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Ball, Dropped: Hoyas lose NYE opener at Friars, 76-60

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A strong second-half rally was not enough to get a BIG EAST win

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Seton Hall Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

How time does fly. This season in the world of your Georgetown Hoyas has matched the pace of the global news cycle as a whole, yet here we are in the final moments of the decade and the opening salvos of BIG EAST play. The guys (usually, ideally) in blue & gray came into the Dunk tonight to face off against the Providence Friars riding a six-game winning streak. Coach Patrick Ewing’s team also had an even shorter bench than expected, with Mac McClung sidelined after suffering a shot to the eye during last Saturday’s matchup against American University. Much had been made about how this group’s depth would be tested in conference play, but the hope was that it would not be tested so soon.

Ready or not, there was a basketball game set to tip off at 5:30pm this evening. Was Georgetown ready? No, they were not. It seemed like the Hoyas were never going to make a bucket at the beginning of the game, there was a 31-point deficit at halftime, and it was only through a hot shooting streak during the early second half that the score ended up being a relatively respectable 76-60 in favor of the Friars.

Georgetown started the game in 14-0 hole. Jahvon Blair picked up two early fouls and George Muresan was on the court well before the first media break. The Hoyas got on the board more than six minutes into the game when Jagan Mosely drew a foul and converted; they did not score a field goal until Qudus Wahab knocked down a jumper at the 12:55 mark of the first half. Their first 13 possessions resulted in a single basket.

Mosely hit a runner and Muresan even put one away from close range, but Georgetown’s leading scorer - Omer Yurtseven - had attempted only ONE shot. Meanwhile, Providence was knocking down threes. Luwane Pipkins, Alpha Diallo, David Duke, and Emmitt Holt all had at least one basket from long range before Georgetown had exceeded the double-digit threshold. Malik White got in on the action soon after. Summing up the first half in a single play, Mosely tried to make a play for a ball heading out of bounds and got kneed in the head & neck by Diallo. He was momentarily prone on the court, but dusted himself off and continued on. This is exactly what the Hoyas would do after heading into the break down 54-23. (Note: Providence hit 10 three-pointers in the first half. Even without a single one of those baskets, the Friars still would have had the lead.)

Georgetown went on an 11-0 run early in the second half. Jamorko Pickett shook off the rough start and nailed a three; Mosely made one of his own. Terrell Allen and Yurtseven hit a pair of jumpers. Blair, back in the game and playing smart after a couple of early fouls, dropped a three from the top of the arc. When Blair hit another triple and drew the foul, Mosely was right there to help (and amp) him up.

The Friars were taking long, ill-planned shots and committing sloppy turnovers, off of which the Hoyas were able to convert. Better ball movement led to improved shooting and nearly every basket included an assist. Georgetown had clawed themselves halfway out of the crater dug during the opening session, playing with greater focus and aggression. The deficit, which had been as large as 33 points, was reduced to 16.

This proved to be the scoring equilibrium for this game. Providence’s defense would not allow the Hoyas to score enough to bring them closer, while the Friars’ own lengthy scoring droughts prevented them from pulling away. Yurtseven still finished with a double-double, with Allen & Blair joining him in double figures. Mosely and Pickett had nine apiece.

Next up for the Hoyas is Seton Hall at the Rock, set for 9pm on Friday. If the team wants to have a shot at taking down Myles Powell & co., they are going to have to show us something excellent as we start off 2020.

Happy New Year, and Hoya Saxa.