The Georgetown men’s basketball team (8-0, Big East) remains undefeated after beating North Carolina A&T (5-4, MEAC) by a score of 83-74. Junior center Jessie Govan led the Hoyas with 22 points and 15 rebounds, while freshman guard Jamorko Pickett and junior guard/forward Kaleb Johnson also scored in double digits. Aggies junior guard Milik Gantz led NC A&T with 21 points.
The Hoyas came blazing out of the gates and took a quick 10-0 lead before the under-16 media timeout. However, the scoring slowed from there, as Georgetown only provided four more points in the next four minutes despite stifling the Aggies offense with their length and physicality.
“We’ve been doing a good job of going out to leads, and then they’re like, ‘Oh, we’re up,’” Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing said. “We’re letting teams back in, and that’s something that we can’t do, especially when we start playing much better teams.”
Gantz scored the first Aggies points from the free throw line after more than eight minutes of play, and, from there, NC A&T was able to keep up with Georgetown’s offense. The Aggies scored 10 points in the next four minutes while Govan made use of his size advantage down low, approaching yet another double-double by the under-8 timeout in the first half.
Aggies junior guard Aaren Edmead hit the first three-pointer of the game for either team to cut the Georgetown lead to 10 with 7:26 remaining in the half. The Hoyas owed much of their early defensive success to junior forward Marcus Derrickson, who had two first-half blocks and took two charges.
Gantz scored a dunk in transition to cut the Hoyas’ lead to single digits and become the first scorer in the game to reach double digits, but Georgetown senior guard Jonathan Mulmore made two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to give Georgetown an 11-point advantage going into the break.
Georgetown came out with more energy in the second half, extending their lead back to 14 early. Govan recorded his sixth double-double of the year and scored seven of the first nine second-half points for the Hoyas.
“Coach was featuring me in the second half. He told me just to dominate, and that’s what I tried to do,” Govan said.
The Aggies came right back with a 7-1 run to cut the Georgetown lead back to 10. The lead would fluctuate in the teens for the rest of the game, as the Hoyas never quite pulled away, but their lead never felt in danger.
Georgetown led by 16 with 2:17 to go after a Govan layup and relaxed into the finish. The Aggies finished the game strong and eventually cut the lead to 9 in the final thirty seconds, but the final score ultimately flatters the losing team, who couldn’t fight its way back into the contest after going down 14-0 early. Georgetown, however, is determined not to let that become a pattern.
“In the Big East, if we’re in a close game, we’re going to have to make sure we execute down the stretch,” Govan said. “If we’re not on our p’s and q’s, they’re going to finish us, and we’re going to walk away with an ‘L.’”
The Hoyas return to the court next Saturday against historic rivals Syracuse (8-1, ACC) at home. Tip off is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more updates and breaking news.