Men’s basketball loses sixth-straight matchup with Providence, falls to 1-5 in Big East play

January 17, 2017

The Georgetown men’s basketball team (10-9, 1-5 Big East) fell to the Providence Friars (13-7, 3-4 Big East), 74-56, in a Big East conference game at the Verizon Center on Monday night. Junior forward Rodney Bullock led the Friars with 22 points, while junior guard L.J. Peak paced Georgetown with 13 points.

With the loss, the Hoyas drop to 1-5 in the Big East, just two losses shy of the program’s record for worst opening to conference play.

Providence and Georgetown exchanged baskets throughout the beginning of the first half, bringing the contest to a 14-12 Friar lead with 12:18 remaining in the period. Led by eight points from Bullock and three assists by junior guard Kyron Cartwright, Providence then jumped on a 13-2 run that saw their lead increase to 27-14 with 8:30 remaining in the half.

“I thought that Kyron [Cartwright] controlled the game with his speed, tenacity and great leadership,” said Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley.

Georgetown responded with a 10-1 run of its own. Behind seven points from Peak and a few of sophomore forward Kaleb Johnson’s seemingly patented hustle plays, the Hoyas trimmed Providence’s lead to 28-24 with 3:39 left in the half. The four point deficit would be the closest the Hoyas came to leading for the remainder of the contest.

Providence finished the first period with its own 14-4 run, culminating in a jumper by freshman guard Maliek White with just seven seconds remaining in the half. Providence entered the break with a 42-27 lead.

“I think we cut it to four and then we had bad offensive possessions, poor decisions, poor execution,” said Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III of Providence’s late first half run. “I think we were frustrated at one end and it led to lapses at the other end of the court.”

Bullock contributed 14 of his 22 points in the first half, and Cartwright added 10 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds during the first period. Sophomore forward Marcus Derrickson and graduate student guard Rodney Pryor paced the Hoyas in the first segment with six points apiece.

Providence shot 50 percent from the field and 45 percent from three in the first period, while Georgetown shot just 32 percent and hit only 1 of 13 attempted three-point jumpers. The Friars maintained their 15 point halftime lead while shooting just 9-15 from the free throw line in the first segment. The Hoyas turned the ball over seven times in the first half compared to just three giveaways from Providence.

Photo: Alex Lewontin/The Georgetown Voice

“We had a lot of open shots that we normally make,” said Georgetown graduate student guard Rodney Pryor. “I think we have to get into our stuff quicker. Sometimes when we lag into our offense that’s the reason we miss those open shots because we’re not ready to shoot it.”

Providence picked up right where it left off at the beginning of the second half and continued its dominance throughout the rest of the game, with Georgetown trailing by 17 points or more for the entirety of the second period. The Friars were in complete control for the remainder of the game and won by a final tally of 74-56.

“We played slow today,” said Thompson. “Everything was slow.  We weren’t running. We weren’t moving. We weren’t cutting.  Every person who touched the ball held it… held it and threw it to the next person who held it.”

The Friars were led by Bullock’s 22 points and junior guard Jalen Lindsey’s 14 points and five rebounds. Junior forward Emmitt Holt chipped in 11 points of his own, and Cartwright added a well-rounded performance, contributing 16 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds.

“I’m barely six feet tall.  I’m surprised that I got the other nine rebounds,” said Cartwright when asked about being just one rebound shy of a triple-double.

Peak paced the Hoyas with 13 points and four rebounds, and Pryor added 12 points. Derrickson, who scored a career-high 26 points in the Hoyas’ first matchup with Providence, contributed just nine points in today’s game.

Providence shot 47 percent from the field and 43 percent from three point range, while Georgetown achieved just 32 percent from the field and 22 percent from behind the three-point arc. The Hoyas outrebounded the Friars 39 to 35 in the contest, but turned the ball over a total of 15 times compared to just nine from Providence.

“We played really well,” said Cooley. “This is probably the best we’ve played all season. We happened to have one of those days where the ball just went into the basket and it happened to be on a day that we’re celebrating Martin Luther King.”

Today’s game was the final segment of the Big East’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day marathon. “I don’t think I would be in the seat that I’m in without [King Jr.’s] toughness, his vision, and his tenacity to make change in the world,” said Cooley.

Georgetown is entering arguably its most difficult stretch of the season, with games at No. 22 Xavier (13-5, 3-3 Big East), versus No. 7 Creighton (18-1, 5-1 Big East), and at No. 13 Butler (16-3, 5-2 Big East) upcoming. Providence is facing a challenging road as well, as it will head to No. 1  Villanova (18-1, 6-1 Big East) for a matchup versus the Wildcats.

The Hoyas will be back in action on Sunday, Jan. 22 when they travel to Cincinnati for a date with Xavier. The game will tip-off at 2:00 pm and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

Nick Gavio
Nick is the Voice's former editorial board chair. Follow him on Twitter at @nickgavio, where he primarily retweets cute puppy videos.


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