Georgetown Men’s Basketball falls in season opener to Dartmouth in surprising defeat

November 13, 2021

Dante Harris is seen during the Georgetown vs Dartmouth basketball game in Washington, DC on November 13th, 20201 at Capitol One Arena. Photo by Nathan Posner

The Georgetown men’s basketball team (0-1, Big East) fell 69-60 to Dartmouth (1-1, Ivy League) in the Hoyas’ first game since their NCAA tournament loss to Colorado last season. Star freshman forward Aminu Mohammed led the Hoyas with 17 points along with 6 rebounds, while graduate guard Donald Carey added 14 points on 3-6 shooting from three point range. For Dartmouth, senior guards Taurus Samuels and Brendan Barry had 23 and 19 points, respectively, each hitting six threes.

The Hoyas started the game with Mohammed, junior point guard Dante Harris, Carey, and graduate forward Kaiden Rice, as well as Malcolm Wilson. Wilson was a surprise addition to the starting lineup, as the junior big appeared in just 12 games last season, averaging 3.2 minutes per game, last on the team. Junior center Timothy Ighoefe notably did not dress for the game as he was dealing with concussion-like symptoms stemming from an incident in practice.

Dartmouth came into Capital One Arena off of a 73-57 loss to Boston College in their season opener. After not playing any games last season due to Ivy League COVID protocols, the team was looking to get back into rhythm against the Hoyas.

Georgetown looked very rusty to start the contest, as offensive possessions were very clunky with little to no penetration or open looks. Dartmouth took advantage of this early struggle to start off the game with an 8-3 lead. The Hoya starters were able to keep the Big Green lead marginal, but struggled when Coach Patrick Ewing went to his bench. Dartmouth went on a 12-0 run leading to a much needed Georgetown timeout with 9:38 to go in the first half. Tough bounces on Hoya shots as well as a hot Dartmouth team contributed to the Big Green run.

Things didn’t get better for the Hoyas the remainder of the half, as a Samuels three put Dartmouth up 28-10, part of an 18-2 run over a 8:30 minute stretch. At that point, Georgetown had shot just one for their last 14, as Harris started the game 1-7 from the field, and Rice started 0-3. For Dartmouth, freshman guard Ryan Cornish provided a spark off the bench, as his three put the Big Green up 33-14 with 4:26 to go, Dartmouth’s sixth three of the game at that point. Cornish was putting up his first collegiate points after not scoring against Boston College, posting 11 points on 4-6 from the field and 2-4 from deep with 2:43 to go in the half.

However, a late surge induced by Georgetown’s full-court press out of a timeout forced Dartmouth to end the half going 4:02 without a field goal, although still leading 37-21.

The Hoyas took this momentum straight into the second half, with 19 points in the first six minutes of the half, almost matching their 21 from the first. Defensively, the Hoyas also played much more disciplined basketball, not allowing Dartmouth to have many open looks. Freshman big Ryan Mutombo started to make his presence known as well, as he had back-to-back and-one layups inside to cut the lead to two.

Mohammed then powered in a fastbreak dunk off a turnover to tie it all up at 48 with 11:07 to go in the second half. During this stretch of play in particular, Mohammed was showing all of the promise he was hyped up to be. The Hoyas stingy defense continued to pay dividends, as freshman guard Jordan Riley’s steal and slam gave the Hoyas their first lead of the game, part of a 10-0 Georgetown run.

Georgetown’s only lead was very short-lived. Immediately following Riley’s bucket the Big Green went on an 11-0 run with 8:30 to go in the half. Dartmouth would not let up, and a Brendan Barry four-point play gave the Big Green a commanding 66-53 lead with 6:57 to go, part of a resounding 18-3 run overall. A sputtering end to the game for both teams saw Dartmouth maintaining their lead, eventually finishing out the Hoyas by a score of 69-60.

The Hoyas shot the ball at only a 39% clip from the field, with starters Harris and Rice finishing 3-13 and 3-9 from the field, respectively. On the other hand, Dartmouth’s success came from their long-range shooting, as the team drained 16 threes, double that of Georgetown’s total. At no point did it seem like the Big Green were forcing anything, as the Hoyas frequently cheated toward the middle on the defensive end, leaving open shooters on the perimeter. 

“They’re going to shoot threes, and we didn’t do a great job of getting to them at the three point line,” Ewing said. “We have to be able to score. Our shooters have to be able to take and make shots. We have to create movement to get guys open and then we have to make great decisions. I thought that when guys were open sometimes we didn’t make the right play.”

With Georgetown a 16 point favorite coming into the game, this loss was nothing short of a wreck for the Hoyas. The team has a lot to make up for in the coming games if they want to reverse fortunes on their season.

“When I talked to people before the season started I said there’s going to be peaks and there’s going to be valleys. Right now is a valley. We didn’t start the way that we would have liked to have started, against a team that we were definitely more talented than, but they outplayed us today,” Ewing said.

“It’s all growing pains. Today was the first game, hopefully we’re going to watch film tomorrow, learn from it and get ready for our next game. As we go along hopefully we look back at this game as ‘look this was the launching point of our season.’”

The Hoyas will look to bounce back versus American (2-0) on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET, continuing non-conference play. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more updates and coverage of all fall sports at Georgetown.

Alex Brady
Alex is a sports junkie who loves basketball and his hometown Bulls, and was a former Halftime Sports Editor.

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