Over the past two seasons, the Georgetown men’s basketball team has let several opposing players obtain their career-highs.
On Sunday, the Hoya defense added another player to that list. No. 23 Creighton (22-5, 9-5 Big East) junior guard Marcus Foster dropped 35 points in the Bluejays 87-70 home rout of the Blue and Gray (14-13, 5-9 Big East).
While the Hoyas hung around for much of the first half, a decisive run in the second half sealed the Bluejays’ win. Foster, along with three other Creighton players, poured in double figures in a team-shooting performance that saw the Bluejays shoot 58.8 percent inside the arc and 45 percent beyond it.
“Our defense at a key stretch let us down, whereas in that first game, our defense was pretty good,” Head Coach John Thompson III said of the drop-off from the Hoyas’ last outing against the Bluejays, a 71-51 win at the Verizon Center.
The loss brings the Hoyas to a total of 13 this season, entering rare territory as the season winds down. Only six teams since 1985 — since the NCAA Tournament expanded to a field of 64 — have made the tournament as an at-large team with 14 losses. None have made it with 15.
Historical precedent suggests that the mandate for the rest of the Blue and Gray’s season affords one loss. The Hoyas, then, must turn towards their next four games with increased urgency.
The loss at Creighton unveiled greater problems with the team, however. While Foster efficiently knocked down shot after shot, the Georgetown defense continued its man-to-man switching scheme.
No other Bluejay, except for Foster, tallied more than 13 points on the day or recorded a possession usage percentage greater than 22 percent.
On the Hoyas’ side of the ball, sophomore center Jessie Govan used 35 percent of the team’s possessions when he was on the court, per KenPom.com. Scoring 12 points on the day, Govan completed the trifecta of double-digit scorers that had previously served Georgetown well. Junior and graduate student guards L.J. Peak and Rodney Pryor scored 16 and 23 points, respectively, on combined 12-of-20 shooting from inside the arc.
However, the trio that had previously lifted the Hoyas to a 10-1 record in games by scoring 10 or more points was not efficiently firing on all cylinders.
Instead, Govan’s lapses on defense and contribution of four turnovers to the Blue and Gray’s total of 15 further fueled the Bluejays’ scoring output.
In a game that Georgetown never led, Creighton excelled on both ends of the floor, particularly in the absence of potential All-American and senior guard Maurice Watson, Jr. Creighton’s record in the games that Watson has missed is 4-4.
The Hoyas now turn toward a home contest against DePaul (8-19, 1-13 Big East) tomorrow evening. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
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