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Georgetown turns things around on Thomas More men in a big way in an NAIA Top-15 battle

By Dan Weber
NKyTribune sports reporter

The math doesn’t exactly work. Or at least it didn’t work for Thomas More.

On Nov. 19, the NAIA’s then No. 2 TMU men’s basketball team clobbered a then-eighth-ranked Georgetown, 61-38, at Georgetown.

Near-capacity crowd at TMU’s game with Georgetown

On Thursday night at home at the Connor Convocation Center, a now 15th-ranked NAIA Georgetown team returned the favor – in spades, knocking off No. 10 Thomas More, 72-61.

That’s a 34-point turnaround as Georgetown (17-3, 11-3 in the Mid-South Conference) also won the battle for second place in the MSC over TMU (14-5, 9-5).

How’d they do that, TMU Coach Justin Ray was asked.

Easy answer. Just two words, one name actually.

Georgetown’s Jake Ohmer

Jake Ohmer,” Ray said without hesitation, naming the former Scott High star from Taylor Mill who averaged 29 points a game as a star senior scorer in Northern Kentucky before heading off to Western Kentucky for a couple of years, then transferring to Georgetown for a year, then sitting out a couple of years and finally, having just turned 24, returning to Georgetown for his senior year – and final season.

And in just his sixth game since becoming eligible for the second semester, Ohmer did what Ohmer does, scoring 19 points, handing out four of Georgetown’s five assists and running the Tigers the way you’d expect for a man of his experience.

“He’s grown up and matured,” Georgetown Coach Chris Briggs said. “I can’t wait to watch him walk across the stage with his diploma.”

“This is big for us,” said Ohmer, a Communications major. “We’re playing for one of the homecourt seeds in the NAIA Tournament (16 teams get one for the first two games) and they were ranked ahead of us.”

But that wasn’t all. “All my family was here,” Ohmer said of the loud band of Georgetown fans that kept up the noise in a near-capacity crowd. I live five miles from here. It means a lot to us.”

“They’re a different team with that guy out there,” Ray said after what was his team’s third straight loss.

TMU’s Reid Jolly

“First time that’s happened since I was a freshman,” fourth-year TMU player Noah Pack said.

“Ohmer is definitely a big piece of that, he can score at all three levels,” TMU’s Reid Jolly said of the 6-foot-1 Scott alum. “But It’s a long season, we all believe we can be a really good team.”

Ray thinks Georgetown is already there. “That’s an explosive team,” he said. “You have to control the pace against those guys. And not just pace. You can’t turn the ball over against them” or they’ll get it up the court for a quick conversion.

Cam Brooks-Harris, a 6-foot-7 transfer from Zanesville, Ohio, by way of Barton (Kan.) Community College, led Georgetown with 21 points on nine-of-13 shooting. He hit three three-pointers and a flying slam dunk in traffic. The Saints simply had no good matchup for him.

“It was night and day from the first game,” Georgetown’s Briggs said. “They (TMU) have a way of taking you out of your game,” he said of being held to 38 points at home by the Saints. “We toughened up, played through it, you have to rebound and play defense.”

Which is what Georgetown did, outrebounding TMU 33-31 and holding the Saints to 38.1 percent (24 of 63) from the field while shooting 50.9 percent (28 of 55) themselves.

TMU’s Noah Pack

“We struggled offensively,” Ray said, but there was more effort than in the two road losses last week at Tennessee Southern and Cumberlands. This effort would have won those games, Ray said.

But not good enough on this night. Not against this Georgetown team.

“We had too many mistakes,” Ray said, “but for the most part we fought.”

Getting new starter Kyle Ross acclimated is what they’re working on, Ray said. “We tried to simplify some things,” he said. But even when they got good looks, their layups rolled off. It was that kind of night.

St. Henry alum Wyatt Vieth, with 20 points including six of seven from three-point range, led TMU scorers. Jolly had 13, Pack 11.

The Saints head off to Cumberland (Ky.) Saturday to play a team TMU beat 86-61 at home Nov. 17. Does that matter? This Georgetown game says maybe not too much.

GEORGETOWN (17-3, 11-3 MSC): Brooks-Harris 9-3-0-21, J. Ohmer 8-0-3-19, Dozier 3-0-4-10, Jones 4-0-3-11, LaMont 0-0-0-0, Wales 2-0-0-4, Bishop 2-0-1-5, Johnson 0-0-0-0, Spikes 0-0-2-2, TOTALS: 28-3-13-72.
THOMAS MORE (14-5, 9-5): Jolly 6-1-0-13, Ross 2-0-2-6, Pack 5-0-1-11, Vieth 7-6-0-20, George 2-0-0-4, Jones 1-0-2-4, Smith 0-0-0-0, Draud 0-0-0-0, Eddings 1-1-0-3, TOTALS: 24-8-5-61.

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