On Tuesday night, the Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team (1-1, Big East) fell to the Navy Midshipmen (3-1, Patriot League), 78-71. It was a disappointing effort for the Hoyas, who had been heavily favored to win this game. After a slow start and a halftime deficit, the Blue & Gray played well to open the second half, leading by as much as six, but the Midshipmen soon regained control and took the game. Senior guard Jahvon Blair and senior forward Jamorko Pickett each tallied 17 points, while sophomore center Qudus Wahab recorded 16 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Cam Davis led the Midshipmen with 28 points, aided by 20 points from junior guard John Carter Jr.
“We just couldn’t guard. That’s it. We couldn’t guard Davis, we couldn’t guard Carter,” said Georgetown Head Coach Patrick Ewing. “We have to do a much better job if we want to be good, to contain guys. We just weren’t able to do that.”
Georgetown struggled heavily in the paint, getting outscored 40-24 despite Wahab’s height advantage over the smaller Navy big men.
“It’s a mindset. When the bigs are open in the post, we have to get them the ball. When they’re doubled, we have to pass it out and make shots,” said Ewing on improving post play.
After Navy won the tip, Georgetown struggled out of the gate. In the first five minutes, Georgetown committed three turnovers and recorded just three rebounds to Navy’s six. Navy came out aggressive, putting up seven 3-point attempts early on, though converting only two. At the under-16 timeout, Georgetown trailed 9-7 with four points coming from Wahab. Quickly after, Blair and graduate student guard Donald Carey hit the Hoyas’ first and second 3-pointers of the game. However, two field goals by Davis kept the game tied at 13 going into the next media timeout.
Northwestern State graduate transfer forward Chudier Bile entered the game about halfway through the first half, making his Georgetown debut. However, Bile missed his first field goal and was soon after fouled, subsequently missing both free throws. Pickett made his first triple of the game before junior forward Richard Njoku sunk a hook shot to give the Midshipmen a 18-16 advantage going into the U8 timeout. Bile then made 1-of-2 from the free throw line to begin his Georgetown scoring and momentarily knotted the game at 17 before Carter Jr. made a three to regain the lead. Navy was able to stretch their lead to 24-18 after a couple buckets from sophomore forward Daniel Deaver, but a dunk by Pickett and a fastbreak triple by Blair brought the Hoyas within one and forced a Navy timeout. Going into the half, Carter Jr. sandwiched a Pickett three with a layup and a triple of his own, giving the Midshipmen a 29-26 halftime lead.
The numbers reflected a poor half for the Hoyas. Georgetown shot just 33.3% from the field and lost the rebounding battle 23-17. Furthermore, Carey had committed four turnovers by the half, and the team eight, leading to eight Navy points off turnovers. Georgetown also had just one point from the bench at the half.
Out of the break, Georgetown started much better, getting quick 3-pointers from graduate student guard Jalen Harris and Carey, then a turnaround jumper from Pickett to quickly establish a five-point lead. Navy answered with a quick layup from Carter Jr., but Harris notched another three to push the lead to six. The teams would trade buckets into the under-16 timeout, with Georgetown holding a 43-39 lead. Wahab came out of the timeout and quickly made a couple shots in the post, but Davis responded with two threes to bring Navy back within two. The Midshipmen then went on a 7-2 run to tie the game at 52, but Georgetown quickly responded with field goals from Blair and Carey. Navy wouldn’t go away, however, as scores from Carter Jr. and Njoku kept them close before Davis nailed a triple to give the lead back to Navy, 61-60. From there, the Midshipmen went on a run while Georgetown just couldn’t get anything going. Thanks to buckets by Carter Jr. and sophomore forward Tyler Nelson, Ewing was forced to call a timeout with his team down 70-62 and 3:32 remaining. The Hoyas cut the lead to six with another Harris three, but a costly turnover by Blair would effectively put the game away.
The loss was Georgetown’s first in program history against Patriot League opponents, having won their previous 12.
Georgetown will look to rebound on Sunday at McDonough against their most formidable opponent thus far, No. 11 West Virginia (3-0, Big 12). The Mountaineers will be battle-tested by then, as they face off with No. 1 Gonzaga (2-0, WCC) on Wednesday night.
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