After a Friday drubbing at the hands of Marquette, it was more of the same as your shorthanded Georgetown Hoyas lost to the Butler Bulldogs, 72-58.
The Hoyas were without Coach Patrick Ewing, Dante Harris, Donald Carey and Kobe Clark, who were all out due to illness. Assistant Louis Orr coached Georgetown.
Georgetown was in this game for the first 17 minutes, with the game tied 27-27 with 2:55 left in the first half. Then, the wheels came off. Butler went on a 13-0 run that ran into the second half, a run in which Georgetown looked, well, bad. Missed layups, turnovers, and, most glaringly, porous defense. The run ended with Georgetown down 40-27, and the Hoyas were never in it again.
Butler was paced by Jair Bolden (23 pts, 5-14 3PT), Bryce Nze (14 pts, 8 rebounds) and Bryce Golden (11 pts, 5 rebounds). A lot of “Bryces” and “-oldens” play for Butler this season.
Georgetown was led in scoring by Tyler Beard (15 pts, 5 assists) and Collin Holloway (11 pts). Aminu Mohammed (7 pts, 2-16 FG) was kept in check, and greenlight Kaiden Rice never got going from deep (5 pts, 1-8 3PT). It’s worth noting that freshmen Ryan Mutombo and Jalin Billingsley both had their moments in the paint, and had identical lines (8 pts, 6 rebounds). Tim Ighoefe also returned and notched 9 rebounds in his first game since Nov 30.
Georgetown jumped out to a 6-0 lead on back-to-back 3’s from Holloway and Rice to start the game. Butler’s Bolden provided the bulk of their early offense with a few early 3s, and the game was tied 8-8 at the under 16 timeout. The game seesawed back and forth the remainder of the first, with Butler’s crummy shooting from behind the arc in the first half (5-18 3PT) keeping Georgetown close. Turnovers were a factor in the first half, as the Hoyas turned it over 7 times and Butler scored 10 points off those TOs (Butler had 4 TOs and the Hoyas had 2 points off theirs). Butler ended the first on a 5-0 run, leading 32-27 at halftime.
The second half started where the first half ended, and the game was a tough watch after Butler went up 40-27. The Hoyas showed a pulse after implementing a press and going to a smaller lineup sans Ighoefe, Mutombo, and Wilson in the last five minutes, and even cut the lead to 10 with 1:43 left, but the game never got closer.
The bright spot tonight was the continued development of Beard. He’s shown that he should play more, and not just as second fiddle to Harris. Georgetown also played their seldom-used zone defense much of the first half, which was effective and could be used as they dive deeper into their Big East schedule.
The Hoyas return to action at Madison Square Garden on Sunday at 4:30pm against St John’s (9-5, 1-2 in Big East play), who are coming off a tough OT loss to UConn yesterday.