Just a week after Georgetown’s unlikely 17-point second half comeback win over St. John’s, the Hoyas did something even crazier against DePaul today.
Down 55-50 with just over 11 minutes left, Omer Yurtseven – Georgetown’s double-double machine – went down holding his lower left leg and had to be helped back to the Hoyas locker room meaning that the Hoyas were basically down to five guys.
While you never want to see players hurt, this injury to the N.C. State transfer felt particularly cruel for coach Patrick Ewing as he was already missing Mac McClung for the third straight game.
Well, none of that mattered as Georgetown finished the game outscoring DePaul 26-17 to keep alive its NCAA Tournament hopes on a day where everyone would have understood if the Hoyas had lost for the fifth time in their last six games.
Georgetown got the much-needed victory and will now spend a much needed off week sitting at 14-10, 4-7. With a strong non-conference resume and no bad losses, the Hoyas remain right on the bubble heading into Butler next Saturday.
Jahvon Blair was the man of the hour – well two hours – by scoring a career-high 30 points on 11 for 18 shooting. He joins McClung and Yurtseven as the three Hoyas to score at least 30 in a game this season.
The junior guard – who made the Big East All Freshman team two seasons ago – has traveled the furthest of any player this season.
Blair had just 20 points – on seven made field goals - after eight games. Well, it was actually just seven games for Blair as he was a healthy scratch against then-No. 22 Texas at MSG in a game where Ewing decided to shorten his bench from 11 guys to 10.
Can anyone even remember back to a time where Ewing had to make such decisions with an 11-man rotation?
Blair has always had the ability to score in bursts but what made today’s performance so impressive is the way it happened. He wasn’t just a spot up shooter getting hot from deep even though he did knock down 4 of 10 from deep.
Blair was able to get to the basket and do some damage inside the arc.
DePaul coach Dave Leitao probably put it best:
“From the start of the game a guy who has the reputation as a shooter was putting the ball on our defense. Our inability to stop that first of all whether it was straight line drives or even pick and roll which you don’t see from him as much which got them some baskets that they wouldn’t maybe normally get. And then two it ignited his confidence level – I think he’s always been a really confident player especially when it comes to shooting. He was able to move without the basketball and then when he had the basketball to be in attack mode both as a shooter and a driver.”
Blair, who has hit for a career-high twice in seven days, was pretty modest in post-game interviews.
“I just came in ready,” Blair said sitting next to Terrell Allen who had 12 points and 9 assists himself.
“Mac’s out so I had a bigger role. I just came in I had my feet ready and I was just ready to play and knocked down my shots, find the open man. Just play basketball.”
Blair was 7 for 8 from two-point range and afterwards it was something he said he’s tried to improve this season.
“I’ve been working on that, yeah. Finishing around the rim and floaters and stuff like that. They kind of dropped today so I’m just happy about that.”
Blair earned a Big East Honor Roll appearance this week after his 23-point performance in the win at St. John’s. After scoring 18 in the loss to Seton Hall and then 30 today, it’s a pretty good bet that Blair will again make the weekly conference award when it comes out Monday.
For at least another week, the Hoyas are alive.
Now they need to get healthy.