The Georgetown men’s basketball team hung around early but failed to keep up with No. 16 Villanova in the second half, losing to the Wildcats 80-66 on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center. Sophomore forward Saddiq Bey was the star for Nova (12-3, 3-1 Big East), notching a career-high 33 points, including 8-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc, as the Wildcats made 15-of-29 overall. Offensively, the Hoyas (11-6, 1-3 Big East) struggled to generate buckets and senior center Omer Yurtseven failed to make a significant impact inside the paint against a smaller Nova frontcourt, scoring just 10 points.
Villanova’s forward trio of Bey, junior guard Cole Swider, and freshman forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl got the Wildcats started offensively, combining to give the Wildcats an early six-point lead, before back-to-back threes from junior forward Jamorko Pickett temporarily quieted the crowd.
A flurry of 3-pointers kept the margin tight through the midpoint of the first half, but Villanova threatened to pull away with three straight deep balls from Bey, Swider, and junior forward Jermaine Samuels. The Hoyas were able to claw their way back to within two points, as freshman center Qudus Wahab made his presence known down low with a block and a dunk off a feed from sophomore guard Mac McClung.
Wahab continued to lead the charge for Georgetown with back-to-back short jumpers, including an and-one that tied the score at 34 with under three minutes remaining in the half. After another Wahab dunk tied it at 36, Samuels converted on an and-one layup over junior guard Jahvon Blair to send the Wildcats into the locker room up three.
Villanova emerged hot out of the break, with two buckets off assists from junior guard Collin Gillespie in the opening 30 seconds. A pair of free throws from Bey a couple minutes later gave the Wildcats their first double-digit lead of the afternoon, and Gillespie soon stretched it to an 11-point differential after drawing a foul from graduate student guard Terrell Allen behind the line and making all three free throws. Blair immediately responded with a 3-pointer and Allen made up for his mistake with a three of his own to cut the margin to five, but the Hoyas would not get any closer for the remainder of the game.
Two free throws from Bey and his seventh 3-pointer of the afternoon pushed the lead back to 12, and his eighth three quelled a short offensive spurt from the Hoyas three minutes later. Robinson-Earl kept the strong lead over the final stretch, with six points and an assist over the last four minutes. Despite the team’s struggles offensively, Wahab continued to be a bright spot for Head Coach Patrick Ewing, nailing a couple more shots while playing solid defense down the stretch. By the final buzzer, he had a team-high 13 points.
Next up for the Hoyas is a home matchup against Creighton (12-4, 1-2 Big East) on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena, with a live stream and stats available at guhoyas.com. For continued coverage of all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.
Image Credits: John Picker/The Georgetown Voice