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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

MEN’S BASKETBALL | Epps Impresses as Hoyas Extend Win Streak

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In a highly contested back-and-forth affair decided in the final two minutes, the Georgetown University men’s basketball team emerged victorious over the Jackson State Tigers, 88-81, at Capital One Arena on Nov. 25.

Entering into the midday Saturday battle against the Tigers (2-6) on a two-game winning streak, the Hoyas (5-2) were faced with a slew of injuries.

Redshirt first-year guard Rowan Brumbraugh, a typical starter for the Hoyas, was out with an illness. Junior forward Donovan Grant, who has seen minutes this season despite joining the team as a walk-on, was also unavailable due to concussion protocol.

As a result, Georgetown Head Coach Ed Cooley opted for a smaller starting line-up, with four guards among the front five. 

Cooley praised his team after the game for its strong response to the personnel challenge.

“I’m very, very proud of our men for responding well. We’re a little shorthanded today, having Rowan not feeling well,” Cooley said in the post-game press conference. “We’ve been dealing with some bumps and bruises like everybody across the country. I was proud of our guys’ resilience once again.”

The Hoyas and Tigers began the game tightly, knotted at 15 points apiece with 12 minutes remaining in the first half.

The game quickly heated up, with a 3-pointer by junior guard Dontrez Styles extending the Georgetown lead to 30-24 at the 7-minute mark. This shot concluded a 13-4 run by the Hoyas.

However, the Tigers quickly clawed back, entering halftime with a slim 40-39 lead.

Styles was particularly impressive in the first half, tallying 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. He would finish the game with 22. Sophomore guard Jayden Epps added 10 first half points, despite dislocating his finger and briefly leaving the court with the trainer at the nine-minute mark.

GUHoyas | Georgetown men’s basketball defeated the Jackson State Tigers 88-81, led by a career-high performance from sophomore guard Jayden Epps.

Coming out of the break, Epps was stellar, hitting three consecutive 3-pointers and scoring 10 straight points for the Hoyas. That tenth point came via a technical free throw following an on-court scuffle with 15:53 remaining in the second half. Senior forward Supreme Cook, along with Jackson State guard Chase Adams and forward Zeke Cook, were each assessed technical fouls for their role in the chippy tussle.

Cooley and Jackson State Head Coach Mo Williams, a 14-year NBA veteran and champion with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, met briefly with the referees following the incident and fist-bumped prior to the game’s resumption.

Epps continued to have the hot hand, finishing with a career-high 34 points, his second consecutive 30-plus point performance. He is the first Hoya to achieve this feat since Austin Freeman (COL ’11) in 2010.

Epps’ performance earned him a spot on the Big East weekly honor roll.

With 7:41 remaining, senior guard Jay Heath hit a 3-pointer to give the Hoyas a 73-70 lead, and the team did not look back from there. 

Heath finished the game with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists.

Although Jackson State kept the game close until the final two minutes, Georgetown finished the game on a 7-2 run to grab the win.

Shooting success propelled Georgetown to the win — 53.7% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc on 13-for-26 3-point shooting — but a poor free-throw percentage, unforced turnovers and rebounding issues continue to haunt the Hoyas.

“Obviously, we have some things to clean up defensively on the ball. Rebounding reared its ugly head today, but sometimes you have to do what you do just to land the plane,” Cooley said in the post-game press conference.

Key statistics such as paint, second chance and bench points all favored the Tigers — a team that played at a higher level than its record suggests — but to ensure continued success moving forward, the Hoyas must address these factors. In fact, Georgetown’s bench totaled just 1 point for the entirety of the game.

Ultimately, Cooley said he was satisfied with the win even though he felt it was rough around the edges.

“Our guys, you know, knuckled up and did what we had to do,” Cooley added in the press conference. “It wasn’t pretty, but it looked good to me in the W column.” 

In addition, the matchup featured the return of Tyler Adams (COL ’15), a player-coach at Georgetown and current Jackson State assistant, to the District. As a top-100 prospect, he signed with the Hoyas, but his career was cut short due to a heart condition. Nonetheless, he remained close with the coaching staff and assisted in scouting and video breakdown.

“What a surreal moment it was coming back home to the place that made me the person and coach I am today. If you know me you know I love Gtown more than anything. Thanks to all of the fans and alums that have supported me over the years on and off the court,” Adams wrote in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Georgetown won its following game versus Merrimack (3-6) by a score of 69-67 on Nov. 29. The Hoyas’ schedule continues Saturday, Dec. 2 at home against a strong Texas Christian University (TCU) side at 5:30 p.m.

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