It may not have been picture perfect, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (13-10, 4-6 Big East) gained a necessary win on the road against DePaul (8-14, 1-8 Big East) on Tuesday night, 76-73. Graduate student guard Rodney Pryor, who was playing in front of several family members and friends just minutes away from his hometown of Evanston, Ill., led the way with a game-high 26 points and five rebounds. Junior guard L.J. Peak added 13 points and sophomore center Jessie Govan contributed 14 points, five rebounds, and three assists to the Georgetown effort. Senior guard Billy Garrett, Jr. recorded 25 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while sophomore guard Eli Cain added 19 points for the Blue Demons.
The win is the third straight conference victory for the Hoyas, marking the longest such streak since Feb. 21, 2015. More importantly, however, the win prevents a loss to DePaul, which is currently last in the Big East, from appearing on the Blue and Gray’s uncertain NCAA Tournament resume.
Georgetown dominated the opening two minutes of game action, utilizing a 10-0 run to open up a double digit lead. Pryor’s made three with 18:15 left in the half capped the run and forced a quick DePaul timeout. Out of the timeout, however, the Blue Demons found new life and went on a 19-8 run in the subsequent eight minutes to take a slim 19-18 lead midway through the period. The teams began trading baskets for much of the remainder of the half, but DePaul exploited Georgetown’s weakness on the offensive glass to get second-chance opportunities. Freshman forward Al Eichelberger’s offensive rebound and putback layup with 4:20 remaining gave DePaul a 31-27 lead. Pryor responded by scoring Georgetown’s next six points, and freshman guard Jagan Mosely capped the half with a pair of free throws to give the Hoyas a 35-33 advantage at the intermission.
Similar to the first half, the Hoyas were hot to open the second period, opening up a 40-33 lead following a jump shot in transition from sophomore forward Marcus Derrickson. Following a DePaul timeout, the Blue and Gray continued to increase their lead after a three-pointer from Mosely, and back-to-back made jumpers from Pryor and Govan. The Blue Demons then leaned on their dynamic duo of Cain and Garrett, Jr. to lead the comeback charge. Cain’s three-pointer with 8:27 left gave DePaul a 55-54 lead, and both teams began to catch fire from the field. After exchanging blows for the next five minutes, the game was tied at 67 apiece with just 3:07 left in regulation. A DePaul layup with 1:12 remaining gave the team a 73-71 lead.
But the final minute would belong to L.J. Peak. The junior sliced through the DePaul defense on the Hoyas’ next possession and drew contact for an and-one layup. Peak made the free-throw to give Georgetown a one point advantage. On DePaul’s next possession, Govan blocked junior forward Tre’Darius McCallum’s layup attempt. The ball fell to Peak, who brought the ball up court and proceeded to kill 25 seconds of the game clock before splitting two defenders and making an acrobatic layup to put the Hoyas on top, 76-73. On the final possession of the game, DePaul managed to get an open three-point opportunity, but McCallum’s shot rattled around the rim before ultimately falling into the hands of Mosely.
The Hoyas will now have four days to rest before hosting Seton Hall (13-7, 3-5 Big East) on Saturday at noon. The game will be broadcast on FS1.