The Georgetown Hoyas (5-12) lost to the #11 Creighton Bluejays (12-5) on Wednesday night in Omaha, 76-91. Not only was this Georgetown’s fifth straight loss, it was the Hoyas’ fifth loss in Omaha in as many years. With the win, Creighton stays in contention for finishing first as Villanova beat Seton Hall.
The Hoyas had a bit of a slow start shooting, 2-10 FGs, but pulled the score to 20-21 before seeing the Bluejays going on a 22-5 run and taking a comfortable lead for the last 25+ minutes of the game.
Creighton enjoyed some home-cooking by way of a terrific night shooting from distance (17-36, 47.2% 3PT), which was expected after a deplorable Sunday performance at St. John’s. Georgetown had a decent second half of shooting, but even with a better start the Hoyas could not have kept pace with the Jays’ hot shooting and high volume of threes.
Patrick Ewing started Jagan Mosely, Terrell Allen, Jahvon Blair, Jamorko Pickett, and Qudus Wahab, with Mac McClung and Omer Yurtseven in street clothes on the bench for Georgetown.
The Hoyas began shooting 2-10 from the floor but there were a couple runs by each team in the first half. Creighton jumped to a 6-0 lead and the Hoyas scored 5 to answer before the Bluejays were back up 5-14. Terrell Allen fed Jamorko Pickett for a big-time alley-oop and Blair hit a three to make it 14-16.
The Hoyas then blinked and were down 14-21 before pulling it 20-21, the closest they got in the game, after two buckets by Wahab and a jumper by Blair. Creighton extended their lead to 23-40 with 4:48 left in the half before the Hoyas tightened it a bit to 27-42 with 2:09 left on a Blair layup. The 15-point lead remained for the half finishing 33-48 after Blair drove and missed a runner, got the offensive rebound and laid it in.
The Hoyas were a solid 10-23 after their initial 2-10 shooting (12-33 FGs) but were a miserable 2-10 from beyond the arc for the half. They were 7-8 from the charity stripe. Pickett led with 11 points on 3-9 FGs (1-4 3PT) and Blair added 9 points on 4-12 shooting (1-4 3PT), each playing 20 minutes apiece. Allen was off, shooting 0-5 and committing 3 fouls in 15 minutes. Mosely made one bucket and had 4 assists in 19 minutes. George Muresan hit two free throws in two minutes of floor time. In the post, Georgetown failed to leverage Qudus Wahab enough, but he did get 8 points on 4-5 shooting, and only one foul in 13 minutes. Timothy Ighoefe had no shots and 2 rebounds in 7 minutes.
Creighton performed admirably at home, shooting 17-35 (48.6%) from the field and 9 for 19 from three (47.4%). Ty-shon Alexander had 13 points on 3-8 shooting (3-6 3PT) and Marcus Zegarowski had 10 points on 4-6 (2-4 3PT).
Each team had 20 rebounds and 6 turnovers, but Creighton had the edge in points off turnovers (4-10) and bench points (2-12), of course. Mitch Ballock shot only threes and connected on 3 of 7 attempts.
The Hoyas showed some pressure early in the second half after giving up a 3-point play and a three-pointer by Zegarowski. Blair stole the ball and got a layup, but Creighton extended their lead to 20 on a Ballock three after Jaden Robinson missed a layup and Wahab missed two free throws to go up 57-37 with 16:47 left. Wahab made a dunk and a layup but Ballock hit a three in between and the score was 41-60 with 14:41 left.
Picket made a three and Allen got his first field goal of the night on a three to make it 62-47 with 13:36 left. Mosely made a jumper to get to 49-62, but then Ballock hit his sixth three (3-4 so far in the half) to make it 49-65 with 12:37 left.
With 10:18 left, Ighoefe put back a rebound to make it 55-72, however Denzel Mahoney hit a three from the top and Zegarowski made a layup to get the lead to 22 and Ewing called timeout with 9:30 left. The teams traded a couple buckets and some bad shots before Allen hit another three-pointer to make it 60-79 with 7:25 left. Ballock responded with a layup, his first two-point attempt, to get his 20th points; 60-81 with 7:09 left at the media timeout.
The lead extended to 26 points (91-65) before a timeout with 3:14 left and I questioned my decisions to keep writing about this in any detail at all in the second half. Blair and Pickett each hit a three in true garbage time. Ewing emptied his meager bench with two minutes left and Chuma Azinge got in the game. Jaden Robinson made two free throws and Azinge made one for his first point as a Hoya. The final score was 76-91.
Creighton shot 16-31 (52%) from the field and 8-17 (47%) from three in the second half. They were 33-66 overall and a white-hot 17-36 from beyond the arc. Ballock, Zegarowski, and Alexander combined to go 14-27 from three. Thanks for inspiring them, Johnnies.
Georgetown shot 14-32 (44%) from the field and 6-12 (50%) from three in the second half. The Hoyas were 26-65 (40%), and 8-22 (36%) from three, overall. Blair was 3-10 in the half and 2-4 from three. Juggy was 8-23 overall and 3-8 3PT. Pickett was 2-7 in the half, going 2-5 from three. Pickett scored 17 on 5-16 from the floor and 3-9 from beyond. Allen was 2-5 from the field in the half, making his only two three point attempts, and 2-10 for the night (2-3 3PT) for 10 points. Wahab had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds in 27 minutes. Mosely was 3-5 from the field for 6 points and missed two threes in 36 minutes.
The Hoyas were 16-23 from the free-throw line while Creighton was 8-8. Georgetown had 9 turnovers and 17 assists. The Bluejays had 11 turnovers and 18 assists. Unsurprisingly, Creighton took the battle for bench scoring, 23-7.
Georgetown was not expected to travel to Omaha and win this game, but the 15-point loss failed to even cover the spread (+13). Poor shooting by Georgetown was supplemented by over-urgency to keep pace with Creighton’s heat, but the ball movement and post feeds were not consistent enough to make the Bluejay defense work. On the other end, Creighton exploited Georgetown’s propensity for lapses in defense on the perimeter to boost their confidence. Creighton looked every bit a championship contender at home but this night of shooting was truly extraordinary, even a home team in Omaha.