A sophomore in the college offers her perspective on what it was like to experience this Hoyas victory firsthand.
Serious question: does any team have worse luck than Georgetown?
It certainly seems hard to believe, after four mid-season transfers, losing Mac to a foot injury last week, and now Yurtseven being out with an ankle sprain.
The good news is the Hoyas pulled off a hard-fought win, but at the beginning that didn’t seem like the most likely outcome. The game got off to a similar, albeit slightly less bad, start as the Seton Hall game. Except when a double-digit deficit is to a 1-9 team without Myles Powell on it, it feels a lot more discouraging. The student section was full, but fell pretty quiet when the score read 21-10. The overall thin crowd at the time (it grew as the game went on) didn’t help.
Things started to pick up five or so minutes in when the Hoyas’ shots started falling. Whatever Patrick Ewing said to Omer Yurtseven during a timeout late in the first half must’ve clicked, because shortly thereafter, the big man practically broke the basket on two monster dunks assisted by Terrell Allen.
After being down by 12 early on, Georgetown hovered around a five-point deficit for most of the game. Every time it looked like we could close the gap, DePaul would hit a three. Why is it that every team shoots unusually well against us? Is that an unfortunate Hoya curse that I’m just now picking up on? In any case, Georgetown is going to need to improve its 3-point shooting against tougher teams.
The world felt like it came crashing down with 11 minutes to play when Yurtseven went down. And stayed down. Ewing walked up to mid court to check on him, and Yurtseven was helped off the court, hopping on one leg straight to the locker room.
Yurtseven wasn’t necessarily having his best night, but he did have 16 points and 8 rebounds. It didn’t seem like a loss we could afford. As it was, Jamorko Pickett was having a rough time, and was on the way to fouling out.
The crowd fell a little quiet again, unsure what was going to come next. Someone jokingly shouted, “Send in Mac!” to ease the tension. With Georgetown’s luck, I was worried we might lose by twenty to DePaul. Few things would be more soul-crushing in life.
Instead, Georgetown proved once again how well they play in difficult circumstances. Their six-game winning streak after the transfers. The comeback against St Johns the other day. And now this game. Yes, I know it’s not like we came back to beat Duke or anything, but a win is a win and this one wasn’t easy.
Qudus Wahab, or “Q” as he’s affectionately called by the student section, demonstrated why he has the potential to be one of our best players in the next three years. He was good on both ends, with some fantastic blocks. Q earns his minutes every time he goes out on the court.
Jagan Mosely was another standout. As Ewing has said on several occasions, Mosely is the glue that hold the team together. He’s shown himself not only to be a great leader, but he plays as hard as anyone out there. He got knocked down pretty hard at one point, in this game and in the last several games actually, but it never stops him.
If there’s any reason this team deserves to make it to the tournament, it’s for him. And who, of all people, got to seal the win for the Hoyas? George Muresan, ladies and gentlemen. Muresan came in to the game when Pickett fouled out, and was sent to the line with 2.2 seconds left. He made his free-throws looking easy, maintaining his 100% (!!!) FT record. This is about the last way I would have expected this game to end, but I’m so glad it did. Capital One went crazy for Muresan and the entire team, pulling off a 76-72 win. Mosely and even Ewing could be seen hyping up the roaring arena.
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about one other player: Jahvon Blair. I’ve always loved watching Blair and his “shoots-like-he-doesn’t-believe-he-can-miss” confidence, but he’s really distinguished recently. He broke his career high record two games in a row, scoring 30 against the Blue Demons, and has now played for 120 consecutive minutes. Interviewed post-game, in a conversation embedded below, Blair thanked the fans for coming out to support them and had this to say about his performance the last few games: “It feels good, man.”
It sure does feel good. Because what the 5-7 record doesn’t show is the fighting spirit of this team. I grow more and more attached to this group of guys every game because they play so damn hard. It’s why fans keep coming back, even after tough losses and someone continuing to dress the team in the teal or white uniforms.
This was a much-needed win, to boost fan and team confidence and keep fading March Madness hopes alive. Good job, boys. Savor this moment and please, for the love of all that is holy, be careful in practice this week.
Let’s all send positive thoughts to Mac and Yurtseven as they recover from their respective injuries.
Now on to Butler.
Jahvon Blair’s interview after the game. Blair has really stepped up the last few games, scoring a career high 30 points today. This team always plays with so much heart, especially in the face of adversity. It’s one reason why I love to root for them. #HoyaSaxa pic.twitter.com/ZnxWxSjelZ— Amalia Cappuccino (@acappuccino11) February 8, 2020