After pulling out an overtime win against the St. John’s Red Storm earlier this week, your Georgetown Hoyas could not manage the same outcome this evening. In their first road game of this strange, abbreviated college basketball season, Georgetown fell by a score of 94-83, handing the Johnnies their first win in BIG EAST play. Donald Carey and Jahvon Blair had 25 and 19 points respectively, but this was not enough to counterbalance the team’s defensive lapses and the Johnnies’ aggressive attacks.
Carey opened the scoring with the first of his five three pointers, which was promptly answered by a high hook from Vince Cole, followed by a triple from Dante Harris, then Carey bookended the sequence by corralling a long pass from Blair and finishing the layup. If this seems like a rhythm which the Hoyas would struggle to maintain, you are correct. Jamorko Pickett tried to back down his defender in the paint, and put up an airball, which was a harbinger of the type of game the senior was about to have. Harris and SJU traded jumpers, Qudus Wahab dropped in a hook shot, and it was 12-12 heading into the first media break.
The good: Timothy Ighoefe finished well on a pass from Blair off the inbounds. The bad: This was the Hoyas’ only basket in that interval, and SJU took a 24-14 lead into the U12 timeout. Julian Champagnie, Isaih Moore, Greg Williams Jr., and Rasheem Dunn all scored, while Georgetown couldn’t hit the mark.
After that break, Blair drained a three, then a block from Wahab set up Bile for a layup, cutting the Johnnies’ advantage in half. The respite was brief. It is kinder to spare you the details, but Georgetown was on the wrong end of a 31-13 run and with 3:35 remaining in the half, a they were trailing 42-27. A layup from Wahab and pair of triples from Carey helped the Hoyas claw back towards respectability. Pickett also knocked down a pair of foul shots, starting to emerge from the funk that saw him go 0/7 from the floor in the opening half. Williams Jr. and Carey once again traded three-pointers, and St. John’s went into the intermission with a 49-41 advantage.
Early in the vesper half, it appeared that Georgetown was on a trajectory to keep the contest tight. While they were giving up second chance looks, the Johnnies were unable to convert. Meanwhile, Pickett awoke from his stupor with a vicious dunk over Arnoldo Toro, Wahab made a pair of free throws, and Pickett converted again after his defender bit on the shot fake. A runner from Blair capped off an 8-0 run for the Hoyas, bringing them to within a single basket - 51-49 with 15:33 to play. That was as close as it would get. Williams Jr. sniped in a three as the shot clock expired on the next possession, and the Hoyas could not maintain enough scoring momentum to hang with St. John’s.
By the first sequence out of the U12, the Johnnies were back up by double digits when Moore converted on a baseline drive, getting the basket and-1. Quick, loose, and inaccurate is not a recipe for success, and the Hoyas were giving up too many steals and second chances. Coach Ewing was playing lineup Russian roulette. It was understandable that Wahab was getting limited minutes as he navigated foul trouble, but the intervals at which we saw Berger, Wilson, Holloway, Sibley et al. did not seem to align with an easily discernible strategy for success.
Wahab, Blair, and Carey did not shut down their efforts and continued to score at key moments, and Harris energetically sprinted around the court attempting to facilitate, but errant passes and questionable defensive coordination from the team as a whole that punctuated their baskets ensured that the Hoyas slipped further and further behind. After the first possession out of the U8 media break, Georgetown was in a 20-pt hole, 78-58. Blair did what he could to spark a run for his team; the layup by Ighoefe from Harris and a triple from Chudier Bile made the margin less painful to look at, even as it became apparent that the contest had been decided.
If it is possible to maintain an excessive pace while also appearing lethargic, that would be the description of the Hoyas’ demeanor during much of this game. (Ed. Note: If this also sounds like the way you are performing at school/work this week, raise your hand. Because it sure rings true with me.)
Next up for Georgetown is another road game, coming up quickly on Wednesday evening. They will be taking on Seton Hall at the Rock, with a 5pm tipoff on FS1.