The Georgetown men’s basketball team looks to knock off its second top-25 opponent of the week as the team heads to Indianapolis, to rematch the surging No. 11 Butler Bulldogs.
After a slow shooting start against No. 16 Creighton (18-3, 5-3 Big East), Georgetown (11-10, 2-6 Big East) caught fire and cruised to a decisive 71-51 victory. For the game, the Hoyas shot 47.5 percent and assisted on 20 of its 29 baskets. After the initial offensive lull, Georgetown took the lead and stayed in front for the majority of the game, shooting well and contesting most of Creighton’s shots.
“We just started making shots and attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line, not settling for threes like coach said,” sophomore center Jessie Govan said following Wednesday’s victory. “It was just an all-around team effort.”
Georgetown found great guard play centered around junior guards Jonathan Mulmore and L.J. Peak and graduate student guard Rodney Pryor. Peak tied for a game-high 20 points and eclipsed 1,000 career points in the win, becoming the 46th Hoya to do so.
The Hoyas outrebounded Creighton by 11 with Govan chipping in seven to go along with his 15 points. Govan and the rest of the team’s big men will need to continue this type of play to keep pace with Butler (18-3, 7-2 Big East) and junior forward Kelan Martin, who outrebounded Georgetown in the last matchup. Martin had a double-double, with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
“[Against Creighton] we were paying attention to the details, and hopefully we can keep that going,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said.
In the last meeting with the Bulldogs, Georgetown fought hard for 40 minutes but struggled in overtime. Butler led the entire extra period, thanks to 13 made free throws and the Hoyas’ 3-of-11 shooting from the field in this stretch. Five Bulldogs reached double-digit point totals in the first matchup, two of which came off the bench.
“Everyone who comes in is a good player,” Thompson said of Butler’s bench depth. “Everyone is effective and produces.”
The overtime loss was a breakout game for Georgetown freshman guard Jagan Mosely, who scored a career-high 20 points. On Saturday, Mosely matches up with Butler freshman guard Kamar Baldwin, who dropped 16 points in the previous matchup. Baldwin averages 10.1 points per game, and the Hoyas hope that Mosely, as well as the star guards in the Creighton win, can give them the edge they need on the perimeter.
Junior forward Kelan Martin leads the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounds with 16.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. As a team, Butler shoots 47.7 percent from the floor — slightly higher than Georgetown’s 45.8 percent.
The Hoyas surely have their hands full with the Bulldogs, who have won six of their last seven games. In that stretch, the team defeated previous No. 1 Villanova (19-2, 7-2 Big East) and current No. 24 Xavier (14-5, 4-3 Big East). Butler also is 17-0 at home this year, using its home advantage to the full extent.
The Hoyas now go into the matchup with a second conference win under their belt as they try to build momentum and climb in the Big East standings. Butler has played well and is hoping to continue its success to secure one of the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament. However, with the previous matchup being so within Georgetown’s reach, this meeting has potential to
be another pivotal win for the team.
“That’s the beauty of the Big East. Plenty of opportunity in front of us,” Thompson said in a conference call Thursday.
Tipoff is set for this Saturday at 8 p.m. in Indianapolis. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network and can be heard locally on 106.7 FM.
Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.