At a packed Capital One Arena on Wednesday, Georgetown found itself on the losing end of a lopsided contest home against No.1 Villanova. The team fell 88-56 to the top-ranked Wildcats in the largest defeat in school history since 1974.
The Hoyas (12-6, 2-5 Big East) fought close early on and kept the deficit to five points at 13-8 with 11:56 remaining in the first half. From there, however, Villanova (17-1, 5-1 Big East) went on an 18-0 run over the next four minutes, highlighted by five consecutive possessions with successful three-point attempts.
By halftime, Villanova had made 10 three pointers, with 30 of their first 42 points coming from deep. On the other side, Georgetown turned the ball over nine times in the first half and went 0-8 from three-point range.
“We were right there and then we turned it over a few times,” Georgetown Head Coach Patrick Ewing (CAS ’85) said post-game. “ But they were hot, they shot the heck out of the ball.”
The intermission did not cause the Wildcats to lose their shooting touch, as they quickly went on an 18-2 run to start the half. Georgetown senior forward Kaleb Johnson ended the Hoyas’ shooting woes from the deep with the team’s first three-pointer of the game, which put the Hoyas down 60-25 with 14:45 to play.
“We just tried to keep fighting. They kept making tough shots, they’re a real disciplined team and they really play together. So, we just tried to stop them on defense and execute our offense,” Georgetown junior center Jesse Govan said.
However, Georgetown had trouble stopping Villanova’s backcourt pair of junior guard Jalen Brunson and redshirt junior guard Mikal Bridges. Brunson and Bridges scored 18 and 17 points, respectively, and each made four three-pointers.
“They all can score,” Govan said post-game of the Villanova guards. “They had six players in double figures, it just shows how versatile they are. Bridges is probably the lankiest player in college basketball, he’s really a force up there,” Govan said.
The Wildcats led by 44 points with 3:44 remaining before the benches cleared for the final minutes. For the game, Villanova shot 60 percent from the field and 52 percent from three-point range, its best marks in Big East play and its second highest of the season.
“They’re a good ball club; they’re ranked number one for a reason,” Ewing said.
Govan led the Hoyas in scoring with 12 points and helped give the squad a 30-24 edge over the Wildcats in points in the paint with six rebounds. Junior forward Marcus Derrickson added a team-high eight rebounds as well.
The last time Georgetown lost by a such a large margin was in 1974 against the University of when the Hoyas fell 104-71.
The Hoyas return to action on Saturday against St. Johns as they play the middle of their three-game homestand. The contest will be the teams’ second meeting of the season, with Georgetown winning the first 69-66 in a tightly contested battle on Jan. 9.
“It’s one game in a 30-game season. We can’t let this one turn into another loss,” Govan said. “We have a quick turnaround, three days, and then another one against St. Johns on our home floor. I don’t think we have a home Big East win yet, so we’re going to try and get that.”
Tipoff for Saturday’s game is set for 12 p.m. The game can be watched on Fox Sports 1 and heard locally on 99.1 FM.