On Feb. 9, the Georgetown University men’s basketball team lost to No. 19 Creighton, 63-48.
Despite defeating the Bluejays last week 79-70 on the road, the Hoyas were unable to produce the same result on home turf. Creighton arrived at a cardboard-cutout-filled McDonough Arena hungry for vengeance, and Georgetown was unable to match its intensity.
Georgetown’s (5-10, 3-7 Big East) defensive focus for the game was to defend the paint, a big key in stopping the explosive Creighton (15-5, 11-4 Big East) offense led by junior guard Marcus Zegarowski. The Hoyas struggled early with slowing down Creighton. After scoring on his first drive, Bluejays forward Christian Bishop continued to drive aggressively and helped contribute to Creighton’s first 8 points. In the first 10 minutes, Creighton outscored Georgetown 14-2 in the paint. This first interval set the tone for the rest of the game, as the Hoyas were unable to take the lead for the rest of the game.
After a three-and-a-half-minute scoring drought, senior forward Jamorko Pickett drained a deep three-pointer that revitalized the Hoyas for a mid-half surge. Sophomore center Qudus Wahab continued the rally, dunking the ball to make it 22-19 with just eight minutes to play in the first half.
The Bluejays’ lead continued to grow to 29-19 with 4:31 left in the first half. This was in part because of Georgetown’s seven turnovers in seven minutes, coupled with a poor shot selection of forced three-pointers against a tight man-to-man. Creighton tightly defended Hoya senior guard Jahvon Blair, who scored a season-high 22 points in the Feb. 3 matchup. .
Starting off the second half down 33-21, Georgetown attempted to shrink the margin, but unlucky turnovers and a poor shooting performance made this a difficult task. After Pickett calmly sank a pair of free throws, Georgetown implemented a full-court press that immediately resulted in a steal and a layup by first-year guard Dante Harris with four minutes left.
Creighton’s offense, led by senior guard Mitchell Ballock with 14 points, responded by increasing the lead to 58-36. The game became sloppier as the clock dwindled, with the Hoyas ultimately recording 24 total turnovers.
Georgetown Head Coach Patrick Ewing (CAS ’85) touched on his team’s low intensity in the postgame press conference.
“We weren’t ready to play,” Ewing said. “We didn’t play with the same energy and the same effort that we did the first time we played them. Tonight I thought we played selfish … We want to get the ball inside, but when they double us, we have to pass the ball out. I thought our guys were forcing the ball way too much instead of when the double team comes, make the right play.”
Creighton wasn’t overly sharp offensively, but its competitive mentality of trying to avoid losing to Georgetown twice in a week led it to victory. After a three-day rest and fresh legs, the Hoyas will hope to rebound against the Butler Bulldogs (7-10, 6-8 Big East) on Feb. 13.