The Georgetown Hoyas may have lost to the Providence Friars on Thursday evening, 75-83, but it was the strongest they have looked in 2022. That said, Patrick Ewing’s squad is still some distance away from where they and the fans want to be. At this point, many fans are looking for signs of evolution in the program.
Georgetown shot 13-23 (56.5%) from three but 26-65 (40%) overall from the field. The Hoyas lost the rebound battle 32-33, but had fewer turnovers (10-12) and had more points off turnovers 20-12.
Dante Harris shooting 3-11 FGs did not help, nor did Collin Holloway going 1-9 FGs (1-3 3PT) or Timothy Ighoefe’s 1-6 from the field, but it felt like—except for that initial 0-13 run—the finally-freaking-healthy Georgetown Hoyas played better than the 21st-ranked team.
Defense continued to be an issue, especially with a couple late-game wide-open three point attempts. Providence, typically shooting about 33% from three, shot 9-19 from beyond the arc against the Hoyas with Noah Horchler (4-7 3PT) predictably leading the way.
With Villanova on Saturday, the question will be which group of Hoyas comes out to compete. In recent history, Georgetown has stepped up against Villanova and played competitively. This season’s iteration of Villanova, however, is known for a couple things that the Hoyas have struggled with: (1) ball movement leading to open perimeter looks and (2) off-ball pressing defense.
One area that Villanova does not usually push Georgetown is getting a paint-touch before kicking the ball out to the perimeter. Such inside-then-outside ball movement has caused Georgetown to over-help and then scramble pretty consistently this season. Communication may have improved against Providence, but kick-outs were how the Friars held Georgetown off during that final stretch. Maybe Hoya fans will see further evolution.
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Georgetown’s defense continued to be an issue. The Friars shredded the Hoyas when Ewing went to man-to-man, shooting 51.7 percent from the field and 50 percent (5 for 10) from beyond the arc. In addition, Providence scored 30 points in the paint.
“We gave them too many points in the paint,” Ewing said. “And it wasn’t just [Nate Watson]. He didn’t play a Watson-type game, and we still gave them 30 points in the paint, and that’s what hurt us.”
The Hoyas struggled early, missing their first 11 shots and committing five turnovers in the first seven minutes. Providence capitalized. By the time Dante Harris made his first jump shot, the Friars had a 13-0 lead.
But Carey helped the Hoyas come back, sparking an 18-12 run with a pair of three-pointers. The Hoyas trailed just 37-34 at intermission, thanks in part to Tyler Beard’s three-pointer at the buzzer.
Georgetown (6-9, 0-4) lost its fifth straight despite the play of Donald Carey, who made five 3-pointers, scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds. It was the first game for Carey since Dec. 18. After a 19-day COVID pause, Carey missed the Hoyas’ previous three games with an illness.
Kaiden Rice also made five 3-pointers on his way to 19 points. The Hoyas hit 13 of 23 shots from beyond the arc (56.5 percent) but made just 40 percent of their shots overall.
Aminu Mohammed added 12 points and six rebounds for Georgetown.
“Things didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked for it to have gone but I thought my guys showed resilience in terms of fighting back. It could have easily gone either way.” - Head Coach Patrick Ewing
Donald Carey made an emphatic return, registering a game-high 21 points to go along with seven boards and four steals in 35 minutes of action. The Hoya captain tied a career-high with five triples, matching his mark set against St. John’s (12/20/20).
Kaiden Rice added 19 points, shooting 6-of-9 from the floor and 5-for-7 from distance in 21 minutes of work.
Aminu Mohammed rounded out the Hoyas in double figures with 12 points while pulling down six rebounds.
As a team, the Hoyas went 13-of-23 from the distance (56.5%) while shooting 10-of-11 from the charity stripe (90.9%).
GU also forced more turnovers (12-10) and took advantage of the miscues (20-12).
No. 21/21 Men’s Basketball Drives Past Georgetown, 83-75 https://t.co/mlNjPGhT7k— Providence MBB (@PCFriarsmbb) January 21, 2022
Four players hit double figures in the victory over the Hoyas. Al Durham and Ed Croswell each put up 15 points, Noah Horchler chipped in 14, and Nate Watson turned around a 10-point showing. Croswell’s 15 came on a perfect 7-for-7 night from the field. He went 1-of-2 on his free throws, explaining where that one isolated point came from. Croswell also picked up a steal and three blocks on the night too.
Justin Minaya might not have gotten into double figures but he had a strong effort all around. Minaya scored nine points, grabbed nine rebounds, dished out five assists, and had just one turnover in 37 minutes of play.
Ed Croswell scored 15 points and Noah Horchler had 14 with seven rebounds to lead Providence past Georgetown 83-75 on Thursday. https://t.co/o9cbMdIhvR— WTOP (@WTOP) January 21, 2022
Trailing by 16 points midway into the second half, Georgetown made a late charge, slicing it to 64-60.
Horchler hit two 3-pointers and Justin Minaya one to help the Friars hang on.
”One of the timeouts, I looked at Noah and said: `Can you make the next shot because I’m coming to you?”’ Cooley said. ”He said: `Bring it on.’ It was great for his confidence.”
The Hoyas recovered from a miserable start and trailed 37-34 at halftime after Tyler Beard’s 3 at the buzzer.
PC opened the second half like the beginning of the game, breaking with an 11-2 spree.
“Our players, because of what we went through last year (with health protocol) and the schedule we played, we know that we can compete with everyone,” Cooley said.
The Friars, ranked No. 21 in this week’s Associated Press poll, improved to 11-0 at home this season behind reserve center Ed Croswell (15 points), Al Durham (15 second half points), Noah Horchler (14 points with four 3-pointers and seven rebounds) and Nate Watson (10 points).
PC totaled 20 assists on its 27 field goals, shooting 53 percent for the game.
“We’re going to find ourselves in many games because of our experience, our toughness and because of our physicality,” Cooley said. “That was one of our better offensive rhythms we’ve played in a long time.”
Although the Golden Eagles channeled their best Golden State Warriors impression, Villanova needs to be better at defending the three. The ‘Cats struggled hedging or switching on screens leaving Marquette with wide open looks from beyond the arc.
Marquette hit 13 threes in total, Justin Lewis chipped in 5 of those including the go-ahead three with 11.9 seconds to go. Communication between the two defenders seemed to be lost and created trouble early. Closeouts looked to be sloppy too.
Villanova was solid on the boards, putting up 27 defensive rebounds. Jermaine Samuels contributed 8 of those. While they might not have given up a lot of second chance opportunities, the first chances were just too open.
Wednesday’s game is a reminder that every team brings their “A” game when stepping up against Villanova.
Villanova does a bunch of things really, really well, but what they do best is shoot free throws and threes. Nova’s shooting splits are CRAZY: as a TEAM they shoot 81.5% from the line and 36.2% from three. For context, the D-I averages are 71.0% on free throws and 33.4% on threes.
Threes: They shoot a lot of threes. A LOT a lot. 46% of their shots are threes, good for #29 in the country. That said, Marquette is really good at contesting and not allowing other teams to shoot threes. MU’s three-point defense only gives up a three on about a third of shots against them and opponents only get about 28% of their points on threes. Both of those numbers are really good.
On defense, Villanova likes to disrupt opposing offenses by filling passing lanes and stopping normal ball movement. They do this at the expense of allowing opposing offenses to shoot threes. About 43% of opponents’ shots are threes, that’s a pretty large proportion of shots.