The Georgetown Hoyas lost to the #16 Villanova Wildcats on Saturday, January 11, 2020. Down only 3 at halftime (39-36), the Hoyas started the second half slowly and never showed a sense of urgency as the Wildcats made multiple runs.
The Hoyas may have had a chance at winning had former GU-recruit Saddiq Bey not shot 8-10 from three. Then again, McClung (0-3 FGs in second half) appeared hobbled, and Georgetown couldn’t find the promising assists and rebounds that made them so dangerous in December and last Wednesday against St. John’s.
Georgetown supporters are likely sick of hearing about the alleged thin margin for error (and Len Elmore), but there’s only a few guys available to step up if Omer Yurtseven (10 points, 25 minutes) and Mac McClung (3-15, 0-4 3PT, 8 points) struggle. Villanova focused their defense on the two primary scorers and, while Qudus Wahab stepped up for a solid 13 points, Jamorko Pickett shot 4-12 from the field (12 points) and Jahvon Blair was 3-8 on field goals (1-4 from three) for 9 points. Mosely and Allen worked hard on the defensive side, but Georgetown was ultimately no match for Villanova’s three point prowess off of pick-and-pops.
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The Georgetown men’s basketball team hung around early but failed to keep up with No. 16 Villanova in the second half, losing to the Wildcats 80-66 on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center. Sophomore forward Saddiq Bey was the star for Nova (12-3, 3-1 Big East), notching a career-high 33 points, including 8-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc, as the Wildcats made 15-of-29 overall.
Offensively, the Hoyas (11-6, 1-3 Big East) struggled to generate buckets and senior center Omer Yurtseven failed to make a significant impact inside the paint against a smaller Nova frontcourt, scoring just 10 points.
Hoyas had assists on 1st 8 buckets. Lead Nova by 1. It's early. Nova's offense as late arriving as the crowd.— Dan Gelston (@APgelston) January 11, 2020
The Wildcats averaged 7.3 3s a game and blew that number out of the stat sheet before most fans were settled in their seats. They made 10 3-pointers on their first 12 baskets and played with desire to push the ball inside. They one time they did, Jermaine Samuels converted a three-point play - of course, three points — to send the Wildcats into the break up 39-36. Samuels’ free throw was the only one of the half for the Wildcats. Ewing called a timeout just 30 seconds into the half after Jeremiah Robinson-Earl hit a jumper and Bey made a 3 that kept the Wildcats rolling. The Hoyas made early turnovers that kept them from making this one much of a game.
The Hoyas used an effective pick-and-roll attack to score 20 points in the paint and offset Villanova’s torrid shooting from deep, even though leading scorer Omer Yurtseven was limited to just four points and after picking up his second foul with 9:32 to play until the break. Georgetown added 10 points off turnovers to keep pace.
“We struggled with their ball screens,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “They were just getting downhill and their bigs were getting to the offensive glass.” Yet Wright did not make massive defensive changes. Instead, the players made the adjustments needed to pull away for an 80-66 victory...
“Sometimes you play a team and they have someone like a Markus Howard and (Mac) McClung, they’re so fast and quick with the ball that we can’t simulate that,” said Wright... “We don’t have a guy like that so we can’t simulate that in practice.”
Another poor defensive showing from Georgetown.— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) January 11, 2020
Have to wonder which players would have seen a lot of the bench had Ewing been with his original 11 man rotation?
Alas, we'll never know.
Georgetown came into the game off a dominating victory over Saint Johns on Wednesday but was unable to maintain that winning momentum.
When ‘Nova’s first three-pointer of the game from Saddiq Bey rimmed out, you could sense a groan around the Wells Fargo Arena, fearing another cold shooting night. However, they made their next two three-pointers and jumped to a 10-7 lead after the first media timeout. The Hoyas got red hot from the field, making their next seven shots in a row and pulled ahead 21-19, forcing coach Jay Wright to take a timeout to regroup...
Bey took control of the final minutes of the first half, tallying 19 points in the first half alone. Mac McClung and Georgetown wouldn’t go away, and the ‘Cats took a 39-36 lead into the half. Villanova made 14 shots from the field, with 10 of them coming from behind the arc. No other player for the ‘Cats had more than 6 points in the first half, while 4 Hoyas had more than 7 points.
The wildcats did a great job of Shutting down Mac McClung. The absence of James Akinjo is clearly the biggest loss for Georgetown.— Leader Johnson (@WriterLeader247) January 11, 2020
The Villanova offense operated much more crisply this afternoon than in any of the previous Big East games. ‘Nova did a better job of passing the ball and finding open shooters - with far more inside to outside action than has been the recent norm. The improved shot selection combined with creating more touches and scoring opportunities for the more skilled offensive players contributed to the improved shooting from three-point range and offensive efficiency.
On the defensive end, the ‘Nova defense did a nice job of contesting the dribble-drive attempts of both Mac McClung and Terrell Allen. The Cats, though they struggled at time guarding pick-and-roll action, played effective post defense - limiting the touches in the paint for Omer Yurtseven.
Georgetown loses 80-66 to Villanova in Philly.— Patrick Waring (@WaringPatrick) January 11, 2020
Hoyas give up 15 3s to Nova.
Wahab - 13 pts, 4 rebs
Pickett - 12 pts, 6 rebs
McClung - 8 pts, 5 assists
Yurtseven - 10 pts, 7 rebs
Blair - 9 pts
Allen - 10 pts, 6 assists #Hoyas
On Saturday, the defense didn’t click until the second half, but Bey took care of the offense right from the outset. He had a career-best 33 points and made 8 of 10 3-pointers. Bey had a combined 33 points while shooting 5 for 19 on 3s in the four previous games.
Patrick Ewing with the year's fastest timeout -- 30 seconds into the second half -- after Villanova hits an open jumper and a 3-ball in transition after a turnover. Nova matches its largest margin, 44-36, very early.— Joe Juliano (@JoeJulesinq) January 11, 2020
The Wildcats, who had connected on just 24.9% of their three-point attempts in their last six games, fired early and often on Saturday. They sank 10-of-17 in the first half and finished 15-of-29, or 51.7%. For the third time this season, they hit more three-point baskets than two-pointers (12). Robinson-Earl added 14 points and 7 rebounds, while Gillespie chipped in with 11 points and 5 assists.
Yurtseven's missed three or four of those lil jumpers today. Not really out of the ordinary for him, but Georgetown could use something from him on offense right now.— Ava Wallace (@avarwallace) January 11, 2020
Jay Wright spoke on the challenges of coaching with a super short bench. Started praising Ewing for the job he’s doing, then: “Once you get in foul trouble... you have to give up aggressiveness.”— Ava Wallace (@avarwallace) January 11, 2020
Wahab has proved himself a capable backup for Yurtseven in small spurts, but the 6-foot-11 center staged a coming-out party Saturday. In a two-minute stretch late in the half, the native Nigerian threw down a dunk, shimmied into position for a hook shot, grabbed an offensive rebound and pulled off a three-point play to tie the score at 34 with 2:48 until intermission.
Ewing was asked afterward whether he might increase Wahab’s playing time. “If he plays like that, yes. To me, today he was much better than Omer. He was effective getting the ball in the post, blocking shots,” Ewing said.
”We came out flat. We can’t just make mistakes the way that we did. Two quick mistakes and a turnover. We were right there at three points then went to eight and it was an uphill battle after that.” - Head Coach Patrick Ewing on the start of the second half...
Qudus Wahab led four in double figures with a career-best 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting while chipping in four rebounds and one assist in 14 minutes off the bench. Jamorko Pickett added 12 points and six rebounds. Terrell Allen and Omer Yurtseven each had 10 points apiece and Yurtseven added a team-best seven boards.
If you had told me Georgetown only had 8 turnovers against Villanova and lost, I may have slapped you.— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) January 11, 2020