Creighton sought and extracted revenge for last week’s upset Tuesday night, soundly beating Georgetown 63-48 in a return game in McDonough Arena. In their second straight the Hoyas looked very much like a team ending a punishing three-games-in-six-days stretch against the Big East leaders.
From the tip, the outcome was foreseeable. Creighton was the aggressor, attacking the rim on offense and digging and doubling in the paint on defense. The Bluejays were fresh, and motivated after casually yielding 86 to the Hoyas in the teams’ meeting in Omaha last week. Georgetown, by contrast, was slow and sluggish. On offense, the Hoyas were resigned to deep 3s, while on defense they couldn’t stay in front of the attacking visitors. Creighton’s game-opening 6-0 run, fueled by Damien Jefferson getting to the tin on one end and Chudier Bile turning it over on the other, didn’t decide the game, but it did predict what was to come.
For their part, the Hoyas didn’t completely fold. Out of a timeout, a ball reversal led to a Bile 3, which was allowed by a triple by Jahvon Blair. A Qudus Wahab putback provided rare points in the paint and kept Georgetown within two. The Hoyas were game.
But whether it was dead legs, defensive adjustments by Creighton, or just one team wanting it more than the other, the Hoyas just couldn’t generate consistent offense, or really any offense at all. Georgetown took 17 three-pointers in the first 11 minutes, with the Wahab bucket as the Hoyas’ only points in the paint during the same span.
No Hoya penetrated into the lane, with fruitless and error-prone post-ups as Georgetown’s only foray into the interior. Creighton sent a second defender whenever Wahab got the ball in the post, and whenever Bile ventured inside the arc. Those extra defenders generated plenty of turnovers, as Georgetown gave the ball away on six straight possessions. Entry passes went awry, dribble drives were lost, post-ups were swiped away. You name it, the Hoyas found a way to lose it. By the half, Georgetown had committed 13 turnovers and trailed 33-21. Against a normally potent attack like Creighton, the Hoyas were lucky not to be down more.
Of course, there was another half of basketball for the Bluejay lead to grow. Balloon it did, as the Hoyas managed just 9 points in as many minutes after the break. Bile’s recent hot streak ran cold, Wahab was swarmed down low, and neither Dante Harris nor Blair could puncture the defense off the bounce.
By the under 8 mark, Creighton had a 34-8 advantage on points in the paint, led by 22, and still refused to give an inch. A Jamorko Pickett post-up led to a flustered miss, followed by a Jamari Sibley rebound, which was lost amid a sea of Bluejay arms.
Some degree of patience is in order here. Georgetown came off a weeks-long pause to play three straight intense games, beating Providence and Creighton before narrowly losing at Villanova. The Hoyas traveled from Omaha to D.C. to Philadelphia and home again before Tuesday’s game. They should have been a step slow, and certainly looked as much. They faced a fully motivated Bluejay squad that punished that fatigue at every step. The result was a point total straight out of the JT3 era.
Whether this was just an off night after a road trip, or a sign of a larger regression, remains to be seen. Georgetown will enjoy a few nights off before returning to action Saturday, when the Hoyas will seek revenge of their own against visiting a Butler squad. Til then, stay safe, everyone and have some Mutombo Coffee!