Welp. That was not very pleasant. Despite holding Xavier to a two-point lead at halftime, Georgetown sputtered to an 88-70 defeat at the hands of the Musketeers. The song may say that "X Gon' Give it to Ya," but X did not give Georgetown any room to operate offensively, thanks to its suffocating pack-line defense. Of Georgetown's 61 shot attempts, 37 came from behind the arc as the Hoyas looked hopeless on the rare occasions they got the ball into the paint. Despite relatively efficient double-digit scoring performances from D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Isaac Copeland, and LJ Peak, the Hoyas still failed to match Xavier's balanced offensive attack, which saw four players-- Edmond Sumner, James Farr, Trevon Bluiett, and JP Macura-- all score 12 or more points.
Xavier could have made it much worse had they not shot a woeful 3-17 from behind the three-point line. Still, they made up for it by doing what every Georgetown opponent seems to do: drawing fouls. Xavier had 31 free throw attempts, including a perfect 9-9 from the charity stripe from guard Edmond Sumner, compared to Georgetown's 14. The Hoyas also coughed up the ball 12 times as offensive possessions continued to look messy and directionless.
Meanwhile, in the crowd, despite underwhelming attendance for a Saturday game (and the Gray Out game no less), the students in attendance came ready to enthusiastically cheer on their Hoyas. More than usual, the crowd was getting into heckling Xavier players. Myles Davis heard about how he looked 50 years old and received offers from Georgetown fans for AARP cards. As he was taking a three-point shot, I shouted, "Hey Myles, where's your trumpet?" He airballed the shot. JP Macura received a significant amount of jeering as well, with one fan mocking his over-enthusiasm for mundane moments by shouting that "JP's like that guy who downs the punt and gets really excited about it." I stuck to mocking him for cutting his own hair. For Edmund Sumner, I was even able to break out a Heckler's Guide fact. As he was preparing to shoot a three-pointer, I shouted "Sumner! Snake!" In sheer terror, Xavier's guard jacked a brick that led to a Marcus Derrickson rebound.
Fans also tried to distract opposing free throw shooters as usual, with Hoya Blue breaking out their new colorful spinning wheel, which I have termed the "Wheel of Misfortune." While it didn't succeed, it looks pretty in action.
Also, because it was the "Gray Out" game and not every t-shirt was taken, some fans tried to take more than one. I encountered one fan who found at least 40 and wore them all at once. During one timeout, he danced around looking like Chris Farley doing the "fat guy, little coat" dance in "Tommy Boy" and may have even made it on TV. Even though I didn't make it on TV, I did make sure to at least break out the "Soulja Boy" dance when "Crank That" came on during a timeout, and got some scoreboard time for bringing back the moves that rocked my middle school dances circa 2007.
As the first half wound down and Georgetown went on a 17-8 run over a five-minute span to turn a 25-16 deficit into a 33-33 tie, the crowd became progressively louder. The crowd gave an almost sarcastic cheer as Isaac Copeland broke a scoring drought that had lasted over four minutes, but two three-pointers from Reggie Cameron and two buckets from DSR brought the Hoyas back, with each one eliciting more noise from the Hoya crowd. During that run, we brought some relatively good noise.
The second half, however, was a different story, as Xavier sapped all of the crowd's first half enthusiasm by scoring 15 unanswered points in four minutes to start the second half. Xavier did not look back, but they may have seen Hoya fans slowly filing toward the exits. The student section crowd, which had filled at least the bottom section of temporary seats behind the basket, increasingly dwindled as fans decided that it was no longer worth it to stay and indulge in the misery. By the official under-4 timeout in the second half, there was plenty of room for activities in the student section. But I resigned myself to trying to find some positives. At one point, I shouted, "At least we have better chili in DC than Cincinnati!" Around that time, the sizable contingent of Xavier fans tried to cheer "Let's Go X," but they stopped when they realized that they did not really need to cheer. It was like they maybe felt bad for us.
Near the end of the game, I heard a fan a few seats away from me quietly chant "Esherick" and it gave me a chill. It's depressingly accurate that this season may be the first time since Craig Esherick's final season as coach in 2003-04 that the Hoyas finish with a losing record. This season has just been so disappointing. It would be nice if next Saturday, those of us in attendance will be able to see the seniors get sent off with a win in what will most likely be their last home game. Hopefully I'll see many of you at the game and maybe even meet some of you at some of the Casual Extravaganza festivities!
Hoya Saxa! Beat Butler!