The Georgetown Hoyas (7-8) entered the game against the DePaul Blue Demons (5-10) after Patrick Ewing articulated their NCAA Tournament ambitions to the BIG EAST world. However, DePaul came to D.C., after a full week off, looking for their sixth win and to tie GU in the very tight BIG EAST standings.
The Hoyas took care of business and handled DePaul, 82-73, despite the Demons’ extra prep time. Ewing’s squad looked like the more rested team, forcing their conference-play high of 15 turnovers.
In the post-game press conference, Patrick Ewing called DePaul “much better than their record reflects,” but their dearth of outside threats makes the Blue Demons’ offense a bit more predictable than their conference counterparts. That said, Eli Cain hitting three treys in a row demon-strates that DePaul’s perimeter attack can give the Hoyas some trouble in their Chicago trip next week.
This was the fifth game (third win) for Georgetown against a team with a week off. On Saturday, Seton Hall also has a mini-bye, which is GU’s sixth compared to three teams with only 3 on their schedules.
Georgetown will host Seton Hall on Saturday after Pirates’ week off—the 6th time the Hoyas play such a rested BIG EAST opponent. Each team has 2-3 baby-byes but Hoyas face 6 teams with extra prep time? GU handled DePaul, St. John’s & PC but scheduling seems unfair... @CasualHoya pic.twitter.com/zFyzMGPRDs— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) February 28, 2019
h/t to our friend, LCPolo18, for the matrix...
Here are the links:
Georgetown asserted itself well in the first half despite something of a slow start in which the Hoyas settled for midrange jumpers often in the face of a clogged lane. But the Blue Demons’ defense gradually slackened, and McClung, in particular, found his way to the rim for a few crafty buckets. Govan and McClung led the way before halftime, but it was McClung who gave Georgetown its edge. The freshman was on a roll, sprinting coast-to-coast for a delicate lay-in on a fast break at one point and stepping forward to poke the ball away at half court and slam a two-handed dunk with his back to the basket at another.
Georgetown, fighting for its NCAA tournament lives, handles business against DePaul https://t.co/ISbgXwFsJS— Post Sports (@PostSports) February 28, 2019
Georgetown (17-11, 7-8 BIG EAST) built its lead to 17 points early in the second half, but DePaul closed the deficit to single digits as Eli Cain hit three straight three-pointers. His third three of the run induced a Georgetown time out with the score at 69-60 with 7:30 left in the game. A three-point play by Devin Gage trimmed the deficit to seven points with just under a minute left, but that would be as close as the Blue Demons would get as the Hoyas held off DePaul (13-13, 5-10 BIG EAST) for an 82-73 final.
“I thought that we came out with energy, effort, mental and physical toughness,” Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing said. We did everything we need to do to get the win.”
Senior forward Jessie Govan led the way for Georgetown with 26 points and six rebounds, while freshman guard Mac McClung added 15 points and three steals for the Hoyas, who shot 49 percent from the field and converted 7-of-20 3-point attempts. The Blue Demons were led by senior guard Max Strus, who scored 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting.
Despite Strus’ efficient scoring night, Ewing was happy about how his team defended DePaul’s high man. “Strus had 25, but I thought our guys made him work for everything he got,” Ewing said.
Updated Big East ...— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) February 28, 2019
1. Marquette 12-3
2. Villanova 12-4
3. St. John's 8-7
4. Seton Hall 7-8 (2-1)
5. Xavier 7-8 (2-2)
6. Georgetown 7-8 (1-2)
7. Butler 6-9 (split w/Creighton; best win: St. John's)
8. Creighton 6-9 (best Ws: Gtown x2/Xavier)
9. Providence 6-10
10. DePaul 5-10
The Hoyas comfortably controlled play from the opening tip to the final buzzer, as they led for all but 38 minutes and 58 seconds of action. Govan was the focal point to start the game, as Georgetown fed him the ball on each of its first two possessions. The senior converted on his second field goal attempt to open his account. Femi Olujobi hit a three-pointer shortly after to give the Blue Demons their only lead of the day at 5-4 with 17:20 to play in the half. Jagan Mosely, starting in place of Jamorko Pickett (DNP - coach’s decision) provided the Hoyas with solid minutes offensively, scoring five points in as many minutes to maintain Georgetown’s slim lead.
A victory over DePaul is nothing to write home about, but we did it anyway!— Thompson’s Towel (@ThompsonsTowel) February 28, 2019
At this point in the season, winning is all that matters, and that is done one game at a time.https://t.co/55wQEgKa7H
Though Georgetown was able to keep its opponent at arm’s reach the rest of the period, it was certainly not without its drama, as the matchup turned chippy in more than one occasion. With 3:16 to go in the half, DePaul’s Femi Olujobi fouled Hoyas forward Jessie Govan hard, landing awkwardly on top of him on the floor. As usual, LeBlanc was the first to step up in defense of his teammate, getting in a brief altercation with Jaylen Butz, which warranted double technical fouls from the officials. Though some may not agree, I can’t help but appreciate Josh’s willingness to stand up for his teammates and send a message to the opposition. While talent can only get you so far, it is heart, grit and teamwork that get the job done. If the entire Hoyas roster played with the same attitude as LeBlanc, this team could be a formidable force for any opponent.
Twice DePaul cut the deficit to 10 points and that’s where DePaul would stall and allow Georgetown to regain control of the game with a pair of 5-0 runs. The Hoyas were led by senior Jessie Govan, who finished with 26 points in the game on 10-of-18 shooting and 3-of-4 from the 3-point line. His impact was felt in the second half, however, as everytime DePaul would go on a run, he would be there to answer with either a 3-pointer or basket inside the paint to take the life out of the Blue Demons.
“When the shots are falling early, that gets the team hyper ready to play,” Govan said.
The Blue Demons have yet to win a game in which they have been outrebounded this season. Tonight was no exception as the Hoyas won the battle of the boards by a 34-33 margin.
Where the Demons really got hurt tonight was in the turnover department. DePaul turned the ball over 15 times in the loss.