Musketeers Outmuscle and Stifle Men’s Basketball in Frustrating Defeat

January 22, 2020

Photo by John Picker/The Georgetown Voice

The Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team (12-8, 2-5 Big East) dropped a 66-57 decision to the Xavier Musketeers (13-6, 2-4 Big East) on Wednesday night at the Cintas Center. The Hoyas had their lowest scoring output of the year, as their offense never got into any sort of rhythm. Sophomore guard Mac McClung led all scorers with 19 points, though he shot 6-of-19 from the field. The Musketeers were led by freshman guard KyKy Tandy, who scored 18 points while converting 4-of-8 three pointers, and junior forward Naji Marshall also finished with 18 points, racking up five assists and four steals in the process.

Both teams started the game with sloppy play. After Xavier won the tip, junior forward Jamorko Pickett blocked freshman forward Zach Freemantle’s shot attempt, leading to a floater from McClung. It was Freemantle’s first start this season, as he replaced sophomore guard Quentin Goodin, creating a bigger lineup for Xavier to begin the game. Xavier took advantage of their size, as junior forward Jason Carter collected four points before the first media timeout, while graduate student guard Terrell Allen picked up a pair of quick fouls.

Coming out of the timeout, Xavier continued to roll, as senior forward Tyrique Jones threw down a thunderous dunk to put the home team up 11-4. After a jumper from Marshall, Georgetown Head Coach Patrick Ewing called for a timeout. The Hoyas were mired in a scoring drought of 6:08 that saw senior center Omer Yurtseven miss four field goals. Xavier’s lead swelled to 15-4 before junior guard Jahvon Blair stopped the bleeding with one free throw. By that point, Georgetown was shooting just 2-of-12 from the field.

Yurtseven and senior forward George Muresan checked into the game with just under 11 minutes left in the first half to try and spark the Hoyas’ offense, but to no avail. Junior guard Paul Scruggs hit his first basket driving to the rim, and Blair responded with a three to cut the deficit to 11. The Musketeers continued to attack Muresan, as Freemantle drove to the basket to give Xavier a 21-8 lead. Tandy’s long two and Scruggs’ three increased Xavier’s lead to 18 before Blair came up with another three.

Following the under-8 media timeout, McClung hit a jump shot to cut the Hoyas’ deficit to 13, and he hit two free throws his next time down. Jones responded to the 7-0 Hoyas run rolling to the basket, but senior guard Jagan Mosely answered with a three. From there, the teams traded baskets, highlighted by McClung’s strong and-one to the hoop. McClung converted on the free throw to bring the Hoyas within single digits, but Tandy’s 3-pointer gave Xavier a double-digit lead at the half.

Yurtseven was stuffed on a dunk attempt to begin the second half, while Jones completed an alley-oop from Marshall. McClung hit two free throws and Yurtseven finally hit a jumper in the low block to bring the score to 27-37. On the defensive end, McClung got a steal and slammed a reverse jam on the other end to bring the Hoyas within eight. Marshall and Yurtseven each hit a jumper going into the under-16 media timeout.

Jones missed both free throws coming out of the timeout, but Georgetown could not capitalize on the opportunity, and Tandy connected from deep again to go up by 11. Allen made a layup, but Tandy continued his strong game, finishing a layup through contact, though he missed the free throw. On the other end, freshman center Qudus Wahab collected an offensive rebound and put up a hook shot to bring the Hoyas within single digits.

Coming out of the under-12 timeout, Marshall hit a last-second 3-pointer over Mosely, and the Musketeer lead swelled to 12, 35-47. Wahab and Marshall traded baskets until a hustle situation with 8:33 left in regulation led to an Xavier timeout. After Marshall missed a difficult shot, Jones collected the offensive rebound and kicked out to Tandy, who drilled a wide-open three going into the under-8 timeout.

Georgetown’s shooting woes continued, as Mosely missed an open three from the corner. Yurtseven connected on a pick-and-pop play, but he promptly lost Jones on the defensive end, who made him pay with a reverse dunk. Marshall drilled a three, and Tandy continued his hot shooting, giving Xavier a 62-46 lead with 4:38 left to play. The Hoyas continued to shoot themselves in the foot, with turnovers from Allen and Pickett going into the final media timeout.

McClung hit two free throws after being fouled by Scruggs, and a quick turnover led to a 3-pointer from Pickett to draw within eight, prompting a Musketeer timeout. However, Xavier was able to take precious seconds off the clock by getting two critical offensive rebounds, leading to a foul by Pickett on Carter, who converted both free throws. McClung missed three field goals in the final stretch, and Xavier made their free throws to salt away the game, winning 66-57.

The Hoyas came out flat on the road yet again, shooting just 36.8 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from 3-point range. Yurtseven had his most frustrating outing, finishing with just six points while also racking up four personal fouls. Though Xavier didn’t shoot particularly well either, they collected 16 offensive rebounds compared to Georgetown’s seven, leading to a 20-6 edge in second-chance points. Four Musketeers finished with double figures, and both Carter (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Jones (10 points, 13 rebounds) finished with double-doubles.

Georgetown will look to bounce back in front of their home crowd at Capital One Arena next Tuesday, when they face off against No. 13 Butler (15-4, 3-3 Big East). Tipoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network. For continued coverage of men’s basketball and all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.

Nathan Chen
is the Sports Executive. He was born and bred in the DC Sports Bog and is ready to die in it.

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