The 4:30 start on the Friday before Thanksgiving caught me off guard so spoiler alert, I may have missed the first ten minutes because of traffic. It doesn’t seem to matter. The Georgetown Hoyas were embarrassed by Loyola Marymount, 84-66, in the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic.
It appears Georgetown got off to a decent start offensively but things unraveled. Jay Heath found himself moved into the starting lineup over USC Upstate transfer Bryson Mozone—not surprising after the hot start Jay had in his first action earlier this week.
It was great to turn on the game and immediately see Jordan Riley finish a thunderous dunk that got the crowd going. Riley would have another alley-oop dunk later in the half, but would be waived off by a (weak) charge call. Quick note: Did anyone else see the security guard in the background in awe of Jordan’s Dunk? We loved it too. man!
Jordan Riley ✈️ #Hoyas pic.twitter.com/wh9Ni2vEc6— Patrick Waring (@WaringPatrick) November 18, 2022
In the first half, the Hoyas showed better energy than Tuesday night, and with the height advantage, they were able to get themselves to the foul line early and often. As a team, the Hoyas went 14-14 from the charity stripe in the first half, highlighted by Qudus Wahab going 6-6! But despite the bright spots on offense, the Hoya Defense continued to struggle, which allowed the Lions an opening to keep pace in the first half.
Georgetown would find themselves up 4-6 points only to see that disappear throughout most of the first half. But with about 5 minutes to go, the Hoyas started to get going and eventually opened up an 11 point lead at the 2 minute mark. The bench played a big role in this run as both Bryson Mozone and sophomore Ryan Mutombo both blocked a shot a piece, and Ryan quickly added 4 points of his own. All in all the first half featured great distribution by the entire Hoya roster as 4 of the 5 starters went into halftime with at least 8 points. Primo Spears continued his electric start with some dazzling moves, knocking down a couple of fadeaway turnaround jumpers. This left Georgetown up 10 at the break 42-32.
#Hoyas using a balanced effort and own a 10-point lead at the break, 42-32.— Georgetown Hoops (@GeorgetownHoops) November 18, 2022
8P each from Wahab, Murray and Spears
5R for Akok #HoyaSaxa pic.twitter.com/iLeYzUECCq
Overall, I was happy with what I saw in the first half, there was a lot of good play, but the 0-4 from beyond the arc would be problematic. I’m not asking for Steph Curry, but this offense would benefit from getting some more consistent perimeter shooting. Unfortunately the second half would show us how effective this can be…
After a slow and ugly first four minutes of the half, a barrage of threes and sloppy play found the Hoya’s 10 point lead, turn into a 7 point deficit (55-48). In the span of 40 seconds of gameplay, the Lions hit three three-pointers… and only a few minutes later would hit a couple more and be up by 15 (63-48) with 9 minutes to go.
The next 9 minutes would be more of the same and not worth digging into, but to give you the broad strokes LMU finished with more rebounds and more points in the paint than the Hoyas. The team’s body language looked bad. The lack of chemistry or a true spark plug is consistently holding this team back against mid majors. I shudder to think what things will look like in a month or two. The Hoyas lost the second half scoring battle 52-24, shooting only 8-29 from the field
The reality of the situation is that there remains a stigma when teams see us on their schedule. It’s been this way since as early as 2008. Years ago we put fear into the hearts of everyone, now players see us on the schedule and believe they hit the lotto. We’re four games in, it’s too early to judge a team that is still working on chemistry, but at what point can we all accept there is a systemic problem? 0-21 was a wake-up call for some that brought about a number of changes to help inject some life into the program, but so far we’re on the same course we’ve seen these last 6 years.
Georgetown faces La Salle at noon on Sunday.