The Hoyas found themselves down 11 with 15 minutes in the second half, as the ball seemed to suspend itself in midair — Georgetown hung on the edge of another nonconference blowout loss.
In an instant, the floating lob from freshman guard Jagan Mosely was ripped from above the rim and thrown down as the Verizon Center faithful thundered in the wake of the alley-oop.
Graduate student Rodney Pryor and his slam later graced SportCenter’s Top 10 Plays, and the Hoyas (10-8, 1-4 Big East) completed a 14-point comeback to down their former Big East rivals, the Connecticut Huskies (7-10, 2-3 AAC), 72-69.
Despite the rally from the Hoyas, the game still came down to one final play, an errant three-pointer fittingly taken by sophomore guard Jalen Adams, who finished with a game-high 22 points.
While UConn fell short in the end, Head Coach Kevin Ollie was pleased with the game-tying opportunity, along with Adams’ play on the day.
“He’s our best player. He got a good look,” Ollie said. “That’s the shot we wanted.”
Georgetown, however, executed its endgame defense and walked away from the contest triumphant in its comeback.
“We didn’t want to foul,” Head Coach John Thompson III said of the team’s strategy on the final play. “We put a smaller lineup so they had to switch. They weren’t going to just stay at home. We had a good contested shot and came up with the rebound.”
Defensive rebounding, an area of the game that the Hoyas have struggled with this season, rested at the crux of their comeback. The Blue and Gray outrebounded the Huskies 36-26 — grabbing 25 defensive rebounds out of a possible 30 — and limited the former Big East stalwarts to just one shot attempt for the latter half of the game.
Junior guard L.J. Peak delivered on the offensive end, leading the team with 21 points and hitting his free throws down the stretch.
The team’s rally cry, however, was the Pryor dunk. The star guard finished the day with 14 points and two blocks, along with the turning-point play.
“We just had to keep fighting and get back in the game,” Peak said. “That dunk got us up.”
The dunk, followed by a barrage of three-pointers, lit the team’s fire as well as the crowd’s, with the Verizon Center recording its highest attendance since the Maryland game in early November – notably sporting a strong showing from the student section.
The Hoyas, who shot 2-of-11 from three-point range in the first half, finished the game with 6-of-12 shooting from deep and saw Pryor, Peak, sophomore center Jessie Govan and junior guard Jonathan Mulmore all tally three balls in the comeback.
Govan recorded 15 points and was the third Hoya to reach double-digits in the game, along with Pryor and Peak.
Overall, the Hoyas’ offense struggled in the first and came alive in the second, but their defensive presence throughout kept them within striking distance. The highlight plays, often times the ones that did not show up in the box score – such as saved possessions from junior forward Akoy Agau –, kept the crowd in the game.
And unlike the Maryland game, Georgetown held its lead until the end and did not foul down the stretch, the team ending the game with just 18 total fouls.
The Hoyas now face a quick turnaround as they return to the Verizon Center to host the Providence Friars (12-7, 2-4 Big East) Monday evening. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. and the game will be televised on Fox Sports 1.
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