The flow of the game was eerily familiar.

The road team took a lead early, sustained the home team’s occasional runs, and showed a level of intensity from start to finish that its opponent could not match.

This time, however, No. 11 Georgetown was on the receiving end of the rude awakening. Five days after thoroughly outplaying the No. 2 Connecticut in the Huskies’ own building, the Hoyas received similar treatment from the visiting No. 3 Pittsburgh Panthers.

Georgetown trailed by a close margin for most of the first half before tying the score at 40 with 14:12 remaining, but collapsed shortly thereafter and ultimately fell 70-54. The defeat was the Hoyas’ first at home since losing to Villanova on Jan. 8, 2007.

With the loss, Georgetown falls to 10-2 (1-1 Big East), while Pitt improves to 14-0 (2-0). The Panthers snap Georgetown’s home winning streak at 29.

“Anytime we can get a win against [the Hoyas] we know it’s a well-earned victory, and so I thought we played very well,” Pittsburgh Head Coach Jamie Dixon said.

Just as he downplayed the significance of his team’s win against Connecticut, Hoyas’ Head Coach John Thompson III did his best to put the loss in perspective.

“We’re playing a season. That’s one game,” he said. “You can’t get too high when you have good wins, you can’t get too low when you have losses, because both will affect the next, and we have no turnaround. We leave tomorrow morning for South Bend [to play No. 7 Notre Dame on Monday]. You can’t dwell on that too long.”

Returning home after beating the mighty Huskies on Monday evening, the Hoyas faced off against the Big East’s last undefeated team and the one league squad that had given them the most trouble over the past several seasons. Pittsburgh beat Georgetown in the regular season and the Big East tournament final a year ago.

Saturday’s outcome was rather similar to that game last March, when the Panthers parlayed superior toughness and physicality into 19 offensive rebounds and a 41-29 advantage on the glass. This time around, the chasm on the boards was even wider, as Pitt grabbed 48 to the Hoyas 23. Sophomore forward DeJuan Blair alone wrestled down 17 rebounds.

The Panthers scored 24 points on second chances and 48 points in the paint.

Verizon Center has been a welcome abode for the Hoyas, but this was not a typical home atmosphere. With holiday vacation not over until Wednesday, students were confined to the band-side student section and filled just about two-thirds of it. Hoya fans filled most of the lower bowl of the stadium, but a loud Pittsburgh contingent spotted much of the upper deck.

Georgetown’s last home loss also came over holiday vacation, though dorms had opened and many students had returned for that bout against the Wildcats.

Blair added 20 points, three assists and two blocks to his 17 boards. He was aided by senior guard Levance Fields, who dished out eight assists against no turnovers, and senior forward Tyrell Biggs and Sam Young, both of whom scored 14 points.

Junior forward DaJuan Summers led the Hoyas will 22 points, but had just six points (one field goal) in the second half. Freshman center Greg Monroe, the star of Monday night’s win, tallied 15 points and eight boards, but he also registered four of the Hoyas’ eight turnovers.

The Panthers secured the victory over a 10-minute stretch starting early in the second half. Summers tied the game at 40 on his fourth trey of the game with 14:12 left.

After senior guard Jessie Sapp blocked a Blair layup, forcing a tie-up, it looked as though the Hoyas might finally gain control of the ballgame, but the Panthers would have none of it.

Young rebounded a Fields miss and gave Pittsburgh the lead on his second try at a put-back. After an Omar Wattad turnover, Young drove baseline past Summers for another bucket. Sapp missed on Georgetown’s next trip, Brad Wanamaker harnessed the rebound and started the break, and Fields scored off of Wanamaker’s miss to push the margin to six.

onroe threw an ill-advised pass on the Hoyas’ next possession and Fields made Georgetown pay yet again, this time with a long two-point jumper. Up eight with 11:36 left, Pittsburgh cruised from there on, pushing its lead to 19 with 3:41 to go.

“That was a key stretch,” Thompson said. “I think it was 40-40 . and then [the Panthers] did what veteran teams do. They made the right plays, they executed on both ends of the floor, and we are a young team that has to go through that growth process.”

onroe, impressive to start off Monday’s game, struggled early against Pittsburgh. He started by allowing Blair to score 17 seconds into the game. On the Hoyas ensuing possession, Monroe watched as Blair swiped the entry pass and took the ball the length of the court for a layup. When Georgetown got the ball back, Monroe missed a three.

About two minutes later, Monroe received a sweet pass from Chris Wright just to the left of the basket but blew his lay-in try. A minute after that, the 6-foot-11 freshman committed a foul as Blair went for a transition layup.

onroe recovered from his early difficulties to post solid statistics, but he was never able to match Blair in the post.

“Today we just got outworked. They were better today,” Monroe said. “[Blair is] real strong. He uses his strength to his advantage. That’s his game. He’s a very good player. He definitely knows how to use his strength.”

The Hoyas’ struggles were not limited to the frontcourt, however. After combining to score 34 points against UConn, the Georgetown starting guards combined for 15 points on 4-of-22 shooting. Dixon pointed to his team’s ability to keep the Hoyas’ guards out of the lane as the key to disrupting the Georgetown offense.

The Hoyas return to action Monday night against the Fighting Irish. Two days after seeing its own home winning streak snapped, Georgetown will look to end Notre Dame’s 43-game unbeaten stretch at the Joyce Center.

Opening tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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