as much as we would like.”

No, they didn’t. The teary-eyed locker room he had de­parted mo­ments ear­lier was tes­ta­ment to that.


N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie (right) col­lides with Ge­orge­town’s Henry Sims dur­ing the sec­ond half. Sims, a se­nior, fin­ished with 10 points in the Hoyas’ 66-63 thir­dround loss in the NCAA tour­na­ment.

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