WELP. Your Georgetown Hoyas entered tonight’s game against the DePaul Blue Demons in sole possession of third place in the BIG EAST. After it was all over, having lost by an eye-widening score of 101-69, Georgetown remains in that same position, though they share it with 3 other conference teams. That’s the only good news. Barring a run through the Garden next week, bubble talk has quieted.
Coming off of Saturday’s 2-OT victory over Seton Hall, the Hoyas simply could not generate any of the momentum, communication or engagement that had propelled them through this recent stretch. With Kaleb Johnson sidelined and in concussion protocol, two early fouls on Jessie Govan and a bunch on Trey Mourning meant that lineup roulette got started on the early side. Jagan Mosely was once again in the starting lineup after his tireless pursuit of Myles Powell over the weekend.
Three times within the first half our players fouled the Blue Demons behind the three-point line. Early in the game, the deficit was largely attributable to the disparity in foul shots being attempted (and made). The Hoyas were committing fouls and turnovers; DePaul was converting those miscues into points. Later in the first half, as in these two teams’ recent meeting, Max Strus and Femi Olujobi were responsible for a surge in scoring. Those two seniors, along with Eli Cain, were playing their final home game. The three pointers continued to fall for the Blue Demons as Georgetown struggled to execute any cohesive offensive or defensive strategy.
When Coach Ewing told his players to wake up, they responded by taking more shots, but not the shots a coach would want them to take. Greg Malinowski and Jamorko Pickett came in off the bench, along with Grayson Carter. There was a flash of hope then Pickett broke up an attempted alley-oop, as if they could push a reset button. Another three by Strus promptly shattered that delusion. We can spare the details, but the Hoyas ended up down 42-15 with just under seven minutes to play in the first half.
Mac McClung, who had opened up the scoring for Georgetown with an acrobatic layup, broke the drought with a clean look from outside the arc. Some freethrows from Josh LeBlanc and a triple from Blair rounded out a 10-2 Hoyas run, before Paul Reed broke the spell with a three-pointer. Jessie Govan finally got on the board late in the first half and James Akinjo—who managed 13 points and 7 assists in this mess—closed things with a jumper. My cable connection decided to cut out before Strus hit yet another three, putting Georgetown down 23 at the half. (Thanks, Comcast.)
After the break, the Hoyas attempted to regroup. Mac was fouled shooting a triple, and made all three freethrows. They managed to facilitate smarter shots and make defensive stops. Cain, who had easily outmuscled Akinjo in the first half, took it to the freshman guard and missed due to the effective man defense. Georgetown appeared to have recovered something resembling their composure. The Hoyas were drawing fouls and tallying points with the clock stopped. LeBlanc finished in transition for a dunk directly over Mourning. Jaylen Butz was whistled for a tech after loudly lamenting a soft foul call, and Akinjo made 3 of 4 freethrows. Double T’s were issued to Jahvon Blair and Flynn Cameron for some extra-curricular conversation, and Blair backed it up with his characteristically confident three-pointer.
Georgetown had cut it to 14. It seemed like this basketball game was headed for an unforeseen, exciting finish. That was accurate, but not in a way that was positive for anyone who reguarly cheers on the Hoyas. The Blue Demons went on a 26-point run over the course of more than seven minutes that Georgetown fans’ heads swimming and the players staring in bewilderment at a scoreboard that read 97-59. It wasn’t quite over, yet it was very much over. By the time their goggle-clad dancing bench-fixture entered the game with less than a minute remaining, DePaul had scored broken triple digits for the first time since they did it to Syracuse in 2006, and the Hoyas looked ashamed.
Either way, the game ended. Time to move on, and quickly. Another midwest contest is coming up on Saturday, as Georgetown faces a group of Marquette Golden Eagles who have lost three straight, including the end of tonight’s matchup against Seton Hall where they finished on the wrong end of an 18-0 run. That one is set for 2:30pm ET on FOX.