The Georgetown men’s basketball team (8-7, 0-3 Big East) fell to the Providence Friars (11-5, 1-2 Big East), 76-70, in a Big East conference game on Wednesday night in Providence, RI. Junior guard Jalen Lindsey led the Friars with 19 points, while sophomore forward Marcus Derrickson scored 26 points for the Hoyas.
Providence jumped out to a quick 11-5 lead behind five early points from junior guard Kyron Cartwright and two assists from junior forward Rodney Bullock. Coming out of the under-16 television timeout, the Hoyas switched from man-to-man defense to a 2-3 zone that momentarily stifled the Friars’ offensive attack.
The Hoyas also struggled offensively in the first half, shooting just 31.3 percent from the field, converting two of twelve attempted three-point field goals, and only attempting two free throws in the first period. “We missed some chippies early,” said Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III. “We missed some open shots.”
The first half was surely a defensive battle, with neither team scoring a point for a four-minute stretch in the middle of the first segment, leaving the game stuck at a 13-8 Providence lead for a seemingly endless period of time. The Hoyas then generated an 11-2 run behind five points and a few notable hustle plays from junior forward Akoy Agau, who catapulted his team to a 19-15 lead with about five minutes remaining in the half. Agau provided Georgetown with the spark it needed in the first half, contributing nine points and seven rebounds, including three offensive, in the first period. But, Providence finished the half with its own 15-4 run that saw the Friars take a 30-23 lead into the break.
Behind seven points from Derrickson and junior guard L.J. Peak’s first basket of the game, Georgetown quickly eliminated the Friars’ advantage and overtook a 37-34 lead just four minutes into the second half. After both teams exchanged baskets throughout the middle portion of the second period, Providence’s freshman guard Alpha Diallo converted an and-1 to give the Friars a 54-52 lead with just under nine minutes remaining in the half. From that point forward, the Hoyas would not lead.
“We’ve had stretches the last couple of games, from midway to slightly past the midway point of the second half, where we’ve let teams execute offensively,” said Thompson. “And that happened again tonight.”
With about two minutes left in the game, Agau fouled out on an and-1 conversion for Bullock that pushed Providence’s lead to eight points. Georgetown could not score on its next trip down the court. Facing a 72-64 deficit with roughly a minute left in the game, Thompson chose not to intentionally foul during Providence’s next offensive possession. Georgetown failed to overcome the Friars’ late lead and ultimately lost by a final tally of 76-70.
“There’s a big difference between being frustrated and thinking the season’s over,” said Thompson. “The guys in that locker room still believe in each other, believe in us, believe in what we’re doing, and we’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to figure this out together.”
Providence had four players finish the game with fifteen points or more. Lindsey led the team with 19 points, while junior forward Emmitt Holt added 17 points and five rebounds and Bullock padded the stat sheet with 15 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and three blocks.
The Friars shot 44 percent from the field as a team and 40 percent from three-point range. Providence attempted thirty free throws, converting at a rate of 73 percent. In comparison, Georgetown shot 16 free throws and made just 50 percent of those attempts.
The Hoyas were led by Derrickson, who finished with 26 points and six rebounds. Graduate student guard Rodney Pryor added 16 points and Agau contributed 12 points and 12 rebounds, his first career double-double.
The Hoyas shot 41 percent from the field and 30 percent from three-point range. Georgetown’s 50 percent free-throw percentage was their lowest of the season, and the Hoyas have averaged just 58 percent from the charity stripe over their first three Big East games, despite holding an overall season average of 76%.
Georgetown will host No. 18 Butler (13-2, 2-1 Big East) at the Verizon Center on Saturday, while Providence is set to take on No. 10 Creighton (13-1, 2-1 Big East) at home on Saturday as well. Georgetown’s game versus Butler will be televised on Fox and is scheduled to tip off at 12:00 pm.