Hoyas Drop 11th Straight, 90-85

 

Staking a claim as the worst defensive team in its history, the Georgetown Hoyas gave up 51 second half points in a 90-85 loss to St. John's before 4,839 at Capital One Arena.

The score was mitigated by two runs by the Hoyas as St. John's nearly lost two leads of 17 or more points in each half but survived each thanks to a Georgetown defense that ranks among the worst in the nation.

Coming off a humbling loss to Seton Hall on Sunday where St. John's coach Rick Pitino called out five players in the post-game press conference, the Redmen showed up at the start, shooting 8 for 11 to open the game behind four consecutive field goals from Penn transfer Jordan Dingle, who was 0-4 in the second half versus the Hall. With the Hoyas shooting just 3 for 11 to open the game, St. John's held a comfortable 18-7 advantage when Ed Cooley went to the timeout well in an attempt to change course.

It did not work.

St. John's responded by another effortless 8 for 11 run, completely overwhelming the Hoyas inside and outside. Four layups and back to back threes midway in the half pushed St. John's lead to 21, 35-14, with 7:14 to halftime. It's not that Georgetown couldn't shoot (at this point, the Hoyas were 7 for 15), but they had no answer defensively for a St. John's teams shooting 70 percent from the field (17 for 24) and 80 percent at close range (12 for 15).

Despite the remarkable run, there's a good reason why St. John's had lost eight of ten entering the game: an inattention to defense and careless turnovers. As Georgetown moved to a zone defense to limit St. John's from going inside, the Redmen slacked off on perimeter defense, opening a door for the shell shocked Hoyas to climb back in the game.

Baskets by Jayden Epps and Supreme Cook closed the margin to 35-18. A Joel Soriano basket inside pushed the lead back to 19, but it was St. John's only basket in a five minute run which saw the Hoyas get two threes from Rowan Brumbaugh and a three point play by Drew Fielder to close to 39-32 with 1:29 in the half. Two steals by the Hoyas netted no points, however, and Brumbaugh missed the front end of a one and one with 33 seconds left to remain down seven at the half.

St. John's did not make a field goal in the final 5:32 of the first half.

The Hoyas opened the second half with a free throw and a basket to close to 39-35 but the Redmen answered with a 10-4 run to push the lead back to double digits following the first media timeout of the half, 49-39. Georgetown pushed back to eight at 49-41 where a pair of lapses by the Hoyas proved the margin of defeat when all was said and done.

With 14:38 to play, R.J. Luis split the defenses for a layup, 51-41. Supreme Cook missed a hook shot in front of his basket, with Luis picking up the rebound and racing unopposed for the layup, 53-41. On the inbound, a lazy pass from Jayden Epps was stolen by Simeon Wilcher, who deposited the layup--three layups in 29 seconds.

The Redmen led by as many as 17 when, as if a redux of the first half, the Hoyas caught fire from the three point line. Another run of threes from Fielder and Bristol brought the Hoyas to 11, but a smaller Hoya lineup left 6-8 Chris Ledlum open for a three on the next possession, 61-49. Both teams traded baskets for the next six minutes before the Hoyas exposed the Redmen from the perimeter once again.

Back to back threes by Epps and Bristol brought Georgetown to within seven, 80-73, with 2:23 remaining. Free throws from SJU's Daniss Jenkins pushed the lead back to nine, 82-73, before back to back baskets by Epps closed to 82-78 with 1:31 remaining. Despite the Hoyas shooting 8 for 10 from the field to end the half, they allowed the Redmen to finish 5 for 5, none more important than a stepback jumper from Jenkins to push the lead to six, 84-78 with 1:01 remaining, and an uncontested dunk from Luis 29 seconds later to put the game away.

St. John's did not miss a field goal in the final 5:15 of the second half.

Jayden Epps had 31 points to lead all Georgetown scorers, followed by 15 from Rowan Brumbaugh and 12 from Supreme Cook, who was visibly outplayed for most of the game and was just 2 for 11 before making his final three attempts late. Wayne Bristol had al nine points in the second half, but the other departing seniors and grad students were visible liabilities defensively and fared poorly otherwise: Ismael Massoud made his first shot of the game and finished 1 for 5, while Jay Heath was 0 for 5 and played six minutes of the second half.

There are not many teams like Georgetown that can shoot 47 percent with 10 threes and lose, but there are not many teams like Georgetown are ranked 308th nationally in scoring defense. The Hoyas allowed the Redmen to shoot 67 percent after halftime and 57 percent overall, putting five players in double figures, led by a season high of 22 from Jordan Dingle.

St. John's continues its rocky road into the NCAA at-large conversation with a make or break game Sunday at Madison Square Garden versus a #15 Creighton which upset #1-ranked UConn on Tuesday. Meanwhile, CBS Sports Network drew the short straw for may be the most unanticipated Big East game in more than a decade, as two opponents with a combined Big East record of 1-29 square off before thousands of empty seats at Wintrust Arena. DePaul was down by as many as 43 to Marquette in a 105-71 loss this evening in Milwaukee, but with the wretched state of the Hoyas' defense, it's a game the Blue Demons will be actually be favored to win, which would give a formerly proud sport at Georgetown University its 52nd Big East loss in its last 55 games.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:


            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starters:    
Brumbaugh    37   3-7   2-2  3-5    2  7   3   15 
Epps         39  10-14  2-6  5-6    3  7   2   31
Heath        14   0-5   0-0  0-0    2  0   1    0     
Styles       25   1-1   1-3  2-2    4  0   2    7   
Cook         37   5-14  0-0  2-4    8  0   1   12 
Reserves:
Fielder      13   2-2   1-1  1-1    2  0   4    8
Massoud      21   0-3   1-2  0-0    4  0   3    3
Bristol      24   0-0   3-6  0-0    3  2   4    9  
Team Rebounds                       1
DNP: Asadallah, Montgomery, Bacote, McKenna,
Mutombo, Kazor      
TOTALS      200 21-46 10-20 13-18 29  16  20   85 

 

The leadership of the Northern Virginia AFL-CIO announced it would oppose the $2 billion arena project proposed by Monumental Sports, adding pressure to votes pending in Alexandria City and the Virginia General Assembly.

At issue is the developer for the project, JBG Smith, who has not agreed to employ union labor across the entire project. At present, Monumental Sports supports union labor for the arena, but other elements of what CEO Ted Leonsis (C'77) calls the "entertainment district" may be built with non-union workers, including a proposed hotel on land managed by JBG Smith.

In a statement noted by the Associated Press, Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin said that "Virginia is a right-to-work state and unreasonable demands from union leaders will not derail this project."

"It would be a shame to walk away from such a tremendous opportunity for Virginia's workers, and we remain committed to continued discussion with labor in the days ahead," read a joint statement from Monumental Sports and JBG Smith.

"If they're against it, then the arena deal is probably going to have a very difficult time," House speaker Don Scott told the Washington Post. "If it dies, it dies."