The Georgetown Hoyas suffered their third loss of the year (first at home) to the SMU Mustangs on Saturday. In a game marked with Jamorko Pickett in a suit on the bench and some different lineup combinations, Georgetown’s recently troubled defense seems to be the focal point of the commentary and news.
Here are the links:
Yet Georgetown looked out of sorts from the moment it stepped onto the court. The Hoyas’ defense let them down, and their clunky offense failed to make up the difference in an 81-73 loss, their first defeat of the season at home.
“Couldn’t stop anybody,” said Coach Patrick Ewing, the lone Georgetown representative to address members of the media after the loss. “They just put their head down and were able to get to the basket a few times on pick and rolls. We didn’t play the way that we talked about in the shoot-around or in practice. They were able to slip out and get layups; no one came over and took charges. So it was just, to me, a total breakdown.”
Josh LeBlanc? More like Josh LeBLOCK! pic.twitter.com/vWC5xWEDcB— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) December 15, 2018
The Hoyas appeared to have the momentum as Govan nailed a wide-open three off a feed from Akinjo, who had drawn away the SMU defense. Unfortunately for Georgetown, the Mustangs began converting on their second chances and Nat Dixon answered with a triple of his own. Midway through the first half, the miscues began. Greg Malinowski attempted a long three, Govan missed off the rebound, and Josh LeBlanc’s attempt to corral the rebound saw him slip out of bounds. SMU took the lead (for good) at the 9:30 mark of the first half.
The Mustangs extended their lead courtesy of a 19-5 run. SMU was heating up while the Hoyas were getting stripped and mishandling passes.
Josh LeBlanc cleaning things up down low! pic.twitter.com/Laqj8k77lj— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) December 15, 2018
The Mustangs never trailed after the 17-5 run, holding the Hoyas to 39.7 percent shooting from the field and scoring 18 points off 13 Georgetown turnovers. The Hoyas cut into the SMU lead in the second half, but the Mustangs defense clamped down and held Georgetown without a field goal for the last 3:31 of the game.
”I’m just so proud of the way we stuck together and executed down the stretch,” Jankovich said. “We really bowed up defensively, I thought, when we needed to in the last two and a half, three minutes and we played with a lot of toughness.”
Mac McClung drives to the hoop, absorbs the contact, and gets the scoop layup to go. He has 4 points early on. pic.twitter.com/dN2zGhkvXg— Hoyas247 (@Hoyas247) December 15, 2018
The Hoyas shot 4-18 from the three-point line in the loss, their second-worst three-point shooting effort of the season behind their 3-19 effort in the loss to Loyola Marymount.
It’s easy to see why the Hoyas chose to attempt this strategy against SMU, as the Mustangs allow three-pointers at a 36.9% clip (three percent above the national average) and nearly half of the field goals attempted against SMU this year have come from beyond the arc (44.1%). It’s a fine strategy when it works. When it doesn’t, Saturday afternoon the result. To compound matters, Georgetown’s three-point shooting was particularly bad in the second half, making just one of their nine attempts, and it came two minutes into the half.
NB: Not sure that shooting threes was a deliberate strategy. Check out what Ewing says below.
“We need to win games like this,” Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing said. “Teams like this are the teams we’re going to be playing when the Big East starts.” ...
Georgetown struggled from beyond the arc in the second half, going 1-of-9. Despite Georgetown grabbing five more offensive rebounds, the teams were even on second chance points with 11 each. Georgetown also had 13 turnovers, coming at crucial times in the game.
“We weren’t making shots,” Ewing said of the struggles from 3-point range. “For the most part I felt we got good shots, we just didn’t hit them.”
SPORTS: "'We need to win games like this,” Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing said. “Teams like this are the teams we’re going to be playing when the Big East starts.'”https://t.co/KvWGpyIAJy— The Georgetown Voice (@GtownVoice) December 15, 2018
SMU went on a 15-2 run with Nat Dixon, who started it with two 3-pointers, scoring all 11 of his points for a 23-17 lead. The Mustangs never trailed after that.
McMurray converted all three free throws in the final minute for a 39-34 halftime lead and hit a 3 as the Mustangs scored the first five of the second half. The lead was 11 when the Hoyas reeled off 11 straight and it stayed close the rest of the way.
SMU made 5 of 6 from the foul line in the final minute while Georgetown, which shot 40 percent for the game, missed its last three shots and was 1 of 8 in the final six minutes.
Jahmal McMurray scored 19 points, Isiaha Mike and Ethan Chargois had 17 apiece and SMU defeated Georgetown 81-73 on Saturday. Freshman Mac McClung (Gate City) totaled 13 points for Georgetown, his fourth straight game scoring in double digits. He was 3-for-8 from the field, 7-for-9 from the free throw line and also had three assists, two rebounds and one turnover. McClung is averaging 9.6 points per game for the Hoyas.
Former @GeorgetownHoops coach John Thompson Jr.: “I love Mac McClung. A lot of kids can’t handle the rigors of college basketball, especially at this level, but he has proven that he can. He is very polite and the type of kid that I would have recruited.” https://t.co/2sPwJXqD2s— Times News Sports (@tnsportslive) December 16, 2018
There were just over 6,700 fans in attendance for Saturday’s game. One of those was legendary Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr., a big fan of McClung and for reasons that shouldn’t surprise anyone.
“I love Mac McClung. A lot of kids can’t handle the rigors of college basketball, especially at this level, but he has proven that he can,” said Thompson, who won a national championship with Georgetown in 1984. “He is very polite and the type of kid that I would have recruited.”
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Same #Hoyas Play. Akinjo shld have already passed the ball to Trey Mourning @ 18:44. TM’s Defender’s back is to the ball. TM can either shoot an uncontested jumper in rhythm from elbow or if @McClungMac’s guy slides up, Mac has clear path baseline for ally oop dunk! @CoachEwing33 pic.twitter.com/M9LBtQmxFz— Ash Vanderbilt (@AshVanderbilt) December 16, 2018