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DOGGED: Georgetown Loses to Butler, 55-63

Hoyas finished the game on the wrong side of a 12-2 swing in last 5 minutes and missing 17 of their last 19 shots

Georgetown v Butler

The Georgetown Hoyas (3-7, 1-5) lost to the Butler Bulldogs (3-5, 2-3), 55-63, at Hinkle Fieldhouse, on Wednesday night. Like the Hoya faithful have seen many times before, Georgetown finished the game on a the wrong side of a 12-2 run over the last 5 minutes, and a whopping 17-4 run over the last 9:40.

The game tipped off with Dante Harris, Don Carey, Jahvon Blair, Jamorko Pickett, and Qudus Wahab to start for the fifth straight game. After missing a handful of games, LaVall Jordan finally got a healthy Aaron Thompson to start with Jair Bolden, Bryce Nze, Bryce Golden, and Chuck Harris.

Wearing their blue jerseys, GU started out on an 11-0 run. The Hoyas didn’t turn the ball over until Chudier Bile stepped out of bounds with 12:20 left in the half. Butler went on two separate 7-0 runs to keep pace. Georgetown missed 6 of their last 8 three point attempts of the half, but Butler failed to score in the last 4:20. There was a weird double technical with 6 seconds left on Pickett (his second) and Wyles Wilmoth.

At halftime, the Hoyas were up 34-27. Georgetown shot 13-30 (43.3%) from the field and 6-13 from three (46.2% 3PT) for the half. The Bulldogs shot 10-29 (34.5% FG) from the field and 5-12 (41.7% 3PT) from three for the half. Georgetown led on the boards with 21 rebounds to Butler’s 13. Butler had 4 turnovers, while Georgetown had 5. Things looked good for Georgetown.

For the first half, Blair led with 8 points (3-7, 2-4 3PT), with Wahab scoring 7 points (3-6). Dante Harris and Don Carey each had 6 points. Carey had 1 assist and Harris had two. Pickett shot poorly with on 5 points on 2-8 from the field (1-4 3PT), but had 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Timohty Ighoefe had a nice dunk after recovering a fumbled pass down low. Bile did not have a shot in the half.

Butler’s Chuck Harris, a 6’2” guard from the D.C. area, led with 11 points on 4 for 9 shooting (3-5 3PT) and 3 assists, while Aaron Thompson was 2 for 4 from the field for 4 points (missing 2 free throws) in his first half back.

The second half started familiarly for Hoyas fans as Aaron Thompson started out with a turnaround and Dante Harris coughed up a turnover to give up a three by Chuck Harris. Patrick Ewing used a 30-second timeout. The Hoyas got back on track, aside from a minute stuck at 42 points (42-38, 15:25 left).

Harris made a nice layup off and Bile hit a three while Butler had trouble scoring to go up 47-38. Butler had a mini-run to catch up 47-42 (13:00) before Bile rebounded a Harris runner and got fouled, hitting only the second free-throw to take the score to 48-42 before Blair missed a jumper from the charity stripe, there was a foul and a media timeout at 11:30. The teams were about even for the second half at this point, with Butler shooting 6-17 from the field and 1-6 from three and Georgetown shooting 5-12 from the field and 2-5 from beyond the arc.

Coming out of the timeout, Jamari Sibley was whistled for a foul on a dribble hand-off. Ighoefe goaltended a shot almost through the hoop. Carey missed a jumper trying to draw a foul, Harris missed a contested layup that he should have made. Pickett finally hit a three in rhythm to make it 51-46 with 9:40 left.

Blair missed a layup, got the rebound, and missed another contested layup. Carey got hacked on a layup inside. Hoyas could not draw a foul. After the media timeout at 7:48, Pickett made a bad pass to make 12 total TOs for Georgetown and Chuck Harris made a layup on the other end to pull Butler within three again, 51-48 with 7:22 left.

Georgetown was on a nearly 4-minute drought since Pickett’s three with 9:40 left, though neither team scored until Jair Bolden hit a three off of a steal by Aaron Thompson (TJ Berger turnover) to tie the game up at 5:49. Pickett was fouled by Nze on a drive to the basket and made both free-throws to go back up 53-51. Nze returned the favor with a layup to tie, but then Pickett drove down the lane for another bucket (12 points) to reclaim the lead 55-53, 4:29 left. Maybe Pickett was flipping the switch. Maybe the Hoyas had a chance.

Both teams were scoreless until the 3:33 media timeout, but Thompson fed Bryce Golden for an innbounds baseline fadeaway deuce—his specialty, apparently—to tie it at 55. Golden hit another jumper to take Butler’s first lead since 2-3 two minutes into the game.

Georgetown was 1 for 8 field goals and scoreless on the past three minutes since Pickett’s layup. Pickett missed a jumper and then Aaron Thompson hit a back-breaking shot-clock buzzer beater over Blair and Wahab—Butler was winning 59-55 with 55 seconds left and everyone knew it was over. Thompson’s presence on the floor may have been the deciding factor in the game.

Coming out of the clock-check referee timeout, Butler pressured the Hoyas guards near half-court and Blair was forced to give it up to Dante Harris. Harris made a nice drive and missed the layup. Nze was fouled on the rebound and hit a free-throw. Blair missed a three and the ball was knocked out of bounds. Georgetown took a timeout, and then Butler did. Carey hit the top of the backboard with a long jumper attempt on a simple inbound-and-hand-off play. Georgetown dejectedly fouled and jacked up some bad shots as the clock wound to zero.

Butler won the second half 36-21. Georgetown shot 7-29 (24.1%) from the field and 3-8 from three (37.5% 3PT) for the second half. The Bulldogs didn’t shoot a whole lot better, but it was enough down the stretch, shooting 13-31 (41.9% FG) from the field and 2-10 from three for the second half. Georgetown had 9 turnovers while Butler only had 2 in the half. Butler got a boost from 16 points off of turnovers while Georgetown had zero.

Fans will come away from this one thinking that Georgetown, again, played a solid 30+ minutes before collapse, but there were plenty of missed opportunities during that second half. Missed layups and tough shots. Butler, a team hardly known for their defense, came alive during the last 5 minutes, during the 12-2 run, and contested every Georgetown shot. The Hoyas failed to get to the line, only shooting 8 free throws, making 6, while Butler was 10-15.

Georgetown missed 17 of their last 19 shots and, frankly, did not move the ball well since the Pickett three pointer. The game-plan changed and the post could not be fed. Wahab had only 2 points on only two attempts in the half. The Hoyas were 5-11 on layups in the second half.

Blair was 1-9 (1-4 3PT) for 3 points in the latter half and 4-16 (3-8 3FG) overall for 11 points. Harris and Carey, too, shot poorly in the second half with 1-6 from the field (0-1 3PT) for Harris and 0-3 from the field for Carey (no threes). Pickett, after a slow start, was 4-13 for the game (2-5 3FG) for 12 points and 11 rebounds, with 4 assists (0 assists in the second half).

The Hoyas only had 7 bench points for the game. Bile was 2-4 in the second period, shooting 1-2 from three, for 7 points in the game. The Hoyas had only four total assists in the second half—Carey (2), Blair (2), and Harris (0).

Yesterday, during pregame interviews, Wahab articulated Georgetown’s problem finishing games as “chill mode.” Tonight, it seemed more like the Hoyas were forcing it.

No one saw a relaxed team going through the motions—they saw turnovers, bad shots, and poor sharing. Missing nearly twenty shots to end the game, along with 9 turnovers in the half and dearth of post attempts, are not indications of lack of focus from over-confidence. Their biggest lead in the second half was only 9 points. There wasn’t much leadership from Blair, Pickett, or the freshman point guard, Harris.

Perhaps the Hoyas were scared to blow it again. Perhaps it’s poor poise against pressure down the stretch. Perhaps it was mental mistakes. But their shots were off, and their legs looked tired.

Anyway you spin it, the Hoyas couldn’t hold on. Again.