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‘TIL THE BITTER END: Hoyas’ Comeback Not Enough Against No. 14 Villanova, 69-70 (LINKS)

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A solid team effort against this ranked opponent may be the optimal preparation for the conference tournament...

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 07 Villanova at Georgetown Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Georgetown Hoyas made a valiant comeback effort against the No. 14 Villanova Wildcats but ultimately lost, 69-70, with some iffy refereeing, missed free-throws, and general bad luck. While Hoyas fans would have loved a home come-from-behind win against this particular ranked rival to close this strange but special season, it just wasn’t in the cards.

Nevertheless, beyond their unquestionable heart, Patrick Ewing’s skeleton crew re-proved they could compete at both ends as consistently as any part of this season. Demonstrating to the world (and themselves) that they could get buckets and stops against one of the best, while still keeping their edge, might be the best outcome ahead of the conference tournament. Optimistically, these under-bull-dogs should be both proud and hungry headed into the most vigorous week in college basketball—and ready to make a run.

The senior day was filled with emotion, especially for the lion-hearted-4-year favorite, Jagan Mosely.

And our humble hero George Muresan:

Here are the links:

Hoyas Drop Hard Fought 70-69 Loss to No. 14/12 Villanova - Georgetown University Athletics | GUHOYAS

”Our guys stepped in, fought, believed, kept on fighting until the end.” – Head Coach Patrick Ewing on the game...

“The new season is getting ready to start. [Jagan] is very important to us … it’s hard for us to take him off the floor. The fact that he has to play the best perimeter player – both he and Terrell play the best perimeter player on every team – he embodies Georgetown basketball.” - Head Coach Patrick Ewing on Jagan Mosely...

Jamorko Pickett led the Hoyas with 20 points marking first 20-point effort of the season. Terrell Allen managed 17 points along with a squad-best four assists, and Jagan Mosely rounded out those in double figures with 13 points to go along with a team-high eight rebounds. Qudus Wahab scored nine points and pulled down eight rebounds to tie Mosely. Georgetown shot 46.0 (27-59) percent from the field and had 12 assists on 27 made field goals.

Undermanned Georgetown falls just short vs. No. 14 Villanova | NBCSPORTS

Pickett led Georgetown (15-16, 5-13) with 20 points as the Hoyas lost their sixth straight game and fell under .500 for the first time in coach Patrick Ewing’s three seasons in charge. Terrell Allen had 17 points while Jagan Mosely added 13 points.

Villanova opened up on a 14-0 run and led by as many as 17 points before taking a 39-30 lead into halftime. The Wildcats shot 60% from the field and made 8 of 12 shots from beyond the arc.

“We just couldn’t make any shots,” Ewing said. “We were missing layups. If we made it, who knows what the outcome would have been.” Georgetown opened the second half on an 11-0 run and took its first lead of the game at 41-39 on a putback dunk by Wahab with 17:25 left.

Villanova escapes Georgetown with regular season finale win, 70-69 | VUHOOPS

It was a dramatic finish for a game that didn’t look it was going to be close at first. The Wildcats raced out to 14-0 start from opening tip. It was a strong start that blossomed into a 26-9 run to begin the game, with the Wildcats’ early 17-point lead being the highest of the game. Villanova had found its stride from long range, with all five members of the Wildcat starting five burying three-pointers to fuel that early lead.

Georgetown settled down with a 12-2 run to inch closer to the ‘Cats, but Villanova still had a 39-30 lead at the half. Just as Villanova started out the game strong, Georgetown entered the second half hot. The Hoyas went on a quick 11-0 run to tie the game and briefly take the lead with a Wahab score. From there, it was a back-and-forth game, with the injury-plagued Hoyas giving the ‘Cats their best effort.

No. 14 Villanova 70, Georgetown 69: Stats, highlights and reaction from the Wildcats’ victory | INQUIRER

The Wildcats’ last lead before the final dramatics came at 61-58 on Samuels’ basket, also a goaltending, with 4:48 remaining. Georgetown’s 7-0 run, capped by two free throws from Jamorko Pickett, put the Hoyas up 65-61, and a three-pointer by Terrell Allen kept the advantage at four, 69-65, with 1:01 to play.

Freshman Jeremiah Robinson-Earl drove in for a layup and then forced a turnover on a tipped pass with about 27 seconds left. With coach Jay Wright deciding against a timeout, Collin Gillespie found Samuels near the left baseline, and the junior forward drove, went up for the shot as he was fouled by Pickett, and Wahab swatted the shot away.

An official review was deemed goaltending, and Samuels rattled his free throw home for the final – and most important – point. Allen’s driving shot in heavy traffic at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

Jermaine Samuels lifts No. 14 Villanova past Georgetown | GWINNETTDAILYPOST

Pickett kept Georgetown close with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

The Hoyas came out aggressive and knocked down three straight treys to tie the game at 39 when Allen connected with 18:30 to go.

Robinson-Earl scored eight in a row for Villanova as it went back ahead 47-45 with 13:32 remaining. Bey soon followed with a trey and two free throws to cap a 9-0 run and the lead was seven at 52-45.

The Hoyas battled right back and took a 55-54 lead with 8:44 left after Allen made a short jumper.

Hoyas just short in Senior Day battle | HoyaReport (Rivals)

The Hoyas settled down midway through the first half. Junior Forward Jamorko Pickett scored 15 first half points, setting the tone for the Hoyas comeback and displaying a high level of confidence. Head Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing went to his full court press defense, which forced some Wildcat turnovers.

Georgetown outscored Villanova 21-11 to end the half, trailing 39-30 at intermission.

Ewing’s bunch was more poised in the second half, displaying great ball movement, earning a quick 9-0 run, giving the Hoyas their first lead of the game, 41-39.

Villanova had no answer when Georgetown exploited the mismatches inside with the two young centers; freshmen Qudus Wahab (nine points, three rebounds) and Timothy Ighoefe (three points) we’re taking advantage being defended by guards via pick and roll.

Villanova sneaks past Georgetown, 70-69 | 247SPORTS

Villanova got off to an excellent start - jumping on top 14-0 with balanced scoring and a strong effort on the defensive glass. The huge cushion slowly began to deflate as the Cats started to take questionable shots and turn the ball over while the Georgetown offense found a groove and began knocking down some jumpers (in particular, Junior forward, Jamorko Pickett kept Georgetown in the contest)...

The Hoyas picked apart the Villanova defense with pick-and-roll and high ball screen action while the Cats struggled to make shots. ‘Nova relinquished the lead, 45-43 at the 14:47 mark of the second half but bounced right back to take a 50-45 lead at the 12:21 mark when Saddiq Bey drained a three-ball. A pair of FTs stretched that lead to 7 but Georgetown wasn’t done fighting. An 18-9 run put the Hoyas up, 65-61 with only 2:13 remaining in the game.

After spirited rally, Georgetown feels pain once more with loss to Villanova | WASHINGTONPOST

“I didn’t even see the foul,” Ewing said. “He drove, kind of cleared out a little. Qudus came over. It might have been goaltending. I really couldn’t even tell. I wasn’t down there, but I didn’t think it was a foul.”

Mosely was one of four Hoyas to participate in a pregame ceremony, along with Allen, a graduate transfer; walk-on George Muresan; and forward Omer Yurtseven, a redshirt junior who began his career at N.C. State.

Mosely was especially sharp in the second half, scoring 11 points while making all four of his field goal attempts and grabbing six of his career-high eight rebounds...

“They just read everything we did,” Villanova Coach Jay Wright said. “You know sometimes it’s one of those nights. They were so dialed into what they were doing and their game plan. That’s why I say I feel very fortunate to get out of here with a ‘W.’ ”

Can anyone read lips, not sure the audio is working...

UPDATE: