Coach Patrick Ewing’s Homecoming trip to Jamaica didn’t go according to script as Georgetown fell to Loyola Marymount 65-52 on Friday night thanks in large part to a listless second half performance that saw the Hoyas shoot just 33 percent and commit 10 turnovers.
Jessie Govan led Georgetown (3-1) by notching his first double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds while freshmen Josh LeBlanc (12 points) and James Akinjo (10 points) also reached double figures for the Hoyas in the loss.
Loyola Marymount was pretty much as advertised as coach Mike Dunlap’s squad used a smothering defensive performance to go along with James Batemon’s game high 27 points, including a 13 for 13 performance from the free throw line. The Lions came in allowing just 52 points per game and that’s exactly what they limited Georgetown to a few days after the Hoyas scored 88 in a victory at Illinois.
Loyola Marymount has now won each game this season by double-digits in improving to 4-0 for the first time since 2014.
So where did the Hoyas lose this game?
Well, rebounding is a good place to start. For as poorly as Georgetown shot from the field, the Lions were just as off as both teams finished shooting just 35 percent for the game. LMU outrebounded the Hoyas 42-30 including a 15-6 edge on the offensive glass. 7-foot-3 center Mattias Markusson had a game high 13 boards with five coming on the offensive end helping LMU outscore Georgetown 13-3 in second chance points. LeBlanc and Jamorko Pickett each had five rebounds.
Speaking of Pickett, this is now two straight sub-par performances for last season’s All BIG EAST Freshmen selection. Pickett managed just five points in 15 minutes at Illinois on Tuesday and was held scoreless against LMU, missing all five attempts. Ewing has said many times this season that Pickett isn’t just a 3-point shooter on offense but so far this season the sophomore has made 10 field goals with eight of them being from deep. As Pickett struggles to find his game with this year’s team, the Hoyas will as well. Make no doubt about it, Pickett must feature as a one of Georgetown’s best players in order for this season to be a successful one.
LMU’s zone gave Georgetown fits all game long. Aside from Akinjo’s 10 points, the rest of the Hoyas guards combined for one point – a free throw from Mosely. Mac McClung and Jahvon Blair were both scoreless attempting just four shots. As a team Georgetown turned the ball over 15 times to go along with just 10 assists. The good news here is that there is some tape on zone struggles before that trip to Syracuse.
Now on the other end, Georgetown’s help side defense seemed non existent particularly in the second half. Getting by one defender is all it took for LMU. Batemon was the beneficiary for this as he made all 13 of his free throws, all of which came in the second half. It was clear that his halftime instructions were to get to the basket and it worked. Whether it was Mourning, Govan, or LeBlanc the help wasn’t there. In all, LMU shot 20 of their 25 free throws in the second half, making 19. There wasn’t enough resistance in getting to the rim and it showed.
Now as someone that has been very vocal against the weaker schedules since Ewing took charge, these are the types of opponents and games that can help a team get ready for conference play. Georgetown remains a young team that looked as though they struggled with the success that came along with winning at Illinois. The good news is that there is another test waiting on Sunday in the form of a South Florida team that had no problem in dismantling Ohio earlier on Friday.