MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Mosely 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 Pryor 32 5-8 2-6 4-6 7 1 4 20 Peak 37 8-13 1-3 2-2 6 3 4 21 Derrickson 26 1-1 2-4 4-4 2 0 5 12 Govan 14 0-2 1-1 0-0 3 2 3 3 Reserves: Campbell 20 0-0 0-3 1-2 3 4 3 1 Mulmore 27 3-8 0-0 2-5 3 3 2 8 Agau 8 0-1 0-0 1-2 2 3 2 1 Johnson 18 1-1 0-0 0-0 4 2 2 2 Hayes 14 4-5 0-0 0-2 5 1 1 8 Team Rebounds 0 DNP: Cameron, Hines, Muresan, Mourning TOTALS 200 22-39 6-17 14-23 36 20 28 76
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Mosely 19 1-1 0-2 2-2 2 3 3 4 Pryor 39 5-9 4-9 1-2 7 2 1 23 Peak 22 1-7 0-1 2-2 3 1 2 4 Agau 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 0 Govan 23 4-12 1-1 0-0 6 1 2 11 Reserves: Campbell 18 1-3 1-3 1-2 2 2 1 6 Mulmore 17 2-2 0-0 1-2 1 1 2 5 Cameron 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Derrickson 30 1-1 3-5 0-0 4 2 4 11 Johnson 8 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 1 0 0 Hayes 15 1-2 0-0 0-0 3 0 3 2 Team Rebounds 6 DNP: Hines, Muresan, Mourning TOTALS 200 16-38 9-21 7-11 37 13 18 66
|Season||Pre-Season Ranking||Games||Total||Average||Verizon Ctr./Highest Attended||Verizon Ctr./Lowest Attended|
|2010-11||#20||5||53,001||10,600||Utah St. (12,106)||App. St. (8,765)|
|2011-12||#15||8||63,588||9,084||Memphis (12,045)||IUPUI (6,854)|
|2012-13||Not Ranked||8||66,892||8,361||Tennessee (13,656)||Longwood (5,283)|
|2013-14||Not Ranked||6||43,567||7,261||Lipscomb (8,165)||High Point (4,676)|
|2014-15||Not Ranked||7||58,379||8,339||Kansas (14,164)||TAMU-Corpus Christi (4,887)|
|2015-16||Not Ranked||8||63,903||7,987||Syracuse (18,231)||MD-Eastern Shore (4,062)|
|2016-17||Not Ranked||7||49,352||7,050||Maryland (13,145)||Coppin St. (3,996)|
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Mosely 22 1-4 0-1 1-1 1 4 3 3 Pryor 31 2-6 2-5 2-2 5 1 3 12 Peak 36 2-5 1-2 9-11 4 6 1 16 Agau 7 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 0 Govan 30 7-11 2-2 0-0 10 6 2 20 Reserves: Campbell 15 1-2 0-1 0-0 5 3 1 2 Mulmore 13 1-1 0-0 1-2 1 1 0 3 Cameron 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 0 Hines 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Muresan 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Derrickson 25 2-2 3-5 2-2 6 1 4 15 Johnson 8 1-1 1-1 0-2 1 0 1 5 Mourning 1 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 Hayes 9 0-3 0-0 0-1 3 0 1 0 Team Rebounds 2 TOTALS 200 18-36 9-17 15-21 39 23 18 78
Manley closed? Check.
Jim Boeheim Court Dedication? Check.
Pearl Washington Appreciation Day? Check.
Or as Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard called it, "The Georgetown Hoyas ruined yet another special day in Syracuse history."
A 23 point effort from L.J. Peak and a strong defensive effort down the stretch piloted Georgetown to its biggest win of the 2016-17 season, a 78-71 win at Syracuse. The Hoyas survived four turnovers in the final 3:27 but put the game away at the line (22-25) while the Orangemen fared poorly when it counted, mussing four of its last six from the foul line and connecting on just 14 of 25 attempts overall.
Georgetown trailed much of the first half but made a statement in the final seven minutes before intermission. Back to back threes by Rodney Pryor and L.J. Peak erased the deficit and gave Georgetown a 23-22 lead and neither team could get beyond a two point differential for the rest of the half. Georgetown caught two breaks late in the period, one on a offensive rebound and put-back by L.J. Peak at the 1:21 mark (its first offensive rebound converted to points in the half) and a Peak jumper on the last play of the half to tie the score, 33-33. Despite visible struggles to contain the Orangemen, the Hoyas were tied and the half and would be ready for the challenge after halftime.
Syracuse opened the half connecting three of its first four shots but Georgetown's defensive adjustments, save one, kept the Syracuse starters in check. Four SU starters combined to shoot 5 for 15 in the second half but it did not apply to sophomore Tyler Lydon, who had a career second half against Georgetown's zone defense. Lydon's three pointer at the 18 minute mark gave Syracuse a 40-38 lead, its last of the game, as an 8-2 Georgetown run and a series of defensive stops at both ends of the court kept the Hoyas up four at the 13 minute mark. Syracuse closed to within two points on six occasions over the next six minutes, with three of them coming from points from sophomore Jessie Govan. A basket by Lydon at the 6:42 mark, his ninth in ten attempts for the game, brought the 25,101 in the Carrier Dome to its feet, but the Hoyas got some clutch points from Govan and Reggie Cameron to calm the crowd with four minutes remaining.
Turnovers were a problem all day along, and threatened to derail the Hoyas late. Up five, 64-59, Pryor stepped in the sideline, one of four turnovers down the stretch which called up echoes of the finish with Maryland. The Terrapins were able to convert, but the Orangemen were not. On the next possession, Lydon was fouled but missed the back half of two free throws, and gave up a seam in the zone where Jonathan Mulmore connected on a three, 67-60. Syracuse's Taurean Thompson closed the gap to 67-62, whereupon Reggie Cameron's cross-court pass sailed high and out of bounds. Syracuse responded with an off-centered three, and Peak picked up two free throws, 69-62.
Lydon continued to keep Syracuse's hopes alive. he picked up an offensive rebound and basket with 1:28 to play to close to five, 69-64, whereupon Cameron lost the ball out of bounds and was promptly sat by coach John Thompson III. Fouled with 1:19 to play, fifth year transfer Andrew White missed the front and of the one and one, but Govan returned the favor on the next possession and Lydon drove for a layup to close to 69-66. A turnover from Peak continued GU's late game misery, but White was called for an offensive foul with 38 second to play. Free throws from Pryor extended the lead out to 71-66, but Lydon failed at the line, a 1-2 effort that could not keep pace. Free throws by Govan and Peak, part of a sterling 13 for 15 second half effort at the line, put the game away.
Lydon finished with 20 second half points and 28 points overall, a career high. "If Tyler Lydon doesn't have an unbelievable game we lose by 15. That's about what it probably should have been," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim in post-game remarks.
"You have to be able to take care of the ball and make plays, and obviously make some free throws when you have to have them. We're just not doing enough things right to win the game right now," Boeheim said. The Orangemen shot just 56 percent from the line, missing on 11 of 25 attempts which could well have been the difference in the game.
"We made our foul shots, which was key," said georgetown coach John Thompson III. "It wasn't as pretty as we wanted it to be, but guys made enough plays. It was a team win. You can look at everybody who got in, everybody did their job. They got in and contributed."
The P-word, panic, has been circling around the Hoyas and a 6-4 record which seemed to put its post-season thoughts in some peril. With Syracuse now at 6-4, they're hearing much the same.
"It's not panic time, it's still early," said Syracuse guard John Gillon, who finished with 13 points but on 4 for 14 shooting. "I know we really did need quality wins, but I think our ACC schedule is tough enough to give us enough good wins to be good."
Viewers to the ESPN broadcast got a healthy dose of Big East nostalgia in conjunction with Syracuse's honoring the memory of Dwayne (Pearl) Washington, and very little on the modern day rivalry, much less the modern Big East, which does not exist in the mind of the Worldwide Leader In Sports. No game in the series since 1990 was even cited, but Saturday's win is the first time Georgetown has won back to back games at the Carrier Dome since the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons. It's also, by default, the last game Jim Boeheim will coach at home versus the Hoyas, as his negotiated exit after the 2017-18 season leaves one game remaining in the series, at Verizon Center for the Boeheim era, where he is 38-37 all time versus Georgetown.
The Syracuse Daily Orange took note to remind its readers that Syracuse has beaten Georgetown in just one of its last four meetings. It's actually one of its last five and yes, we're keeping score.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Mosely 6 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 2 Pryor 34 3-5 3-6 5-5 6 3 1 20 Peak 38 5-9 2-3 7-9 11 4 4 23 Agau 8 2-2 0-0 2-2 1 0 2 6 Govan 23 4-10 0-0 4-5 10 1 3 12 Reserves: Campbell 15 0-1 0-2 0-0 2 2 0 0 Mulmore 23 0-1 1-1 2-2 0 3 1 5 Cameron 12 1-1 0-1 0-0 1 1 0 2 Derrickson 20 1-5 0-1 2-2 3 2 3 4 Johnson 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Mourning 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 Hayes 15 2-3 0-0 0-0 4 0 4 4 Team Rebounds 2 DNP: Hines, Muresan TOTALS 200 19-39 6-14 22-25 41 16 20 78
Additional coverage follows below, where the Syracuse media treated this game as along the lines of an NFL playoff game. With its next four opponents featuring the likes of Eastern Michigan, St. John's, Cornell, and Boston College, the Orangemen should be able to pick up some wins, but none carry the emotional firepower of this game nor the disappointment of its loss.
The Carrier Dome has not been friendly to Georgetown fans over the years: Georgetown is 10-22 all time in the building for men's basketball and has lost 14 of 19 since 1992.
Over the 35 years of games in the Dome between the schools, however, there have been no shortage of great games. Here are ten to remember:
|Date||Score||AP Ranking||Leading Scorer||Attend.|
|2/13/1980*||Georgetown, 52-50||2||Eric Floyd, 21||9,234|
|2/9/1981||Syracuse, 66-64||Eric Floyd, 16||17,092|
|3/6/1981**||Syracuse, 57-53||Eric Floyd, 26||17,101|
|1/17/1982||Syracuse, 75-70||8||Eric Floyd, 20||25,623|
|1/10/1983||Georgetown, 97-92||17||9||Michael Jackson, 31||31,327|
|1/30/1984||Georgetown, 80-67||4||20||Reggie Williams, 22||30,758|
|1/28/1985||Syracuse, 65-63||1||11||David Wingate, 16||32,329|
|2/23/1986||Syracuse, 64-63||13||9||Reggie Williams, 19||32,475|
|2/22/1987||Georgetown, 72-71||11||9||Perry McDonald, 26||32,602|
|1/24/1988||Georgetown, 69-68||15||14||Charles Smith, 13||32,419|
|3/5/1989||Syracuse, 82-76||2||6||Mark Tillmon, 18||32,683|
|3/4/1990||Syracuse, 89-87 (OT)||7||10||Dwayne Bryant, 25||33,015|
|3/3/1991||Syracuse, 62-58||6||Alonzo Mourning, 24||33,048|
|2/23/1992||Georgetown, 72-68||25||17||Alonzo Mourning, 27||32,996|
|2/8/1993||Syracuse, 76-61||Othella Harrington, 13||28,861|
|3/6/1994||Syracuse, 81-75||14||Othella Harrington, 19||30,205|
|2/26/1995||Georgetown, 81-78||11||Othella Harrington, 27||31,143|
|2/10/1996||Syracuse, 85-64||8||18||Jerome Williams, 24||32,589|
|2/8/1997||Syracuse, 77-74||Victor Page, 26||29,877|
|3/1/1998||Syracuse, 77-72 (OT)||22||Shernard Long, 24||27,726|
|2/27/2000||Syracuse, 67-52||13||Lee Scruggs, 22||31,009|
|1/29/2001||Syracuse, 70-63||10||12||Kevin Braswell, 23||21,054|
|2/24/2002||Georgetown, 75-69||Gerald Riley, 18||29,215|
|2/3/2003||Syracuse, 93-80||19||Mike Sweetney, 32||20,702|
|1/18/2005||Syracuse, 78-73 (OT)||7||Brandon Bowman, 19||23,485|
|2/26/2007||Syracuse, 72-58||12||Summers/Ewing Jr., 10||26,287|
|2/16/2008||Syracuse, 77-70||8||Jonathan Wallace, 26||31,327|
|2/14/2009||Syracuse, 98-94 (OT)||23||Chris Wright, 25||31,841|
|1/25/2010||Syracuse, 73-56||7||5||Austin Freeman, 23||26,508|
|2/9/2011||Georgetown, 64-56||11||12||Austin Freeman, 14||26,904|
|2/8/2012||Syracuse, 64-61 (OT)||12||2||Otto Porter, 14||27,820|
|2/23/2013||Georgetown, 57-46||11||8||Otto Porter, 33||35,012|
|* Manley Field House, all others at Carrier Dome|
|** 1981 Big East Tournament|
The basketball office has announced the transfer of junior forward Isaac Copeland, marking the fifth departure from John Thompson III's roster in the past four years and the second within four months. The announcement first appeared in the Washington Post.
Ranked as the #16 high school prospect of 2014 by ESPN.com, Copeland averaged 11.1 points as a sophomore and was expected to take the scoring the lead as a junior. Instead, he averaged just half that amount and played in just one game since Nov. 22, failing to score in five minutes of play.
But make no mistake: this is a big loss for the Hoyas.
The timing of the announcement was unusual, in that Georgetown usually announces transfers after finals have taken place. The actual news release numbered four sentences and did not include any comment from coach Thompson.
Despite horrid numbers for Copeland in his seven games do date, shooting 27 percent from the floor and 0 for 10 from three point range, his loss is a major blow to the Hoyas' scoring depth this season, particularly in the front court. The Hoyas are not getting consistent scoring from its remaining forwards, with neither Akoy Agau (5.5 ppg) and Marcus Derrickson (5.3 ppg) having led the team in scoring in any of the ten games to date. The move leaves only two small forwards on the GU lineup in junior Kaleb Johnson (2.8 ppg) and senior Reggie Cameron (3.0 ppg), who has appeared in just one game this season and was the subject of an unconfirmed report earlier in the season that he had left the team.
Copeland's departure follows that of a fellow member of the junior class, Paul White, who left the team in August and has since transferred to Oregon.
Mid-season departues are not altogether uncommon in college basketball--St. John's lost its sophomore center, Yankuba Sima, just last week. When they involve little-used or less regarded players, the impact is minimal. A mid-year transfer of a player like Copeland will add fuel to the slow fire on a program that is seen in decline in Big East circles. Copeland's 75 games, including 49 starts, is the most of any mid-year transfer and the most since George Butler was dismissed from the team in 1995:
Mid-Year Departures Since 1991
|Player||Class||Season||Points per game||Transferred to:|
|Charles Harrison||So.||1991-92||44 games, 11.5 ppg||Wake Forest|
|George Butler||Sr.||1994-95||40 games, 13.3 ppg||None (dismissed from team)|
|Eric Myles||Jr.||1995-96||25 games, 5.1 ppg||Southeast Louisiana|
|Kenny Brunner||Fr.||1997-98||19 games, 11.2 ppg||Fresno St. (never played there)|
|Jason Burns||Fr.||1999-00||3 games, 0.6 ppg||College of Idaho (JC)|
|Marc Egerson||So.||2006-07||34 games, 3.8 ppg||Delaware|
|Nikita Mescheriakov||Jr||2009-10||30 games, 2.3 ppg||Wake Forest|
|Greg Whittington||So.||2012-13||46 games, 6.5 ppg||None (dismissed from team)|
|Isaac Copeland||Jr.||2016-17||75 games, 8.6 ppg|
Additional coverage follows below:
L.J. Peak and Rodney Pryor combined for 43 points as the Georgetown Hoyas survived a non-conference game disguised as a free throw shooting contest in a 93-78 win over a LaSalle before a announced crowd of just 2,152 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.
The teams combined for 58 fouls and 76 free throw attempts in 40 minutes of regulation, with the Hoyas' 14 point advantage at the line the difference in the game.
LaSalle (4-4) led for the first 18 seconds of the game but none thereafter, but that's not to suggest the game was a foregone conclusion. The Hoyas got scoring from six different players in an early 14-10 lead, but could not shake off the Explorers, thanks to a pair of early threes. But it soon became apparent that this wouldn't a three point shooting contest. Georgetown had already gone to the line six times in the first nine minutes of the first half, and that number would increase as the Explorers' fouling tripped into bonus territory with 10:25 to halftime. By then a 10-3 run had propelled Georgetown to a double digit lead at 28-18, but the Hoyas' offense cooled and the defense struggled against Auburn transfer Jordan Price.
Price had 15 points at the half and led the Explorers with a 13-3 run heading into the final five minutes of the half, closing to 31-30. A basket by L.J. Peak extended the lead to three, but both teams began a regular appearance at the free throw line. The margin was three entering the final minute when a Jagan Mosely three and a driving Peak layup with one second to halftime extended Georgetown's margin to six, 47-41. The teams had combined for 26 field goals and 29 fouls, with Georgetown's 19-22 effort at the line outpacing LaSalle's 9-14 performance to date.
The second half followed a similar ebb and flow. Georgetown moved out to a 10 point lead with 16:47 remaining, 56-46, but its shooting went erratic and the Explorers climbed back. Five straight missed attempts opened the door for a LaSalle rally, closing to 57-53 with 13:36 to play but free throw shooting returned to the forefront. LaSalle committed seven fouls within the first four minutes of the half, and ten by the ten minute mark. Georgetown went over the limit at the 9:19 mark, narrowing the lead to 67-66.
One of two free throws by Price tied the score at 67 with 8:44 to play but Georgetown's defense took hold, committing just one foul over the next four minutes as it held LaSalle on three consecutive possessions. GU answered with a Rodney pryor layup, free throws from L.J. peak, and a a driving jessie Govan layup and a foul to go up eight, 76-68. Consecutive fouls by Demetrius Henry and Tony Washington, each their fifth, depleted the Explorers's defense down the stretch, as baskets by Pryor and Derrickson helped put the game away.
Peak led all Georgetown scorers with 24, followed by 19 from Pryor and 18 from Govan off the bench. each team had 25 field goals but LaSalle's early foul trouble got GU to the line when it counted.
LaSalle coach John Giannini can look to the Explorers' plateauing at 67-66 as a turning point in the game.
"We just lost control of it,", he said. Our defensive results are not good and we have to figure that out."
The win was a temporary respite for a Georgetown team which is still looking up in the Big East standings. A ESPN2 graphic erroneously displayed in the first half said that Georgetown was 5-5 and off to its worst start since 1973-74. Instead, they are now 6-4, which is where it was a year ago Monday following a loss to Monmouth.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Mosely 30 1-1 3-4 3-4 3 6 3 14 Pryor 27 4-7 3-6 2-3 4 0 4 19 Peak 39 6-10 0-0 12-15 4 3 4 24 Agau 18 0-0 0-0 6-6 2 1 3 6 Hayes 8 0-3 0-0 2-2 5 0 1 2 Reserves: Campbell 21 0-1 0-0 1-2 1 1 1 1 Mulmore 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0 Govan 18 4-7 0-0 10-11 6 1 4 18 Derrickson 31 3-6 1-2 0-0 8 1 3 9 Johnson 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 0 Mourning 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Team Rebounds 3 DNP: Cameron, Hines, Copeland, Muresan TOTALS 200 18-35 7-12 36-43 36 13 26 93
Nearly 100 years since he made his entrance into World War I, former Georgetown mascot Stubby is the subject of an off-Broadway production.
Sgt. Stubby: The Great American War Dog Musical" is described by its promoters as "Cats meets Hamilton".
"Sergeant Stubby has been called the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted to sergeant through combat, a claim recognized in connection with an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution," reads a production press release. He was the official mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment (United States), assigned to the 26th (Yankee) Division. Stubby served for 18 months and participated in seventeen battles on the Western Front. He saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, found and comforted the wounded, and once caught a German soldier by the seat of his pants, holding him there until American soldiers found him. Back home, his exploits were front-page stories in major newspapers."
"The noise and strain that shattered the nerves of many of his comrades did not impair Stubby's spirits," wrote the New York Times in 1926, with an obituary that was almost half a page long. "Not because he was unconscious of danger. His angry howl while a battle raged and his mad canter from one part of the lines to another indicated realization. But he seemed to know that the greatest service he could render was comfort and cheerfulness. When he deserted the front lines it was to keep a wounded soldier company in the corner of a dugout or in the deserted section of a trench. If the suffering doughboy fell asleep, Stubby stayed awake to watch."
The production is performed on weekends at the St. Luke's Theatre at 308 W. 46 St., New York.
The musical is not the only tribute to the dog, who died in 1926. An animated movie, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero" debuts in 2018, featuring the voices of Helena Bonham Carter and Gerard Depardieu.
It's the first week of December and Georgetown may already be playing with an NCAA at-large bid in the balance. How did it come to this?
There are plenty of games to be played, of course. As few as 23 and as many as 25 games still await the Hoyas before the NCAA selection show on March 12, so anything can happen. But can it?
For a second straight season, early missteps have put Georgetown in a tough spot to dig themselves out of to seek an at-large bid. The problem is apparent: the modern NCAA at-large system takes a dim view of teams with early season losses. Here are five trends to consider and to watch for in December:
1. Twenty Or Bust: Over the last three seasons of the Big East 3.0 era (2014-present), there have been 108 at-large NCAA selections. Of these, the average record was 23-9. Only six of 108 teams (that's five percent) were invited as an at-large with fewer than 20 wins, and only one of those six had fewer than 19. If you're Georgetown, sitting at 5-4, means you've got to win 15 of its next 23 just to get to 20, which is the bare minimum for contention. A split with Syracuse and Connecticut narrows the gap even further. Putting aside LaSalle and UNC-Greensboro for a moment, a split still requires a 14-7 run into the Big East tournament, just to make it to 20-12.
And 12 losses isn't a leading indicator, either. While half of the at-large field over the three last three seasons entered with 10 or more losses (54 of 108), just eight of those teams entered with more than 12 losses, and none more than 13.
2. How About 18?: Prior to the reconstitution of the conference, 18 wins was a bellwether for Georgetown teams into the post-season. Since 1975, no Georgetown team with fewer than 18 regular season wins has ever been invited to the NCAA tournament. And since 1982, only two Georgetown teams with 18 or more wins were denied an NCAA tournament invite: the 2000 NIT team (18-13 regular season) and the 2002 team that turned down the NIT at 19-13. Another trend: only one Georgetown team was invited to the NCAA's with more than 10 regular season losses: the 1990-91 team that was 16-11 but advanced to the Big East finals.
3. Even Isn't Even Enough: A sweep of LaSalle, Syracuse, UNCG, and UConn would take Georgetown to 9-4. A split of the Big East slate takes Georgetown to 18-13. But a .500 record in Big East play isn't a guarantee, either. Since 2013, four Big East schools have finished with a .500 record (9-9) in conference; of these, only one (Xavier, 2014-15) made the tournament. Compare this to 2000-13, where seven of 21 Big East schools with a .500 conference record qualified for the NCAA's.
4. Strength of Schedule: Georgetown has played two Top 25 games to date, versus #17 Wisconsin and #24 Oregon. Big East play will feature as many as eight games against top 25 opponents--great for climbing up the ladder, but a steep climb nonetheless. Those eight feature two versus current #1 Villanova, two with #10 Creighton, two with #13 Xavier, two with #17 Butler. In the past three seasons, GU is a combined 11-15 versus these schools.
5. No Room For Error: The remaining non-conference games of LaSalle, Syracuse, UNC-Greensboro and Connecticut become must-wins at this point. Win all four, Georgetown is 9-4, and a reasonable 10-8 Big East finish sets the Hoyas up for a 19-12 mark entering the conference tournament. A split sends GU to 7-6 out of conference, and the Hoyas would need a 12-6 mark thereafter for 19 wins entering the tournament. Any unexpected stumble with LaSalle (which took Villanova into the final minute Tuesday evening) or UNC-Greensboro (which will likely be 9-3 heading into its game with GU) would really set back Georgetown's spring break plans and force a deep run in the Big East tournament for post-season consideration.
Exam week games with LaSalle, Syracuse, and UNC-Greensboro are crucial to a team that needs consistency to compete in the Big East. There just hasn't been enough consistency for a team which ranks 159th of 345 teams in field goal defense, 161st in points allowed, 224th in personal fouls, 252nd in turnovers and 257th in rebounds allowed per game. None of those numbers suggest one of 36 at-large teams in the 2017 tournament, but now is the time to address it.
Sometimes, the outcome of a game is measured by seconds. Such was the case Sunday as Georgetown held off a late rally to defeat Elon 77-74 before 8,645 at Verizon Center.
For Georgetown to earn its fifth win of the 2016-17 season, it had to endure a rough first half in which it never led. The Hoyas opened the game shooting two of nine and five of its first 15. Elon (6-2) proved a challenging foe early with its use of the three point shot, connecting on five of seven attempts in the first ten minutes and extending its lead to 25-16 with 10:41 to halftime. The Phoenix would extend its lead to as many as 10, 27-17, before the Hoyas began to tighten its perimeter defense and turn up the pressure with rebounding. Georgetown had only four offensive rebounds at intermission but they all came down the stretch of the first half where the Hoyas needed better frontcourt play, and got it.
An offensive rebound and put back by Marcus Derrickson took the Hoyas within eight, 27-19. A foul on Rodney Pryor's three point attempt closed to five, 27-22, with 6:02 left. Free throws closed the margin into the final two minutes, whereupon baskets by Jessie Govan and L.J. Peak tied the score at 36 at halftime. The Hoyas shot just 39 percent for the half, one for seven from three point range, but dominated at the free throw line (13 for 15), holding the Phoenix without an attempt at the line.
The Hoyas opened the second half with its most productive run of the entire season, shooting 7 for 7 to open the period and racing to a 50-41 lead by the 16 minute time out, part of a 33-14 run over the prior 11 minutes. Georgetown led by as many as 11 until the Phoenix went back to the three pointer and the Hoyas' shooting returned to form. A Brian Dawkins layup narrowed the lead to nine at the 15 minute mark, while consecutive Georgetown turnovers were converted to consecutive threes as the Georgetown lead evaporated to 52-49.
The next ten minutes saw Georgetown's lead bend but not break, ranging from one to five points. From a 65-64 lead with 6:00 remaining, the Hoyas scored six of the next eight, with a basket by Peak and foul shots by Rodney Pryor put the Hoyas back up five, 71-66, with 4:12 to play.
An important moment in the run came with 3:42 to play, where an Elon basket was overruled by video replay that could have cut the lead to three; instead, Georgetown extended the lead to eight, 76-68, with 2:36 to play, and subsequently needed every one of those 156 seconds to hold on at the end.
The culprit was a familiar one: Georgetown's lack of composure in end-game situations. Elon added full court pressure that Georgetown struggled against, while its perimeter defense sagged and opened up shots that it had heretofore repelled through much of the second half.
Elon failed to capitalize on Georgetown turnovers at the 2:09 and 1;37 mark, but a jessie Govan foul was converted into free throws, 76-70. On the ensuing play, Derrickson missed a layup and Elon's Dmitri Thompson went inside for a layup, 76-72. Jonathan Mulmore missed the front end of a one and one with 41 seconds remaining. Quickly fouled, Peak went to the line. His first shot bounced twice over the rim before falling in, but the second was missed and Elon guard drove inside for a second layup, 76-74.
Peak was fouled with six seconds left, but missed the front end of the one and one. Peak's defense on Eddy, moving down the court with seconds to play, was pivotal. Eddy, who had been held in check from the three point line all afternoon (2-8), opted not to set up and take the three, but instead drove inside the arc to feed Stephen Santa Ana on the perimeter. Peak forced Eddy into taking an extra step into the lane, which caused his pass to Santa Ana to arrive a second late as time expired.
Georgetown's scoring was again weighted on Rodney Pryor and L.J. Peak, who accounted for 45 points and 24 of the team's 41 points after halftime. While the Hoyas shot 70 percent for the second half, rebounding was deficient, as Georgetown failed to collect a single offensive rebound after halftime as Elon grabbed eight in the half and carried a 13-4 advantage on the offensive boards overall. Jessie Govan had a strong game with 13 points, while Bradley Hayes and Marcus Derrickson struggled throughout against smaller opponetns, missing a combined seven of nine attempts.
The win was a hard fought one, but should have not been as close against a team picked eighth in the CAA pre-season projections. Late game troubles will be magnified against tougher opponents, especially in Big East play.
Sunday's game was a doubleheader for the BB&T Classic, where a smaller crowd remained to watch Florida State defeat George Washington 67-48 in the second game.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Mosely 7 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 0 Pryor 38 6-9 1-5 8-9 5 3 2 23 Peak 40 8-11 1-2 3-5 8 3 0 22 Agau 21 1-2 0-0 5-6 7 1 0 7 Hayes 13 1-3 0-0 1-2 4 1 2 3 Reserves: Campbell 26 2-3 1-2 0-0 2 4 2 7 Mulmore 10 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 0 Copeland 5 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 0 1 0 Govan 24 5-5 1-2 0-1 3 1 4 13 Derrickson 16 1-4 0-2 0-0 2 0 3 2 Team Rebounds 1 DNP: Cameron, Hines, Muresan, Johnson, Mourning TOTALS 200 24-38 4-14 17-24 32 13 16 77