Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Hoyas Can’t Hang With Huskies

Wednesday night was a celebration in Storrs, Conn., and Georgetown did little to spoil the party. The No. 15 Connecticut Huskies continued their roll into the postseason with an easy 83-64 victory over the reeling Hoyas before 10,167 at Gampel Pavilion.

It was a milestone night as Huskies Head Coach Jim Calhoun recorded his 700th career coaching victory, becoming the 19th coach in the history of Division I basketball to reach the mark. UConn (20-6, 12-3) won its eighth straight Big East game and fifth overall. It can clinch at least a share of the conference regular season title with a win against No. 13 Syracuse Saturday in Hartford.

Meanwhile, the Hoyas (16-10, 8-7) continued to decline as they lost for the fourth straight time. Their last win came on Feb. 12 against West Virginia at MCI Center.

Unlike Sunday’s loss to No. 17 Villanova, Georgetown managed to avoid a slow start on offense – it just saved its scoring drought for later in the first half. The Hoyas opened up shooting the ball well as freshman forward Jeff Green, senior swingman Darrel Owens and freshman guard Jonathan Wallace combined to hit five threes in the first seven minutes of the game to keep the score close even though the Huskies generally had their way with the Hoyas on offense.

Georgetown held a lead in a game for the first time since the opening minutes of its loss to Notre Dame two weeks ago. The 19 points Georgetown scored in that span exceeded its scoring output in the entire first half in three of its last four losses.

But after a jumper by Wallace gave the Hoyas a 19-15 lead with 12 minutes to go, the Hoyas’ hot shooting came to an abrupt halt. Junior forward Brandon Bowman was already on the bench after picking up two fouls in the first three minutes, and the Hoyas could not continue scoring like they had without their leading scorer against the Huskies’ pressure. The Hoyas would convert only one field goal in the next 11:48 of the first half. UConn took advantage to break the game open, turning a four-point deficit into a 41-26 lead going into the locker room.

UConn never let Georgetown get any closer than 14 points, and the celebration for Calhoun’s accomplishment was able to get under way among the crowd several minutes before the final buzzer sounded.

Green led the Hoyas with 17 points as he and freshman center Roy Hibbert, who had 12, were the only Hoyas to reach double figures in the scoring. Bowman scored a season-low one point in only 15 minutes of action due to his foul trouble.

Connecticut was led by sophomore forward Charlie Villanueva, who had 24 points. Freshman forward Rudy Gay, who is Green’s chief rival for the Big East Freshman of the Year award, scored a career-high 20 points for the Huskies.

As bleak as things may seem for Georgetown, it still remains very much alive for an NCAA Tournament bid thanks to similar lackluster play by fellow teams on the bubble.

A win Saturday evening when it plays host to Providence is an absolute necessity. The Friars (13-16, 3-12) have played better of late, winning three of six since starting 0-9 in the Big East. Senior forward Ryan Gomes leads the league in scoring with an average of 23 points per game.

If Georgetown is able to break its skid on Saturday, it will still need to play well at the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden to stay in contention. Two or more wins at the Garden, and the Hoyas are likely a lock. One win would leave them squarely on the bubble while a first round defeat would send them straight to the NIT.

Tip-off against Providence is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at MCI Center.

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