The 93,000 viewers who tuned into Fox Sports 1 to see Georgetown fall at the hands of Providence did little to help the situation, and after a 74-56 loss to the Friars, the Hoyas now find themselves in the cellar of the Big East standings.
In a Sunday matinee, the Georgetown men’s basketball team will travel to Cincinnati to take on No. 22 Xavier.
Despite stringing together two consecutive wins — including a blowout victory against St. John’s (9-11, 3-4 Big East) for Georgetown’s only conference win — the Hoyas (10-9, 1-5 Big East) ended up on the wrong end of the lopsided game against the Friars (13-7, 3-4 Big East), their worst conference loss of the season.
Inconsistencies on both ends of the floor have plagued the Hoyas all season long. After having four players reach double-digit point totals against the Red Storm, only graduate student guard Rodney Pryor and junior guard L.J. Peak eclipsed the mark against the Friars, finishing with 12 and 13 points respectively — both lower than their season average for points per game.
On the defensive end, Georgetown ranks ninth out of 10 Big East teams in defensive rebounding percentage, grabbing just 68.4 percent of defensive rebounds. Opponents have taken advantage of a Hoya front court that allows slightly over 12 offensive rebounds per game.
Meanwhile, Xavier is one of the best rebounding teams in the Big East, ranking second in the conference with 38.8 rebounds per game. Senior forward RaShid Gaston ranks third in the Big East in rebounding, averaging 6.9 rebounds per game.
In the offense, the Musketeers lineup features three players who average more than 14 points per game. Junior guard Trevon Bluiett, the team’s leading scorer, averages 16.8 points per game in addition to 5.8 rebounds per game, while sophomore guard Edmond Sumner scores 15.4 points and dishes out 4.7 assists per game.
In the first meeting this season, the Hoyas failed to complete a second-half comeback, allowing the Musketeers to escape with an 81-76 victory. Despite holding Bluiett to zero made field goals, the Hoyas’ defense could not contain Sumner, who finished with a career-high 28 points. With Bluiett underperforming, junior guard J.P. Macura stepped up for his team and scored 23 points against the Hoyas.
Georgetown found offensive success from Peak and Pryor — both scoring above 20 points — but lacked depth scoring and struggled at the free throw line, missing key free throws late in the game to hinder their comeback. Junior guard Jonathan Mulmore went 0-2 from the line with six seconds left, wasting the opportunity to make it a one-point game.
After shooting below 70 percent on free throws for four straight games, the Hoyas have regained their touch from the charity stripe, shooting 78.4 percent in their past three games.
Offensively, the Hoyas need to take care of the ball early in the game to establish a rhythm that the team has lacked lately. Too many possessions have ended in mishandlings of the ball, preventing Georgetown from going on any offensive outbursts. The Hoyas turned the ball over 15 times against the Friars on Monday night and had five costly second-half turnovers in the first meeting against the Musketeers.
Approaching the halfway point of the conference season, Georgetown has yet to prove its ability to compete in the talented conference. With three straight games against ranked opponents on the horizon, the Hoyas must regain their confidence and come out energized against the Musketeers.
Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Cintas Center, and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.