No. 20 Georgetown experienced its third setback in four Big East contests at McDonough Arena with a 64-61 loss to No. 16 Louisville Sunday night, but the Hoyas can’t say that they didn’t have their shots.

Despite attempting 30 more field goals than the visitors thanks to 25 forced turnovers and an 18-4 advantage on the offensive boards, the Blue and Gray failed to convert chances into points and allowed the Cardinals to fly off with a crucial conference victory. The result pushes Louisville into a tie for fourth place in the Big East and drops Georgetown to seventh.

“I’ve been doing this for 16 years, and I’ve never seen a team get outshot [by] 30 field goal attempts and still win,” Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz said.

The Hoyas finished with a 32.9 percent field-goal percentage on 23-of-70 shooting, while the Cardinals recorded a 47.5 field-goal percentage and hit 11 of 25 attempted three-pointers.

Junior guard Sugar Rodgers and senior forward Tia Magee, Georgetown’s top two scorers with 20.0 and 11.1 points per game, respectively, accounted for 35 points but attempted 42 field goals — more than the entire Louisville team. Rodgers, the Big East’s leading scorer, led the Hoyas with 24 points but was 3-of-13 from behind the arc.

Shooting woes are all too familiar for the Blue and Gray, whose team field-goal percentage is a miserable 15th in the conference despite boasting the league’s fourth-best field-goal percentage defense.

“Our defense is good enough to keep us in the game, but we’re not making the shots to win the game,” Georgetown Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “You’re just not going to win a basketball game missing that many shots, especially against very good teams. … At some point, you’ve just got to shoot with confidence, and you’ve got to make a basket.”

Georgetown was faced with a box-and-one defense aimed at shutting down Rodgers. Senior point guard Rubylee Wright was a scoring threat in the first half and forced the Cardinals to abandon the strategy in favor of a triangle-and-two approach, but the visitors returned to their original approach after the break.

Magee’s 11 second-half points attracted individual attention later in the period, but Georgetown’s problem remained clear: The Hoyas need to establish a wider variety of real scoring threats in order to allow its stars quality looks at the basket.

“Lately, it’s been a little tougher when they’ve been box-and-one on Sugar because they don’t think the rest of us can score,” Magee said.

“I think every team in the conference will do that. They figure that if they can stop Sugar and not turn the ball over, they have chances to win the game,” Williams-Flournoy added. “I think that some other kids have got to step up and shoot the basketball. If you’re not being guarded, you better make shots.”

If establishing a scoring threats at all positions and creating turnovers are the two primary keys to success for the Hoyas this season, they are at least halfway there. The Blue and Gray’s trademark full-court press provided much-needed momentum and frustrated the Cardinals at multiple junctures of the game.

Georgetown forced four turnovers during a 9-0 run, which gave them an early lead, and created three more during a 14-3 run in the opening five minutes of the second half to pull ahead by two. The visitors were pressured into four more turnovers in the final 2:11 as the Blue and Gray frantically tried to fight back from a 60-50 deficit, but an 11-4 run to close game was not enough to complete the comeback.

“We had a lot of momentum, but we’re human, and we get tired,” Magee said. “It was us being very, very aggressive, and then it kind of died down as we get tired, which is one thing we really have to work on.”

Georgetown now faces a tough road test with a visit to West Virginia (14-5, 4-2 Big East) on Tuesday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in Morgantown, W. Va.

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