Yes, Georgetown has finally lost. After Saturday’s 74-62 defeat at West Virginia, the Blue and Gray will not join top-tier squads like Ohio State, Baylor and North Carolina at the head of the national rankings. Instead, the Hoyas will likely hold steady around ninth, possibly dropping a little bit.

None of that matters. These Hoyas do not care about their rankings — in fact, they would prefer to have no number attached to their name at all.

So before Georgetown fans begin to panic, remember that this was a bad loss only in the way the Hoyas played. In the grand scheme of the season, this loss should not matter as long as the Blue and Gray find a way to fix their flaws.

Take a step back and look at the West Virginia team that beat the Hoyas. The Mountaineers historically play Georgetown well, now having won the last five meetings. They were playing at home. They boast a Big East player of the year candidate in senior power forward Kevin Jones, who is averaging nearly 20 points and 12 rebounds a game, best in the Big East. They have four losses: two to ranked teams and another to a surprising Seton Hall team, which just handed No. 8 Connecticut a loss as well.

The Hoyas, meanwhile, were coming off two wins that could be best described as “fortunate”. Georgetown’s play as of late has not been that of a top 10 squad, but the team’s flaws have gone largely unnoticed in the euphoria of the longest win streak in years, capped off by a thrilling comeback win against Marquette Wednesday night.

Georgetown almost did it again against West Virginia. Down 13 with four and a half minutes remaining, the Hoyas were able to cut the deficit to just four points in a 9-0 two-minute run that silenced the Mountaineer faithful. But unlike Marquette, the Mountaineers kept their heads. A nice layup by freshman guard Gary Browne in transition and then a miss by senior guard Jason Clark gave West Virginia the ball and a six-point lead with less than two minutes left in the game.

The Hoyas got into this unenviable position in much the same way they did against Providence and Marquette: Too many turnovers, especially early in the first half, and poor long-range shooting.

“Our communication wasn’t where it needed to be and I think that was the game,” Head Coach John Thompson III said.

There will be games where shots do not fall from behind the arc. Since shooting 63 percent from three-point range against Louisville, Georgetown is 11-of-49 in its last three contests. Junior Junior forward Hollis Thompson is the only Hoya hitting from long range, making five of his last 11. The rest of the Blue and Gray is a collective 6-of-38 from beyond the arc, a 15.7 percent mark.

As for turnovers, this is the second consecutive game Georgetown has had double-digit giveaways by halftime. The Hoyas have shown an ability to control the ball much more efficiently in the second half, but poor passing in the first half allowed West Virginia to get back into the game.

Up 4-0 early in the first half, Georgetown committed five turnovers in a five-minute span, which was a major factor in the ensuing 9-0 run by West Virginia.

For now, though, no panic is necessary. There are still 14 Big East games to be played in the regular season alone. The Hoyas have a solid NCAA resume and remain 3-1 in conference play after games against Louisville, Providence, Marquette and West Virginia, a much better mark than many anticipated entering the season.

In fact, there is a much bigger game to be played against Cincinnati at home on Monday night. The Bearcats are 2-1 in the Big East and senior center Yancy Gates is just returning from a six-game suspension after his involvement in a brawl against Xavier. The Bearcats have five players averaging double figures in scoring, and Gates averages 12 points and nine boards a game.

If Cincinnati has one flaw this season, it’s a lack of bench production. Four players average more than 30 minutes per game, so if anything, the deep Georgetown squad will have an advantage off the bench.

The Hoyas have little more than 48 hours to digest their performance against WVU, try to refocus on ball control and bring and end to a brutal stretch in which they will have played three games in six days.

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