After a 67-65 home loss to DePaul, the Georgetown men’s basketball team’s hopes for an at-large NCAA tournament bid came to a screeching halt, as a late foul cost the Hoyas the game. With three games remaining, Georgetown shifts its focus to St. John’s (12-16, 6-9 Big East) for a Saturday matinee road game.
The Blue Demons (9-19, 2-13 Big East) picked up their first road win in Big East play at the Verizon Center after senior guard Billy Garrett Jr. sank two free throws with under a second left to finish off the Hoyas.
Georgetown (14-14, 5-10 Big East) started the game firing on all cylinders. Halfway through the first half, the Hoyas took a commanding 27-13 lead. However, the Georgetown offense soon deteriorated. After starting the game going 8-of-12 from the field, graduate student guard Rodney Pryor and sophomore center Jessie Govan missed 14 of their next 18 shots.
DePaul took advantage of Georgetown’s cold shooting and went on a 30-9 run to take a 39-36 lead into halftime. Garrett Jr. said DePaul’s successful comeback was a result of Georgetown’s lack of effort.
“We got a sense that they kind of didn’t want to play that hard,” Garrett Jr. said.
After a back-and-forth second half, the Hoyas regained a 65-61 lead with 1:05 to go. But Georgetown did not capitalize on key offensive possessions, preventing the team from maintaining its lead.
Up by two with the shot clock winding down, Govan turned the ball over, leading to a DePaul layup on the other end. When Georgetown got the ball back with six seconds left and tied at 65, Govan received a pass from junior guard L.J. Peak behind the arc and missed an open three-pointer.
Out of timeouts with 4.9 seconds left, Garrett Jr. took the ball the length of the floor and was fouled by junior forward Akoy Agau. Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III voiced his displeasure on the last play of the game.
“We wanted to contain [Billy Garrett Jr.]. We knew that he was taking it out. We knew that they were going to throw it right back to him. We wanted to retreat and keep him in front of us. We just didn’t do it,” Thompson said.
Garrett buried both free throws.
Peak — the second-highest scorer for the Hoyas this season — was notably quiet, finishing with a season-low six points.
Thompson pointed out the link between Georgetown’s struggles on both ends of the floor.
“We let our frustrations on offense lead to bad defense,” Thompson said.
The Hoyas will travel to Madison Square Garden on Saturday to take on the Red Storm. Led by the backcourt of freshmen Marcus LoVett and Shamorie Ponds, who both average 17 points per game, Georgetown must defend a much-improved St. John’s team as it did when it downed the Red Storm 83-55 Jan. 9 at the Verizon Center.
The Red Storm have dropped two consecutive conference games, losing by an average of 23 points in the two-game span. St. John’s most recent loss came at the hands of Marquette (17-10, 8-7 Big East), as the Golden Eagles downed the Red Storm 93-71 Tuesday night.
As Georgetown rests in the watershed of its season, Pryor sums up what the Hoyas have to do moving forward.
“You just got to stick together. From here on out, we have to finish strong,” Pryor said.
Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be televised on MASN2.
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