Hard work in practice earned Maurice Pearson a place in Georgetown's starting lineup against Pikeville Thursday night.
Pearson, who transferred from Ohio University at the semester break, scored seven points early in the game. He finished with 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds in the Tigers' 84-58 victory.
Pearson, a 6-foot-9 redshirt freshman, found out earlier Thursday that he would start for the third-ranked Tigers.
"I was kind of surprised," he said, "but at the same time I felt I was ready. I was getting more familiar with the system."
Pearson had played in eight games, averaged six minutes and had scored 17 points and grabbed 23 rebounds.
"We try to honor hard work in practice," Georgetown Coach Happy Osborne said.
The third-ranked Tigers (19-1, 3-0 Mid-South Conference) asserted themselves from the tip-off.
After a pair of ties, Georgetown scored seven consecutive points for a 15-8 lead.
Pearson scored the first three points in the run. That gave him seven for the game in only four minutes.
Pikeville fought back with five points in a row before Georgetown's Matt Walls drilled a three-pointer. He hit another three to spark an 8-0 run, and a layup by Vincent Crutcher gave the Tigers their first double-figure lead of the game.
The Bears went four minutes and 44 seconds without a point while Georgetown built a 36-17 lead. Pikeville (12-7, 1-2) missed five shots and committed five turnovers.
Georgetown's biggest lead of the half was 41-20 with 1:05 left.
The Tigers shot 56.7 percent to Pikeville's 32.1 percent. The Bears were outrebounded 17-12 and made a dozen turnovers to the Tigers' seven.
Georgetown had five players with at least six points.
In less than six minutes, the Tigers led 57-30, their biggest lead to that point.
"Our effort was good," Osborne said. "(Point guard) Jerry Turner is working back into form."
"We played pretty well," said Johonne Hamilton, one of several Tigers who contributed off the bench. "Coach Happy prepared us, and we came out and executed. We kept passing until we got an open shot."
Georgetown shot 52.5 percent for the game to Pikeville's 37.9 percent. The Tigers forced 18 turnovers, made 11 steals and blocked six shots. They had an 18-7 edge in assists.
"We had the right intentions," Pikeville Coach Kelly Wells said. "I'm definitely disappointed.... Nobody was ready to play."
Crutcher led the winners with 15 points. Vic Moses had 12 and Turner scored 11. Fifteen Tigers played, none more than 22 minutes.
Georgetown 91, Pikeville 56: Two Lady Tigers passed the 1,000-point milestone in Georgetown's big win over the Bears. Jayme Gilbert, who finished with 10 points and six rebounds, and Ashley Bell, who had 13 points, both hit threes to reach the career mark.
Meanwhile, Katie Filiatreau was busy pouring in a game-high 27 points for Georgetown (12-9, 1-2 Mid-South Conference). She hit seven threes on 11 tries.