In Monday’s game featuring the two most dominant offenses in the Big East, the Georgetown men’s basketball team fell 91-87 to the visiting Creighton Bluejays in a game where no team could hold on to a lead until the end.
Senior center Jessie Govan of Georgetown (12-7, 2-4 Big East) and sophomore guard Ty-Shon Alexander of Creighton (11-8, 2-4 Big East) led their teams as each player continued to dominate in Big East play. Govan finished with 26 points and Alexander with 22. For Georgetown, freshman guard James Akinjo provided 11 assists and six points, while senior guard Kaleb Johnson tallied eight points.
Georgetown shot 49.2 percent from the field and outrebounded Creighton 38-35. The Hoyas’ bench made major contributions, outscoring the Creighton bench by 13.
Despite the Hoyas’ solid team play, Alexander’s three-pointers were too much for Georgetown to overcome.
Late in the the first half, the Hoyas increased their lead to 21-13 with a corner jumper from graduate student forward Trey Mourning. However, the Bluejays responded by going on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 21-21. However, Johnson put an end to the Creighton run by hitting a three-pointer that made the game 24-23.
The first half eventually concluded with Georgetown leading 42-41. The Bluejays never had a lead in the first frame.
After the Hoyas’ senior guard Greg Malinowski opened second-half play with a deep three-pointer, the team struggled: Three consecutive turnovers allowed Creighton to respond with a series of baskets. The Bluejays went on a 9-2 run only to be halted by a bucket from Govan.
Following the first media timeout of the half, Georgetown stormed back with an alley-oop from freshman guard Josh LeBlanc to put the Hoyas only two points behind the Bluejays at 53-51. Creighton responded with a quick three-pointer in transition, but Akinjo brought the Hoya faithfuls to their feet with a three-pointer to follow.
In an interview with GU Hoyas, Ewing appreciated the freshman’s poise coming off of the bench.
“I thought [Akinjo] did a very good job. He distributed the ball and made great plays,” Ewing said.
Akinjo sought to replicate his late-game heroics against Providence in this game as he drilled a three-pointer to put the Hoyas up 85-83 with just over two minutes remaining. With the crowd members on their feet, Creighton’s Ty-Shon Alexander sunk a wide-open three-pointer and put Creighton ahead 87-85 with one minute remaining.
In a last-minute effort to tie the game, Govan failed to convert an inside pass from Akinjo into a bucket.
“I thought that Jessie got fouled on the shot he took, but no call was made. We then went in scramble mode and lost the game,” Ewing said.
Georgetown once again struggled in the final minutes of the game, but Ewing remains hopeful for the future and the week of practice in preparation for St. John’s.
“I have to digest it and go back and watch the film. We have to make plays and do a better job of covering guys individually,” said Coach Ewing.
Ewing will return to Madison Square Garden, where he enjoyed great success in his Hall of Fame career for the New York Knicks from 1985 to 2000.
The game against St. John’s is pivotal for the Hoyas as they seek their third victory in the Big East and hope to end their recent struggles, which include four losses in their last five games. As the Big East remains a close battle between all teams, it is crucial for Georgetown to win the next game on the road. Tipoff is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m.