In its rivalry rematch with No. 14 Villanova, the Georgetown men’s basketball team mounted a huge comeback after falling behind 17 points to gain the lead with just a minute to play, but a late three-point play by the Wildcats led to the Hoyas’ 70-69 defeat.
The senior game March 7 marks the final contest of the regular season for the Hoyas (15-16, 5-13 Big East) and the last game the graduating senior class will play in Capital One Arena.
Out of the gate, Georgetown trailed Villanova (24-7, 13-5 Big East) as the Wildcats took command of the game on a 14-0 run. This start marked the third contest of the season in which Georgetown began the game by allowing at least 14 unanswered points. Five straight points by the Hoyas, however, halted Villanova’s momentum with 12:13 remaining in the first half.
Later in the opening half, the Hoyas launched a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to seven as the Blue and Gray offense began to find its stride. Buckets from junior forward Jamorko Pickett and graduate student guard Terrell Allen on back-to-back possessions then brought Georgetown within six points of Villanova with 3:12 left in the opening half.
Another three-pointer from Pickett, who finished the game with an efficient 7-of-9 shooting performance, helped to further mount the Hoyas’ comeback in the first half, and Georgetown headed to the locker room with a 39-30 deficit after trailing by as many as 17 points.
Georgetown opened the second half with offensive efficiency and defensive intensity. The Hoyas scored 11 unanswered points to take their first lead of the game at 41-39. After trading baskets with Georgetown, Villanova went on a scoring run of its own to lead 52-45 off nine straight points.
Behind a roaring home crowd on senior night, the Hoyas fought back yet again, with senior guard Jagan Mosely adding eight points in a 10-2 Blue and Gray run that led the team to a 58-56 lead with just over seven minutes to play.
After trading baskets down the stretch, Georgetown took control of play once more. A 7-0 run capped off by clutch free throw shooting by Pickett gave the Hoyas a 65-61 advantage with just over two minutes to play.
Villanova then scored on the ensuing possession and got the ball back again on a steal by forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. The Wildcats rushed down the floor and forward Jermaine Samuels put up a jumper that 6’11” freshman center Qudus Wahab swatted away, seemingly preserving the Georgetown lead. Pickett, however, was called for a foul on the play and, following a review by the officials, Wahab was called for goaltending. Samuels then converted on the free throw to complete the three-point play with only five seconds on the clock. In a matter of seconds, the Hoyas went from being in control of the game to being down a point with only seconds to come back.
A last-second effort from Allen missed the mark, and Georgetown left Capital One for the final time this season with a one-point loss.
Pickett led Georgetown with 20 points on the day, 15 of which came in the first half to power Georgetown’s early comeback from the 17-point deficit. Allen added 17 points and a team-high four assists, while Mosely also wound up in double figures, dropping 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Allen, Mosely and junior guard Jahvon Blair played the entire game without substitution.
Wahab pitched in another nine points and eight rebounds for the Blue and Gray, as his rebounding total matched Mosely for the team high. Wahab’s big inside presence contributed to Georgetown’s 34 points in the paint.
On the defensive end, Georgetown forced 12 Villanova turnovers and held the Wildcats to 20 points inside the paint. Mosley, in his last regular season game, contributed to the Hoyas’ defensive efforts by hustling down the court, diving for loose balls and drawing key offensive charges.
Head Coach Patrick Ewing (CAS ’85) explained exactly what Mosely has meant to this program during his four years.
“The fact [Mosely] has to play the best perimeter player — both he and Terrell play the best perimeter player on every team — he embodies Georgetown basketball,” Ewing said in a postgame interview with GU Hoyas.
Georgetown’s final hope for a postseason berth will come on one of the most dramatic stages in college basketball: the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. The Hoyas are the eighth seed and will play against the ninth-seeded St. John’s on Wednesday, March 11, at 7 p.m. The winner of this matchup will take on first-seeded Creighton at noon on Thursday.