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No. 20 Georgetown beats Tennessee 37-36

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No. 20 Georgetown beats Tennessee 37-36

WASHINGTON (AP) Georgetown and Tennessee held each other scoreless over the final four minutes, and the No. 20 Hoyas beat the Volunteers 37-36 in a display of abysmal shooting Friday night in the SEC/Big East Challenge.

On a night when the ``challenge'' part of the event was the task of simply putting the ball in the basket, the teams combined to make just 7 of 20 shots - from the free throw line. The field-goal shooting was just as horrid, with the Vols hitting 33 percent and the Hoyas 36 percent.

Appropriately enough, the final possession of the game consisted of an air ball by Tennessee's Skylar McBee. The rebound went out of bounds to the Vols, and Jordan McRae's 3-pointer at the buzzer clanged off the rim.

No player scored in double figures for either team.

Georgetown (5-1) had a great stretch last week to move into the Top 25, beating then-No. 11 UCLA and losing in overtime to top-ranked Indiana on back-to-back nights. Tennessee (4-2) came in with a two-game winning streak after a mid-November loss to Oklahoma State.

Neither team looked like a winner Friday night.

The Vols started 4 for 22 from the field and late in the first half had nearly as many fouls (10) as points (11).

The half ended with McRae putting up with air ball on a baseline runner. The rebound went to teammate Trae Golden, who hit a lucky bank shot at the buzzer to complete a half-ending 7-0 run and give the Vols an 18-16 lead - even though they were shooting 27 percent.

Georgetown did no better, also shooting 27 percent and going without a field goal for the last 10:13 of the half. Mikael Hopkins had an especially miserable time, missing three easy layups and four free throws in the first 20 minutes.

The Hoyas got some momentum early in the second half, using their defense to spur a 15-5 run capped by a nice baseline move by Markel Starks, making the score 31-23 with 12 minutes to play.

Then the Vols found a rhythm for the only time in the game, converting back-to-back transition baskets and taking the lead when McBee's 3-pointer ended a 9-0 run.

From there it was back-and-forth, with the team trading fouls, turnovers and the occasional basket. An offensive foul on Jabril Trawick with 1:18 to play gave the Vols the ball trailing by one, but Jarnell Stokes didn't come close with an air ball jumper with the shot clock running down.

Georgetown grabbed the rebound and called a timeout, but the Hoyas gave the ball right back when Otto Porter took his eyes off a simple pass near midcourt. The ball went out of bounds, and Tennessee had 20.9 seconds on the clock to set up a final possession.

No matter. The Vols still couldn't make a shot.

Georgetown starter Nate Lubick suffered an apparent injury to his left arm in the first half did not play after halftime.

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Follow Joseph White on Twitter:http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

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Tom Wilson immediately moves back onto the top line for Tuesday’s game in Minnesota

Tom Wilson immediately moves back onto the top line for Tuesday’s game in Minnesota

After a neutral arbitrator reduced Tom Wilson’s suspension on Tuesday, head coach Todd Reirden is wasting no time getting him back into the lineup. Wilson will make his season debut against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday  (8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Washington) and he will play on the top line alongside Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

“That's where he's most comfortable,” Reirden said after the team’s morning skate Tuesday.

“They had some preseason time together and I thought it was the right move to do tonight. I liked some of the things that we saw from some of the adjustments we made last game, but I think this will allow Tom to have the most success after an extended period of time out of game action.”

With Wilson’s return the Caps will have their full offensive lineup for the first time this season. After reuniting Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie on the top line for Sunday’s game, Reirden has elected to change things again go with the same top nine that worked so effectively during the team’s playoff run last season, per Isabelle Khurshudyan.

Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky – Lars Eller – Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson – Travis Boyd – Devante Smith-Pelly

Dmitry Orlov – John Carlson
Michal Kempny – Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos – Madison Bowey

Pheonix Copley to start.

The addition of Wilson dramatically changes the team’s lineup and chemistry. Not only does it make the lineup deeper, he also obviously adds a major physical element.

“He's such a big part of our team, of the way we play, of the culture on and off the ice that we've been missing something,” Oshie said. “It's been 43 so it's great to have him back.”

While the Caps are getting their top-line winger back, the team is also entering the game well aware that it may take time for him to get up to game speed.

“For him, we have to have realistic expectations that he's going to have a little bit of a learning curve here in terms of getting back up to speed and getting back up to the pace of play which is something that's at an all-time high this year,” Reirden said.

With that in mind, do not be surprised to see the Caps shuffle their offensive lines throughout the night rather than lean on Wilson to play 18+ minutes in his first game back, especially if the Caps get into penalty trouble and Wilson plays on the penalty kill.

While Wilson did travel with the team in the event that his suspension would be reduced and he would be eligible to play, neither he nor the team received any advanced notice that he would be available.

“I wake up this morning and at 8:30 I get news I've got to get ready to play,” Wilson said.

“It was definitely a unique experience, one that you don't ever want to go through, a bit eye-opening. At the end of the day, there's a game today, I've got to focus on that and it's a big road trip so I've got to focus on this team getting back on track and do whatever I can to help out.”

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TJ Oshie celebrates Tom Wilson's return with incredible 'Free Willy 3' poster

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TJ Oshie celebrates Tom Wilson's return with incredible 'Free Willy 3' poster

After 16 games and an up and down start to 2018, the Washington Capitals can finally welcome their stud right winger Tom Wilson back to the lineup. 

On Tuesday, Wilson's 20-game suspension was reduced to 14 thanks to a neutral arbitrator. 

TJ Oshie apparently couldn't contain his excitement as he took to Twitter sharing a hilarious poster to celebrate. 

This wasn't the first time Wilson's fellow right winger posted something comical regarding Wilson's suspension. In fact, Tuesday's celebratory tweet completed the trilogy. 

Remember the initial Free Willy poster that kicked things off in October 2017? 

Or what about the sequel from last May? 

The Capitals travel to Minnesota for an 8 p.m. puck drop Tuesday night and although his playing status is unconfirmed, all signs point towards it being likely the 24-year-old will be in the lineup. 

 

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