No bark, no bite: Men’s basketball blown out at home by No. 1 Villanova

No bark, no bite: Men’s basketball blown out at home by No. 1 Villanova

By:
01/18/2018

The Georgetown men’s basketball team (12-6, 2-5 Big East) fell flat at home against No. 1 Villanova (17-1, 5-1 Big East) on Wednesday, losing 88-56 and dropping to 2-5 in conference play. It was the Hoyas largest margin of defeat since December 10, 1974, when they lost 104-71 to Maryland.

Junior center Jessie Govan hit a baseline jumper in the opening minute to give Georgetown its first and only lead of the contest. Villanova responded with a 10-0 run, including back to back three-pointers from junior forward Eric Paschall and freshman forward Omari Spellman. At the 12-minute mark, sophomore guard Jagan Mosely followed up a huge block from junior guard/forward Kaleb Johnson with a jumper at the other end to bring Georgetown back within five points. The Wildcats immediately shut down any building Hoya momentum with the biggest run of the game, an 18-0 spurt that silenced the Blue and Gray faithful. The stunning run included five three-pointers in a span of less than three minutes and gave Villanova a comfortable 31-8 lead with eight minutes left in the first half.

Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing praised the Wildcats for their impressive offensive display. “They’re a great team. They’re very well coached,” he said. “They shot the heck out of the ball.”

Senior guard Jonathan Mulmore dribbled inside and finished a left-handed layup to cut the Villanova lead to 19 with 4:26 to go, but by the end of the first half, the advantage had increased to 42-20. The Wildcats continued to pour it on in the second half with an 18-2 run coming out of the break.

Govan, who finished the game with a team-high 12 points to go along with six rebounds, reflected on his team’s defensive frustrations. “We just tried to keep fighting,” he said. “It seemed like they weren’t missing.”

The Wildcats rarely did miss, especially in the second half when they shot 69.2 percent from the field. Just past the midway point of the second half, the Hoyas were keeping pace offensively and, after an and-one layup from freshman guard Jahvon Blair, had brought the lead down to 37 with 8:50 to go in the game. The next play, though, Spellman hit a three-pointer that sparked a 13-6 run to give the Wildcats a 44-point cushion, their largest lead of the game. That shot also set a Villanova school record, as it was the team’s 17th three-pointer in the game, breaking its previous mark of 16 set back on December 30, 1994 against Maryland.

Villanova head coach Jay Wright spoke on his team’s remarkable shooting night. “It was nothing different. Just every shot went in,” he said. “We want our guys to catch to shoot. We trust their decision making.”

At that point, Georgetown appeared in danger of approaching its own less attractive school record of largest margin of defeat set back on February 20, 1913 with a 49 point loss to Navy. However, the bench unit came alive in the final few minutes, going on a 12-0 run to bring the final scoreline to a more respectable 32-point margin.

Govan was the only Hoya to reach double-digit scoring on the night, while junior forward Marcus Derrickson notched eight points and eight rebounds. The Wildcats’ entire starting five, as well as their sixth man, sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo, reached double figures. Villanova also had four players make at least three three-pointers.

Despite his team’s massive victory, Wright gave a hopeful message to the Georgetown faithful. “Patrick’s doing a great job with this program and he’s going to build this thing,” he said. “I don’t think the score was indicative of the difference between these two teams.”

Ewing, who has been on the wrong side of many blowouts throughout his basketball career, also maintained a positive outlook.

“I’ve had my butt kicked before as a player. All I can do is get ready for the next one,” he said.

The Hoyas return to Capital One Arena on Saturday for their second game of a three-game homestand. They will be taking on St. John’s (10-9, 0-7 Big East) with tip-off scheduled for 12 p.m. ET. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for live updates and breaking news.

Image Credits: Alex Lewontin/The Georgetown Voice

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