Men’s Basketball Recovers with Solid Home Win over DePaul

February 27, 2019

Jessie Govan (15) shoots a baseline jumper over Jaylen Butz (2). Govan finished with 26 points, his highest total since notching 33 in a double overtime win over Providence on Jan. 12. (John Picker/The Georgetown Voice)

The Georgetown men’s basketball team (17-11, 7-8 Big East) dispatched the DePaul Blue Demons (13-13, 5-10 Big East) 82-73 Wednesday night at Capital One Arena. In a wire-to-wire victory, the Hoyas controlled all aspects of the game, as the Blue Demons never really threatened after Georgetown jumped out to a double-digit lead.

“I thought that we came out with energy, effort, mental and physical toughness,” Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing said. We did everything we need to do to get the win.”

Senior forward Jessie Govan led the way for Georgetown with 26 points and six rebounds, while freshman guard Mac McClung added 15 points and three steals for the Hoyas, who shot 49 percent from the field and converted 7-of-20 3-point attempts. The Blue Demons were led by senior guard Max Strus, who scored 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Despite Strus’ efficient scoring night, Ewing was happy about how his team defended DePaul’s high man.

“Strus had 25, but I thought our guys made him work for everything he got,” Ewing said.

The game started out as a relatively back-and-forth affair, with Georgetown holding a slim lead through the first 12 minutes. At the under-eight timeout, the Hoyas had failed to separate, leading the Blue Demons 27-25.

After the timeout, the Hoyas unleashed a 10-2 run, capped by a steal and score by McClung. DePaul head coach Dave Leitao took a timeout to stop the bleeding, but the Hoyas kept their foot on the pedal en route to a 49-34 halftime lead, with Govan nailing a three just before the buzzer sounded. McClung added a highlight-reel, double-pump dunk to bring the crowd to their feet with 2:16 remaining.

In the middle of the Hoyas’ first half run, the physicality between the two teams became evident, as freshman forward Josh LeBlanc and Blue Demons’ sophomore forward Jaylen Butz were assessed double technical fouls for a mild altercation.

Jessie Govan (15) shoots a baseline jumper over Jaylen Butz (2). Govan finished with 26 points, his highest total since notching 33 in a double overtime win over Providence on Jan. 12. (John Picker/The Georgetown Voice)

“As a big man you have to expect physicality, and you have to love that,” Govan said.

The second half displayed more of the same: physicality and Georgetown controlling the contest, albeit with mini runs by the Blue Demons interspersed. After the Hoyas opened up a 57-40 lead, the Blue Demons went on a 9-2 run to cut the lead back down to 10. The Hoyas would respond, however, with five quick points off a jump shot from freshman guard James Akinjo, followed by a three from Govan.

The rest of the game would follow a similar pattern: the Hoyas would take the lead comfortably into double digits before the Blue Demons would cut it back down below 10. DePaul had a chance with under a minute to cut it to four, as Strus found himself open in transition for a three. The senior drew back iron, however, and the star senior on the other team, Govan, found himself with the board. With his last home game on Saturday against Seton Hall (16-11, 7-8 Big East), Govan reflected on what’s left to play for this season, as well as the personal importance of the game.

“I have a lot of family coming,” Govan said. “It’s gonna be a good event for me, my last home game. We still have a chance to go out on a good note now.”

Ewing was more direct, commenting that his team still has a chance for the postseason.

“We have a great opportunity to make the NCAA Tournament, if we take care of business,” Ewing said.

The Hoyas return to action Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET against Seton Hall. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Follow @GUVoiceSports for more updates, breaking news, and coverage of all Georgetown athletics.

Santul Nerkar
Santul is the Voice's former executive culture editor and Halftime Sports editor. Follow him on Twitter @SantulN to become one of his rare few followers.

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