The Georgetown men’s basketball streak lives on — but it’s hardly a streak the team wants. After falling to the Butler Bulldogs 53-56, the Hoyas have lost seven games straight and now sit in last place in the Big East standings.
Georgetown (6-14, 0-9 Big East) entered the Jan. 29 game hoping to avenge the 72-58 thrashing the Hoyas took the previous time they squared up against Butler (11-11, 4-7 Big East). In this latest matchup, the game was competitive throughout, but Georgetown failed to come up big in the final minutes to win their first Big East contest.
In the first half, the Hoyas jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and dominated the paint. Eight of Georgetown’s first 10 points came from layups. An and-one layup by first-year center Ryan Mutombo put the Hoyas up 11-8 with 11:56 left in the first half, but Butler did not stay down for long.
Thanks in part to a lull in Georgetown shooting, the Bulldogs fought back and went on an 11-0 run to take an 11-19 lead. Butler guard Simas Lukosius hit a big 3-pointer coming off a screen to ignite his team’s offense.
Georgetown then responded with a 9-2 run of their own, highlighted by a vicious slam from first-year guard Aminu Mohammed. As the dust settled over the half, the Hoyas found themselves down 26-32.
Both teams entered the second half needing to shoot better from the field. Butler shot only 37.5% on first-half field goals, while Georgetown converted just 36.7%. However, capitalizing on first-half momentum, the Bulldogs started the second half right where they left off. Two minutes in, a dunk by forward Bryce Nze and a layup by forward Bryce Golden pushed Butler’s lead to 10.
For a significant part of the half, Butler’s lead hovered around this 10-point differential. A combination of porous defense and imprecise scoring attempts by the Hoyas prevented them from making a dent until almost seven minutes had elapsed.
Ignited by a layup from graduate guard Donald Carey, Georgetown took off on a 10-3 run to get the game within one possession. Part of the Hoyas’ success can be attributed to the coaching decisions of Head Coach Patrick Ewing (CAS ’85), who helped the Hoyas slash Butler’s lead by implementing a full-court press.
In the last 10 minutes of the half Georgetown’s defense locked in against Butler, holding them to only nine points. At one point, the Bulldogs went over four minutes without scoring.
This stretch is especially impressive considering the way the Hoyas have struggled on defense this season. Entering the matchup, Georgetown had allowed 86 points per game in Big East play, by far the worst in the conference.
After a layup by Mohammed gave Georgetown a 53-52 lead with 1:24 to play, the Hoyas’ first Big East win of the season seemed within reach. However, a quick 4-0 run put Butler up for good, and Georgetown was unable to hit a game-tying three.
Mohammed led Georgetown with an efficient game-high 16 points, shooting 50% from the field and making four out of five free throws. Butler rode the hot shooting of Lukosius, who hit three of his eight three-point attempts and finished with a team-high 13 points. Nze contributed a double-double for Butler with 12 rebounds and 12 points, along with three blocks.
Georgetown was able to counter multiple Butler runs throughout the game to help keep the score close, yet were ultimately unable to eke out a victory in the final few minutes.
The Hoyas again attempted to snap their losing streak Feb. 1 against Seton Hall (13-7, 4-6 Big East) but ultimately fell 70-63 in the first meeting between the two programs this season.
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