Offensive gridlock plagued the Georgetown men’s basketball against the Providence Friars on Monday night as the Hoyas fell to their conference foe 74-56 at home, dropping their Big East home record to a mere 1-3.
Georgetown’s (10-9, 1-5 Big East) inconsistent offense during conference play continued as only two players reached double digit point totals against Providence (13-7, 3-4 Big East). Leading scorer and graduate student guard Rodney Pryor finished with just 12 points and struggled from deep, missing all four of his three point attempts. Junior guard L.J. Peak failed to get shots to fall from inside, converting only 3-of-11 shots from the floor for a team high of 13 points.
Georgetown shot 33 percent from the floor and made 5-of-23 shots from beyond the arc. Although sophomore forward Marcus Derrickson could not duplicate the offensive success he experienced against the Friars two weeks ago, he was the only Georgetown player to hit multiple three-point shots, finishing 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
The night was stagnant for the Hoyas and poor spacing, especially on fast breaks, led to a much slower pace of play. Head Coach John Thompson III and Pryor both attribute the lethargy in the team’s pace for its offensive inefficiency.
“Missing open shots and easy shots was part of the equation, but it’s not that simple,” Thompson said. “We played slow today. Everything was slow. We weren’t running; we weren’t moving; we weren’t cutting. Every person who touched the ball held it, held it, held it and threw it to the next person who held it.”
“We had a lot of open shots that we normally make,” Pryor said. “I think we have to get into our stuff quicker. I think sometimes, when we lag into our offense, that’s the reason we miss those open shots, because we’re not ready to shoot it.”
Down 27-14 midway through the first half, the Hoyas went on a 10-1 run to cut the lead to four with 3:38 minutes left. After a Providence timeout, the Friars closed the half on a 14-3 run to take a 42-27 lead into the break. Providence shot 5-of-11 from three-point range to in the opening half, whereas the Hoyas shot a mere 8 percent.
A similar narrative followed in the second as Georgetown could not string together enough successful possessions to create a run, allowing the Friars to protect their lead. Georgetown turned the rock over 15 times compared to Providence’s nine, several of which shut down any offensive momentum the Hoyas attempted to generate.
Like the first meeting, the Friars’ junior class dismantled the Hoyas’ defense. Junior forward Rodney Bullock led all scorers with 22 points and junior guard Jalen Lindsey connected on several open three-point shots, finishing 4-of-7 from downtown. Junior guard Kyron Cartwright finished the game with 16 points and 11 assists and was one rebound short of a triple-double. Cartwright’s performance did not catch Thompson by surprise.
“Their guard play,” said Thompson, in response to the mismatches Providence has created the past few years. “You go back to the game Cartwright had. You go back to [Kris] Dunn. You go back to [Bryce] Cotton before that, and that’s just off the top of my head.”
This loss marks Georgetown’s largest defeat in Big East play, as the Hoyas were not competitive in the game’s closing minutes.
“We have to go back. We have some time here,” Thompson said. “We’ve lost some games — but not like that. We’ve been in every one, fighting and scrapping. Today, we let one end of the court affect the other. We have to go back to campus, and everyone has to get back. That’s the best way to put it.”
The Hoyas have another tall order this Sunday on the road against No. 22 Xavier (13-5, 3-3 Big East), who find themselves amidst a three-game losing streak. The game tips off at 2 p.m. at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati and will be televised on CBS Sports.
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