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

Temple Defense Puzzles Men in Loss

PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – On Saturday, the Hoyas lost to two legends: one was Temple Head Coach John Chaney, the other was his matchup zone defense.

The Georgetown men’s basketball team (13-9, 4-7 Big East) was just another in a long line of opponents who took too long to get used to the unique way Temple (10-10, 5-5 Atlantic 10) plays defense, and by the time they had it figured it out, it was too late to come back. Chaney’s team stuck mostly to a 1-3-1, which caused 15 first-half turnovers, five by sophomore point guard Ashanti Cook.

“Their 1-3-1 was very, very, very, very hard to read,” Cook said.

Even when Georgetown could manage to avoid a turnover long enough to take a shot, very few went in as the team shot 31.5 percent from the floor. During one abominable stretch during the last two minutes of the first half and all the way through roughly the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Hoyas were 0-of-14 from the floor. If it had not been for the Owls’ foul trouble, Georgetown would have effectively shut itself out.

“[The zone was] very active,” junior guard Darrell Owens said. “Coming in we knew they were going to play a 1-3-1, but there are a couple key things we need to work on.”

The Owls’ defense combined with the Hoyas’ inability to guard Temple senior guard David Hawkins, who scored 28, left Georgetown to stage a last-chance rally.

A three-pointer by Cook put them down by four with just over a minute to play. He made another big shot to get the team within three, but each time the Hoyas were forced to send Hawkins to the line, where he made all six free throws with under a minute to play.

On top of Hawkins, senior guard Gerald Riley, who is typically Georgetown’s go-to shooter, fouled out with 20.5 seconds left and the Hoyas down by five.

It was not a conference loss, which was one of the bright spots Head Coach Craig Esherick pointed out, as the Hoyas struggle to stay out of the Big East cellar. They currently find themselves 11th place in the conference, with three teams below them: Virginia Tech, to whom they lost on Wednesday; Miami, whom they beat twice; and St. John’s, whom they face on Wednesday in New York.

Against the Hokies, Georgetown’s inability to rebound was one of the main reasons it lost such a winnable game, and the deficiency has been a plague all season. But against Temple, the Hoyas crashed the boards with greater intensity and outrebounded the Owls 41-40.

“Our last game was probably one of our worst,” Esherick said. “I thought we were much tougher as a team today than we were against Virginia Tech.”

With 8:50 remaining in the game, after Temple’s sophomore forward Michael Blackshear and Georgetown freshman guard Matt Causey had been elbowing each other on consecutive plays, Blackshear was called for an intentional foul after he threw a forearm into Causey as the Hoya was bringing the ball up the court.

Chaney, ever the teacher, immediately took Blackshear out of the game and sent him to the locker room for the rest of the game. He said he would decide if further punishment was necessary.

“When you’ve got kids who mistakenly apply their emotions to everything they do, they tend to go blind with their emotion, and that’s not good,” Chaney said. “I have to be conscious of it and take action against those guys.”

Causey was in the game for 22 minutes and senior guard Omari Faulkner played 18, as Owens spent most of the night on the bench.

“I thought we got some gutsy performances,” Esherick said. “Matt Causey and Omari Faulkner gave us some good minutes coming off the bench.”

Owens started off guarding Hawkins, a task that would be difficult for just about anyone. Hawkins, who averages 24.1 points per game, is the top scorer in the Atlantic 10 and is third in the nation.

Hawkins is originally from the Washington, D.C., area and attended Archbishop Carroll High School.

“I saw too much of David Hawkins today, I can tell you that,” Esherick said. He has watched him since Hawkins was a junior in high school.

“He made some really big plays for them. I’m personally happy for him because I think he is a great ambassador for college basketball,” Esherick said.

It was the first meeting between Temple and Georgetown since the 1998-99 season opener in which the Owls beat the Hoyas 65-49 at in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, and it was Georgetown’s first trip to Temple since the 1952-53 season.

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