The Georgetown men’s basketball team (2-0, Big East) took down Central Connecticut (1-1, Northeastern) 85-78 Saturday evening at Capital One Arena. Senior center Jessie Govan led the Georgetown scoring with 26 points, while freshman guard James Akinjo added 13 points and seven assists for the Hoyas, who had to fend off a late surge from the Blue Devils. Freshman guard Ian Krishnan scored 28 points for the Blue Devils, who stayed close with the Hoyas thanks to 12 made threes and 48 percent shooting from the field.
After the Hoyas built a 37-26 lead going into the halftime break, the Blue Devils came out on fire in the second half. After clawing back to within eight with 17:22 remaining, Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing took an early timeout. However, the timeout did little to quell Central Connecticut’s momentum, as they stayed within striking distance for the rest of the game. The Blue Devils also made effective use of a zone to frustrate the Hoyas offense.
“We weren’t executing, we weren’t taking good shots,” Ewing said, commenting on his team’s offensive poise.
The Blue Devils’ offensive firepower would eventually be met by the Hoyas’ outside shooting, leading to a memorable four-possession exchange with just under six minutes remaining. After Krishnan hit a three with 5:47 left, sophomore forward Jamorko Pickett popped out for a three of his own, assisted by sophomore guard Jahvon Blair. On the ensuing possession, senior forward Tyler Kohl drained another three, only to be matched once again by a Govan triple from the baseline.
“They got hot,” Govan said. “They just started hitting threes. A lot of momentum, momentum plays, that they made.”
After Central Connecticut once more drew to within a possession, making it 70-67 on two free throws with 4:03 left, the Hoyas iced the game with a 9-0 run, bookended by threes from Pickett. Pickett, who finished with 12 points on 4-7 shooting from three point range, earned high praise from Ewing. In particular, Ewing singled out the Washington, D.C., native’s attitude and defense.
“[Pickett] played great. He showed me today that he’s grown. In practices and games last year, he’d put his head down and pout. This is his best defensive effort,” Ewing said.
Govan also singled out Pickett, mentioning his defense on Kohl.
“I thought [Pickett] did a good job defending Kohl. Last game he had 30 and 10, so it was a big matchup,” Govan said.
The Hoyas return to the hardwood on Tuesday against Illinois (1-0, Big Ten) in Champaign, Illinois. Tip-off is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for updates, breaking news, and continuing coverage of Georgetown sports.