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Not-Quite-Happy Hour: Hoyas fall short against #21 Friars, 83-75

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Donald Carey delivers 21pts and 4 steals in his return | Rice & Mohammed drop double digits

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Providence Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Your Georgetown Hoyas traveled up the east coast today for an unusual 5pm weekday tipoff against the #21 Providence Friars, a rescheduled matchup that was supposed to be the kickoff for the BIG EAST slate back near the end of December. The Hoyas came up short, ultimately tallying another loss by a score of 83-75.

After a quote from Coach Cooley the other day seemed to suggest that the Friars would be playing with the league-minimum 7 scholarship players as his team returned from their 12-day COVID pause, Hoyas fans were understandably disappointed to learn that only AJ Reeves (hand injury) would be missing from the Providence lineup. As anticipated and hoped for, all Georgetown players that had been sidelined with illness returned for this game, including captain Donald Carey who was back in the starting lineup.

The Hoyas moved the ball briskly in their opening possessions, except passing miscues resulted in turnovers and allowed Provy to get on the board first. The Friars also had a couple of misses from around the basket, mitigating the impact of the unforced errors in the early minutes. Baskets from Horchler and Croswell on consecutive possessions abruptly ended that respite. At the U16 media break, after misses from Carey, Dante Harris and Aminu Mohammed, the Hoyas trailed 9-0. Georgetown would fall into a 15-point hole before getting their offense rolling.

Carey finally put Georgetown on the board, nailing a long triple off a Bynum turnover just before the 13’ mark. Following assorted general chaos and people sliding across the floor, Kaiden Rice collected a turnover around midcourt and buried a wide-open three from the top of the arc. Bookended by Providence jumpers, Rice knocked down another, then Malcolm Wilson tipped in the Hoyas’ first basket from inside the arc. With 9:10 remaining, the Friars remained on top 20-11.

Aminu got joined the box score with a pretty turnaround off the window, the teams traded three-pointers, Mohammed hit again, then Timothy Ighoefe dropped a hooker in the lane. It was a fast-paced game with few whistles, fouls, or foul shots. Georgetown climbed back in it with a 7-0 run, 25-20 at 6:41. Tyler Beard continued to acquit himself well running the point and added a basket of his own. Collin Holloway’s three made it 29-25 with just over 4 minutes remaining. Providence converted with an and-1; Carey and Horchler traded threes. Croswell continued attacking for the Friars, shooting 6-6 in the first half and earning the “guy not in the scouting report having a career night against the Hoyas” award. Beard nailed a long three just before the halftime buzzer to pull the Hoyas within a single possession, sending his team into the break down by narrow margin, 37-34.

Turnovers for the Hoyas and multiple pairs of free throws for the Friars to open the second half extended Provy’s advantage early, with Georgetown trailing by 10 at the 16-minute mark. Jalin Billingsley became the 4th Hoya to play the 5 and managed to complete a 3-point play, but Georgetown couldn’t maintain any momentum, coming up empty on multiple consecutive possessions while the Friars consistently converted. That trend of futility continued for several minutes of game play, with the strong offensive performance from Carey the only thing keeping the Hoyas within striking distance. A clutch triple from Rice just before the U8, a shot-clock beating bank from Aminu, and a breakaway layup from Harris showed a welcome spark, but their inability to keep the Friars from scoring was (shockingly) preventing them from shrinking the deficit.

With 5:59 left, Georgetown trailed 64-58. A pair of Providence miscues led to promising possessions from the Hoyas, and Dante Harris’ FTs pulled it within 4. A big triple from Aminu Mohammed off the feed from Carey would cut it to a 4-point game once again with 2:59 remaining, but that was the tightest margin the Hoyas would manage. Georgetown couldn’t capitalize off the stoppages from the late-game fouling, and the Friars diligently made their FTs to maintain their cushion.

The Hoyas will need to put together a more consistent performance to start winning conference games. You can’t let a night with 57% outside shooting go to waste. Certain players need a little wisdom & discernment (sup, Confessions of St. Augustine! I really was paying attention, Father Hentz) to be aware of when they are trying to do too much. That said, this performance showed a team that is at least trending in the proper direction now that all personnel are available. The return of Donald Carey — his steady attitude and his shooting — was invaluable, and the team’s collective capacity for regrouping after an opponent scoring streak was markedly better than getting trounced by the Johnnies or Butler.

There is no time to dwell on this one as the Hoyas have a quick turnaround and will be headed back to DC asap, where Villanova is coming to town for a Noon matchup on Saturday, 1/22 set to air on FOX.