Villanova, Pa. — In need of a signature win to get back on the bubble Georgetown battled back at No. 2 Villanova only to ultimately lose by double digits for the fifth straight time on the road against the Wildcats.
As expected and as needed LJ Peak and Rodney Pryor once again did the heavy lifting offensively by scoring 21 and 20 points respectively. Pryor narrowly missed his second double-double of the season in finishing with nine rebounds. No other Hoya scored more than six points and that was by Bradley Hayes who played 13 minutes off the bench.
In the end it was the defense that once again failed the Hoyas as they fouled Villanova on their next two possessions sending Hoya killer Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson to the line. For the game Georgetown had 19 fouls to Villanova’s 12.
Peak’s final turnover of the game was then followed by Hart’s fourth 3-pointer of the game to officially end things. Peak finished with four turnovers and six assists. The junior has had at least five assists in four of his last five games.
The loss leaves the Hoyas (13-12, 4-8) all but needing to run the table in their final six regular season games to make a legitimate case for NCAA Tournament consideration no matter how impressive their final SOS and other numbers end up being. At some point the losses just add up to too high of a number.
Key Numbers: In Georgetown’s two road conference wins against Butler and DePaul the Hoyas had shot at least 54 percent from the field, 45 percent from 3, and attempted more free throws than their opponents. Georgetown hit none of these metrics tonight.
Georgetown did assist on 19 of 24 baskets which is always a good sign for their Princeton heavy offense but 12 turnovers and Villanova’s 16-8 edge in points off turnovers were big.
Odd Lineups: Georgetown held its largest lead of the game at 9-5 after the U16 media timeout and then we saw something that I’m not sure we’ve seen all season or at least in quite some time as JT3 went with goal line package of Hayes, Akoy Agau, and Marcus Derrickson. Against a smaller Villanova team that has guys all over the place that can dribble, drive, and shoot, this didn’t go over so well.
Odd Lineups Pt. 2: Jessie Govan picked up three first half fouls and naturally found himself planted on the bench for most of the first half. Govan played just seven minutes as the Hoyas trailed 43-28 at the half. That makes sense.
What didn’t make sense to me was waiting until the U12 media timeout in the second half to put in both Govan and Derrickson. Naturally they were both on the floor during the Hoyas 19-4 run over nine minutes that saw the Georgetown cut the lead down from 17 to just 2.
JT3’s post game response on the decision to go with Agau and Kaleb Johnson over his starters sort of makes it sound like those guys weren’t playing defense all thatwell.
Said JT3: “It wasn’t foul trouble. I just wanted to see if we could get smaller and start switching more things.”
NCAAs: Like I said earlier it’s looking like this has turned into a run the table situation with six games left. Going 5-1 might do it but that probably includes beating both Villanova and Creighton on the road. Georgetown has only made the NCAA Tournament once with 12 regular seasons losses and that came in 1991. The most losses a JT3 team has suffered and still received an at-large bid is ten and that’s happened three times.
NIT or .500 record: Georgetown now needs to go 3-3 down the stretch to ensure a winning record after the BIG EAST Tournament. What this means is that the Marquette game has basically become a must win in order to avoid a second straight losing campaign.
Misc: Pryor hit 3 of his 10 3-pointers tonight to give him 63 on the season. That ties Markel Starks output from his junior year in 2013 for 10th best single season performance in Georgetown history. Pryor has at least seven games left and could pass DSR’s 73 from last year which is 4th most in a season for a Hoya....Tre Campbell missed the game with a knee injury from the bus accident on the way to the game on Monday afternoon....Peak is now in a Top 40 all-time scorer passing Ashanti Cook and Brian Sheehan to move up to 38th place...Villanova announces both their coach and the opposing head coach during warmups. Something that is no longer done at Georgetown home games....I had been to the Hoyas win over Villanova in The Pavilion in 2005 when Georgetown ruined their 20th Anniversary party. Obviously Villanova wasn’t the defending National Champs at the time so I’m sure the atmosphere has improved but it was really impressive to be in the building tonight.
On a personal night I did a sideways Facebook live with Tyler Pearre from The Voice for a few minutes because the normal tech guy Ben Standig couldn’t make the trip. Also with the loss my beard will be around for at least as long as the Groundhog saw his shadow.