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LINKS: Mount Up, Hoyas Regulate in Last 7 Minutes

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Does one focus on the bad start or the 20-1 final run?

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgetown Hoyas rallied to beat the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers in a game that had every Hoyas fan sick to their stomach. Finishing with a 20-1 run, the Hoyas came back to defeat the Mount by a score of 81-68 on Wednesday night in the season-opener. Barely.

While the stat sheet looks fairly typical in retrospect, more than 75% of the game was absolutely abysmal. Defense is still an issue and the newcomers were plainly out-of-sync.

Still, as Omer Yurtseven said, “We came back from 19. I think that’s a good signal for the team.”

Here are the links:

Mt. St. Mary’s vs. Georgetown - Game Recap - November 6, 2019 | (AP) ESPN

A free throw for the Mountaineers scored with 46 seconds left closed the scoring. Mt. St. Mary’s missed its last seven shots of the game while the Hoyas made their last six and went 16 of 19 in the final 15 1/2 minutes.

Jalen Gibbs had 19 points for the Mountaineers. Vado Morse added 18 points.

Mount St. Mary’s led 37-25 at the half as the Hoyas shot 30% and made of 1 of 10 3-pointers. The lead was 19 points [] with 17 1/2 minutes to play. The Hoyas shot 65.6% in the second half, making 7 of 11 from distance.

Hoyas use second half effort to down Mount St. Mary’s, 81-68 | BIGEASTCOASTBIAS

The Hoyas trailed by seven, 58-65, with 7:10 remaining. After this point, though, the Hoyas dominated all phases of the game. Yurtseven, Akinjo, McClung, and Mosely found their groove offensively as Georgetown controlled the pace and ran effective half-court sets to generate open shots.

Defensively, the Blue & Gray pressed higher up the floor and allowed Mount St. Mary’s little breathing room, resulting in several Mountaineer turnovers and missed field goals. Ultimately, the combination of better offensive execution and stifling defensive pressure allowed Georgetown to close the game on a 23-3 run and post a final score that flattered its true performance.

James Akinjo and Omer Yurtseven led the way for the Hoyas, scoring 20 points apiece. The former also tallied five assists while the latter contributed 12 rebounds and Mac McClung added 16 points of his own. Jalen Gibbs and Vado Morse paced the Mountaineers with 19 and 18 points respectively in the loss.

Georgetown rides mix of veterans and newcomers to a 19-point comeback | WASHINGTONPOST

Defense was the main issue of the first half, despite what Ewing described as incessant defensive drilling throughout the preseason. Georgetown offered Mount St. Mary’s open looks from the perimeter and clear lanes through which the Mountaineers could drive with ease at the start...

“[Defense is] very big. It’s one of the things we’ve been talking about from this summer,” Ewing said. “Last year we could score with anybody, but our defense was our Achilles’ heel. We talked about picking it up. It starts with individual defense and then also our team defense. Tonight in the first half, it was nonexistent.” Under that pressure defense and Georgetown’s superior athleticism, Mount St. Mary’s faded late in the second half.

A 3-pointer from Galen Alexander tied the game at 56-56 with 10:15 to play, and though Mount St. Mary’s briefly regained the lead, a 5-0 run gave the Hoyas the lead for good.

Georgetown Uses Second-Half Surge to Defeat Mount St. Mary’s 81-68 - Georgetown University Athletics | GUHOYAS

James Akinjo also had a 20-point performance, including 17 in the second half, and finished with a team-high five assists. Mac McClung was the third Hoya in double figures with 16 points. As a team, Georgetown shot 47.5 (28-59) percent from the field, including a 65.5 (19-29) clip in the second half. The Blue & Gray outrebounded The Mount 40-26 and forced 15 turnovers on nine steals.

Hoyas Narrowly Avoid Devastating Opening Loss, Beat MSM 81-68 | 247SPORTS

A three-pointer from newcomer Galen Alexander (5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist) sent the crowd into a frenzy, before the Mounts tried to stem the tide, going back up by seven points with 7:10 left after a steal by Morse off a bad pass from Omer Yurtseven led to a Gibbs layup. Yurtseven, who had just six points in the first half, settled down in the second half, finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds in his first action as a Hoya...

Despite the exciting comeback win, the same red flags that this team had last season popped up again tonight. The defense was a major issue, as the Mountaineers put Georgetown’s big men in the pick-and-roll all night long, with great success, leading to open looks at the rim and from three-point range.

“They Woke Up” - Men’s Basketball Uses Press to Avoid Disaster in Opener - The Georgetown Voice | GEORGETOWNVOICE

The Hoyas would go 9:53 between field goals in the middle of the first half as they fell behind by double-digits. Amid all of this, junior guard Galen Alexander and junior guard Jahvon Blair were both whistled for travelling, while freshman forward Myron Gardner was well off the mark on a couple of looks.

“We got six new faces,” Akinjo said of the slow start. “While we practice with each other every day, you can’t simulate the intensity of a game. I think a little bit of it was coming out and trying to figure everything out, but we just missed a lot of shots also.” The half finished 37-25, with the Hoyas shooting just 30% from the field while going 1-10 from deep.

The trio of Blair, Alexander, and graduate student Terrell Allen, who spent extended time together, were a combined 0-8. Yurtseven had only attempted five field goals against an undersized Mount St. Mary’s frontcourt, and while the visitors were shooting at a pedestrian 41.9%, that was more than sufficient against a wilting GU squad.

Mount Men’s Basketball Gives Georgetown Tough Battle in 81-68 Season Opening Loss | MOUNTATHLETICS

Leading by 12 at the half, the Mount opened the second half with a 9-to-2 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 46-27, with 17:18 remaining in the second half. Nana Opoku hit a three-pointer while Gibbs scored the final four points of the run, including a bucket on the break after a steal to make it a 19-point lead. The Hoyas responded with a 29-to-10 run to tie the game at 56-56...

Akinjo and Yurtseven each scored 20 points to lead the Hoyas in the game while Mac McClung added 16.

Georgetown shot 47.5 percent from the field in the game, including 65.5 percent (19-of-29) in the second half. The Mount shot 46.3 percent overall and shot 52.2 percent (12-of-22) in the second half as well. The Hoyas held a 40-to-26 edge on the boards.

BOX SCORE provided by CBB at Sports Reference
                                                                                                                   
Starters            MP   FG  FGA   FG%   3P  3PA   3P%   FT  FTA   FT%  ORB  DRB  TRB  AST  STL  BLK  TOV   PF  PTS
James Akinjo        33    7   15  .467    3    6  .500    3    3 1.000    0    3    3    5    3    0    1    1   20
Omer Yurtseven      29    7    9  .778    0          0    6    6 1.000    5    7   12    1    0    0    4    2   20
Jamorko Pickett     28    3    6  .500    0    1  .000    0          0    2    6    8    2    1    0    1    1    6
Mac McClung         24    6    9  .667    2    4  .500    2    2 1.000    0    1    1    1    1    0    2    1   16
Jagan Mosely        21    2    2 1.000    2    2 1.000    1    3  .333    1    2    3    4    2    0    1    3    7
Galen Alexander     15    1    5  .200    1    3  .333    2    2 1.000    0    2    2    1    2    0    1    2    5
Terrell Allen       15    0    4  .000    0    1  .000    1    2  .500    1    0    1    1    0    0    0    0    1
Jahvon Blair        14    0    5  .000    0    4  .000    0          0    1    2    3    1    0    0    2    0    0
Qudus Wahab         11    1    1 1.000    0          0    0    1  .000    0    1    1    0    0    0    0    3    2
Myron Gardner       10    1    3  .333    0          0    2    2 1.000    0    3    3    0    0    1    0    1    4
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