The Georgetown men’s basketball team dropped another conference game to the No. 16 Villanova Wildcats 80-66 on the road Saturday in Philadelphia, Pa., to fall to 1-3 in conference play.
The Hoyas (11-6, 1-3 Big East) had four players finish with double figures, with freshman center Qudus Wahab’s career-best 13 points leading the way. Wahab’s game was especially impressive considering he came off the bench early in the first, with senior center Omer Yurtseven struggling with foul trouble, and played only 15 minutes, shooting 6-for-7 from the field.
Junior forward Jamorko Pickett scored 12 and pulled in six rebounds while Yurtseven grabbed a team-high seven boards and ended the game with 10 points. Senior guard Jagan Mosely played all but three minutes in the game trying to lock up one of Villanova’s better scorers in sophomore forward Saddiq Bey.
The Blue and Gray’s attempts to contain the Wildcats’ offense were unsuccessful, however, as Villanova’s (13-3, 3-1 Big East) Bey had a career day, dropping 33 points on the Hoyas with 8-for-10 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Hoyas struggled early and fell into a six-point deficit. Down 10-4, back-to-back three-pointers by Pickett and graduate student guard Terrell Allen knotted the contest at 10. Allen also spread the ball around with a team-high six assists, though he struggled with ball security as he committed three turnovers.
Trailing by eight late in the first, the Hoyas garnered four buckets capped off by an and-one from Wahab to tie the game at 34. Another Wildcat run led by Bey put Villanova back up 39-36 at the break.
Playing in front of a crowd of over 15,000, Villanova came out firing in the second half. An 8-0 run by the Wildcats through the first three minutes of the half forced a Georgetown timeout. Head Coach Patrick Ewing (CAS ’85) spoke after the game about the Blue and Gray’s rough start to the second half and its difficulty in overcoming the deficit at the beginning of the half.
“We came out flat. We can’t just make mistakes the way that we did,” Ewing said. “Two quick mistakes and a turnover. We were right there at three points then went to eight and it was an uphill battle after that.”
Georgetown turned the ball over eight times on the day, a collection of mistakes that would prove critical against rival Villanova. After pulling ahead by 10 following their 8-0 run, the Wildcats increased their advantage behind successful outside shooting. They finished the game shooting 51.7% from behind the arc to defeat the Hoyas 80-66, reclaiming the rivalry victory after the Hoyas defeated the Wildcats 85-73 at Capital One Arena last season.
Georgetown struggled from deep, sinking 31.3% of its three-point attempts and also shooting 44.1% from the field, short of Villanova’s 47.4% field goal shooting. Villanova dominated in transition with 15 points on turnovers to Georgetown’s 10, despite turning the ball over three more times than the Hoyas.
The Hoyas have stuck to their seven-man rotation throughout conference play to this point, consistently fielding Pickett, Yurtseven, Allen, Wahab, Mosely, sophomore guard Mac McClung and junior guard Jahvon Blair.
The team’s leading scorers, Yurtseven and McClung, both struggled from the field against Villanova. McClung played 32 minutes but converted only two for 15 of his shots to record eight points. He also went 0-for-4 from the three-point line. Defensively, the strict seven-man rotation seemed to weigh on the tired Georgetown team late in the game, leading to its third loss in Big East play.
Georgetown will round out regular season play with a rematch against the Wildcats at home on March 7 for a chance to reclaim the rivalry victory.