In a double overtime thriller, the Georgetown men’s basketball team defeated the Providence Friars 96-90, thanks to late-game heroics by freshmen guards Mac McClung and James Akinjo.

With 3.9 seconds remaining in regulation and the Hoyas down three, McClung quickly dribbled the ball up the court, avoiding Providence defenders trying to foul him. The freshman guard banked in a three-pointer almost from half court, sending the game into overtime.

Ewing drew up a play for McClung to get the ball in a timeout.

Coach [Ewing] drew it up. I caught the ball, took a dribble and I shot it with confidence,” McClung said. “That’s what Coach always says he loves in a player confidence and belief in yourself, and that’s what I feel about myself.”

The magic continued in the five-minute first overtime period, as Akinjo knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game at 86 with three seconds remaining.

We have a lot of fun because we’re both super confident guys. We believe in each other. So, when James pulled up, I just had a great feeling it was going in,” McClung said.

McClung, who returned from a four-game absence due to an ankle injury, teamed up with Akinjo to score 36 points. Senior center Jessie Govan had high praise for the freshman’s impact on the rest of the team.

“[McClung] adds another layer to our team with how aggressive he is,” Govan said. “He goes into the lane with no remorse. He’s not afraid of contact at all and it makes it easier because we knew we had someone else on the wing to attack it. It was great to have him back out there.”

The Hoyas began play neck and neck with the Friars. After tying the game at 13, Georgetown fell behind by four, and Providence soon went on a 9-4 run to lead 32-23 with 5:29 left in the first half the Friars’ biggest lead of the game.

The Hoyas sent in their second unit when Govan was put on the bench to rest. Govan’s teammates picked up the slack and helped cut the deficit to two points before halftime, according to Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing (CAS ’85).

“The second unit that came in the first half did an outstanding job of getting us back in the game,” Ewing said. “They were up I think 11, and those guys scrapped they clawed and were able to cut it to one, two before half.”

With 50.8 seconds left in regulation, the Hoyas got the ball inside to Govan who gave the squad the lead off a dunk. Providence made a go-ahead three-pointer to go up by one, a lead which the Friars later extended to three after free throws. 

After McClung’s last-second shot, which sent the game into overtime, Georgetown found itself in another game-tying situation with 10.5 seconds left in the first extra frame. Akinjo made up for his miss at the end of regulation with his big three, sending the game into double overtime.

Govan attributed the victory to the freshmen guards maturing in their play.

“[The freshmen] are growing up right before our eyes. We said at the beginning of the season that they would have a lot of responsibilities. They responded really well,” Govan said.

KIRK ZIESER/THE HOYA | Senior center Jessie Govan pulls up from long range. He led the Hoyas with 33 points in the game.

In the final overtime period, Akinjo made a jumper to put the Hoyas up 90-88, a lead they would not surrender.

Govan finished with a career-high 33 points to go along with 14 rebounds and four blocked shots. Georgetown won its first game against Providence since Feb. 10, 2014. The victory propels Georgetown’s record to 2-2 in Big East play.

“This was a great win to get, it was a tough ball game and we had to go into double overtime to come away with it and I’m proud of the guys. We had two good days of practice and it showed today,” Ewing said.

Georgetown will play the second of its three-game home stand Tuesday night against No. 21 Marquette University (14-3, 3-1 Big East). The Golden Eagles rank third in the Big East conference in three-point field goal percentage.

To secure the win, the Hoyas must defend the perimeter well against Marquette, according to Govan.

“Marquette has got a whole bunch of shooters and they really spread you out and make you pay if you don’t guard them out there,” Govan said. “We’re going to get the game plan ready and figure out how to defend these guys. It would be nice to defend home court against them and get another win.”

Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena. The game will be aired on Fox Sports 1, as well as on the radio on The Team 980.

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