Men’s Basketball Ekes out a Much-Needed Victory Against Appalachian State

December 18, 2018

The Georgetown men’s basketball team (8-3, Big East) beat the Appalachian State Mountaineers, 83-73 at Capital One Arena Tuesday night. The Mountaineers’ senior guard Ronshad Shabazz led all scorers with 20 points, while the Hoyas’ freshman guard James Akinjo had 17 points.

The Hoyas kicked off the game with energy, with senior center Jessie Govan winning the tip-off and sophomore guard Jamorko Pickett sinking a 3-point shot just 46 seconds into the half. The Mountaineers quickly caught up with a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Justin Forrest and four points from Shabazz, bringing the game to a 7-6 lead at the under-16 media timeout. Appalachian State senior forward Tyrell Johnson was impressive on defense with two blocks early in the first four minutes of the half.

The Hoyas had some foul trouble in the first half, with Govan, McClung, and Mourning racking up two fouls apiece. Govan had an unusually rocky first half, with no rebounds, only two assists, and no baskets. Jamorko Pickett, however, went 2-for-2 from beyond the arc after sitting out the December 15 game against SMU due to what Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing called “a coaching decision.”

“What happened the other game, that’s in the past,” Ewing said. “I thought he did a good job for us, defensively and offensively.”

In the last two minutes of the half, the Hoyas hit their stride with a run of eight points in a minute and a half, closing out the first half with a 44-42 lead.

In the second half, the Hoyas settled into a comfortable lead. Govan, who only managed to score a total of eight points for the game, hit his first layup less than three minutes into the half. Ewing said that the team’s supporting cast was able to make up for Govan’s slow game.

“Jessie didn’t have his typical great game, but everyone else stepped up,” Ewing said.

The Mountaineers relied heavily on Shabazz and redshirt junior forward Hunter Seacat in the second half, with the two combining to score 14 of the team’s 31 points in the period, respectively. Appalachian State also had issues with fouls–Seacat racked up three fouls in the half, while Shabazz and junior forward Isaac Johnson were each called for two. They also had issues from deep, only hitting one of their 13 attempted 13-point shots.

Georgetown senior guard Greg Malinowski entered the game with 14:51 left in the half, and sunk a 3-pointer a little over two minutes after stepping onto the court. He hit two of his three shots from beyond the arc, and went 5-of-5 on free throws. In the post-game press conference, Malinowski said that he’d been working on his shots from the free-throw line, and that he wasn’t concerned with being put into the game so late.

“We have such a deep roster, you never know who’s going to be playing,” Malinowski said.

Ewing agreed, saying that he would continue to switch up the Hoyas’ starting lineup. “Any night one of them can have a great game,” Ewing said. “I’m going to play with whoever is going great at the time. I believe in everyone on this team.”

The Mountaineers had a brief revival with a nine-point scoring run about 11 minutes into the half, but only held onto their two-point lead for 35 seconds. The Hoyas pulled ahead and managed to widen their lead to 10 points, finishing the game with a final score of 83-73.

On December 22, the Hoyas will return to the court against Little Rock (5-6, Sun Belt) at 12:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena. The game will be broadcast on FSN. For more coverage of Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.

Katherine Randolph
Katherine is the Voice's editor-in-chief. She enjoys both causing and covering mayhem, following raccoons on Instagram, and making her own scrunchies.

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