It seems odd to say but Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas have only three regular season games left, with the Johnnies coming Wednesday, Providence visiting Sunday (12:30pm, FOX), and Creighton hosting GU on March 1st (8:30PM, FS1). By winning all three, Georgetown could theoretically overtake DePaul (3-13) and Butler (5-12) for 9th place seed at the BIG EAST Tournament.
What else can be said about the win at Hinkle? The Bulldogs scored only 25 points in the second half, shooting 11 for 29 from the field and 1 for 13 from three during the half. Hoyas managed to get to the line 13 times in the second half, missing only two of those attempts. With Butler thin at center, staying aggressive proved to be a good game plan for Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas.
Free throws have been very important to Georgetown’s level of success, especially this year. The Hoyas attempted 41 free throws in the home win against DePaul and 22 foul shots in the win at Butler. Perhaps more important, the discrepancy in free throws was tilted rather high for Georgetown in both wins as DePaul only attempted 19 foul shots (GU +22) and Butler only had 6 attempts from the charity stripe (GU +16). Driving and encouraging opponents’ foul trouble has been the strategy, not just a byproduct of referee discretion.
The Hoyas were +16 and +15 in free throw attempts against Marquette at home and away, respectively, and +8 and +9 in free throw shots against UConn at home and away, respectively. They were hanging around more than they should in those games. Georgetown was -3 and even (12 apiece) in losses at DePaul and against Butler earlier this season. They improved. The +20 at home against Xavier in December kept the Hoyas close but -15 at Villanova and -19 at Seton Hall spoiled games that legitimately should have been won by Georgetown.
For what it’s worth, St. John’s lost to Butler on February 7th, 68-66. They made 4 of only 6 free throws attempted. The Johnnies also put up 92 points in double overtime at DePaul last Tuesday night, holding the Blue Demons scoreless in the second OT. St. John’s won the free throw battle 21-26 over DePaul’s 12-17. The Red Storm beat Providence on Saturday, Feb 11 at MSG, 73-68. While St. John’s only shot one more free throw than the Friars in the game, but, in the second half, Providence was 7-10 while the Johnnies were 14-17 on foul shots.
If Georgetown wins this game on Wednesday, they will do it with free throw attempts—keeping St. John’s off the foul line and staying aggressive against forwards Joel Soriano and David Jones. Hopefully, hosting a late-night matchup on a Wednesday can help the Hoyas head to the charity stripe more than the Johnnies.
Here are the links:
The Georgetown University men’s basketball team used a strong second half to push past the Butler University Bulldogs 68-62 at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Sunday afternoon. A trio of Hoyas in double figures paired with the Blue & Gray owning the battle on the glass sealed the road win.
ON THE RECORD: “For the most part we fought - we made mistakes in the first half, I got on them at halftime, they stayed focused and they came out and played in the second half. Everyone did some positive things to be able to come away with a win. Qudus Wahab with his four offensive rebounds was big for us, Brandon (Murray) with his 17 points, Jay Heath with his clutch plays down the stretch. We did a great job defensively - they hit six threes at one point in the first half and they only made one in the second half and that’s where the game was right there.” - Head Coach Patrick Ewing on today’s game
More Ewing on the win:— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) February 20, 2023
"I just thought that defensively, we did a great job defensively. They hit six 3s at one point in the first half. I think they only made one in the second half. That was where the game was right there."
Brandon Murray’s 17 points helped Georgetown defeat Butler 68-62 on Sunday.
The Hoyas earned their first road win of the season, snapping a 22-game road losing streak overall, dating to February 27, 2021.
Murray added six rebounds for the Hoyas (7-21, 2-15 Big East Conference). Qudus Wahab scored 14 points and added eight rebounds. Jay Heath had 12 points, while adding seven rebounds.
Hoyas finished on a 21-8 run in the last 11 minutes. Haven’t been on the right side of a swing like that in years.— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) February 19, 2023
It was a game of big runs in the first half. Butler dominated the early minutes, going up 14-3 as the Hoyas scored just three points in the first 5:48 of the game.
Georgetown later went on a 12-0 run and brought their deficit to just one. Butler started the game shooting 7-for-11 from the field as a team and then proceeded to miss its next seven shots.
The Bulldogs headed into halftime with a 37-32 lead. Taylor scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half and Wahab led the Hoyas with eight. Coming into Sunday, Butler was 12-0 this season when they held the lead at halftime.
Shooting under 38% from the field in the 2nd half as a team, only Ali with 9 second half points was able to generate offense for the Bulldogs.
The Hoyas seized their opportunity with both hands. Turning one of their struggles into a strength, the paint was owned by Georgetown. Lead by Wahab and Mozone, the team out-rebounded Butler 45-29. On offense, their guards lacked potency from the outside, but relentlessly drove the ball into the paint, resulting in 13 second chance points and 22 free throw attempts. Those free throws were critical as the final 6 makes from the stripe iced the game for the Hoyas, winning 68-62 and breaking their 22 road game losing streak.
After the game, Coach Ewing was extremely complementary of the player’s heart on defense and effort to crash the glass for rebounds. After many close loses, this tight victory on the road clearly meant a lot to this youthful team.
Doing my best to find a positive in today’s 68-62 loss to Georgetown…this is all I got— Butler Basketball Guru (@ButlerGuru) February 20, 2023
Jayden Taylor continues to play really well offensively. The reigning Big East Player of the Week had 21 points on 7-15 shooting
He’s now averaging 19.8 PPG over his past 5 games #ButlerWay pic.twitter.com/PkkA91nVwP
It has not been a good stretch of basketball for the Georgetown Hoyas — especially on the road.
The Hoyas are 7-21 and dead last in the Big East. They’ve also only won two games in the conference, but the good news is one of those games was the last one. Georgetown beat the Butler Bulldogs, 68-62.
Notably, the win came on the road, which marked the Hoyas’ first road win this season, and it snapped a 22-game losing skid that dated all the way back to February 2021.
Head coach Patrick Ewing credited his team’s resilience in the second half for the win. Georgetown entered halftime down 37-32.
Creighton normally is middle of the road in terms of pace, ranking 129th in the country with just over 71 possession per game in contrast to St. John’s rank of 11th with 76 possession per game. While the Red Storm normally play at the faster pace, Creighton took St. John’s pace and shoved it right back in their face.
In addition to the pace, the Bluejays shot well from beyond the arc. Coming into this contest, St. John’s was the second worst team in the Big East in opposing three-point percentage allowing opposing Big East teams to shoot over 36% from deep. In the first half, Creighton was 8 of 19 from three. While St. John’s had 13 made field goals and Creighton had 14, the difference at the half was that only 1 of those field goals were from deep for the Johnnies while 8 of them for Creighton were from three.
The Johnnies trailed by as many 11 points with just over 4 minutes to play. A quality couple of minutes and a pair of alley-oops cut that deficit to 5, but a well-used timeout by Creighton’s Greg McDermott resulted in a 7-2 run rebuilding the lead to 10 points.
What changed in the second half?
An across-the-board effort aided the Red Storm. Four players had five or more rebounds, with Jones and Storr stepping up their work to end Providence possessions in the second half.
The Friar rebounding margin was established during the last 10 minutes of the first half when the nature of the play was more helter-skelter. With both teams were pushing the play, the Johnnies were not getting back downcourt after shot misses. In the second half the Johnnies were more focused on getting back into defensive positions. Having proper defensive positioning placed Johnnie defenders in a better position to box out and take down defensive rebounds.