The Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team (6-7, 0-2 Big East) lost 72-58 to Butler (9-6, 2-2 Big East) on Thursday night. Freshman guard Tyler Beard led the Hoyas in scoring with 15 points, while sophomore forward Collin Holloway, with 11 points, was the only other Hoya to score in the double digits. Graduate guard Jair Bolden led the Bulldogs in scoring with 23 points.
Things didn’t look good for Georgetown coming into the game. The Hoyas, fresh off their nearly thirty-point loss to Marquette earlier this week, were playing without starters Dante Harris and Don Carey due to illness. Head Coach Patrick Ewing was also unavailable due to DC COVID-19 health protocols. Assistant Coach Louis Orr took over head coach duties in Ewing’s place
Despite these setbacks, the Hoyas started strongly with junior center Timothy Ighoefe winning the tip in his first game back after surgery. Ighoefe’s controlled to a three-pointer from Holloway off of an assist from Beard. The Hoya’s opening basket was followed up quickly by a fast break three-pointer from graduate guard Kaiden Rice to put the Hoyas up 6-0, their largest lead of the game.
The rest of the first half was back-and-forth with several lead changes, but it felt like Butler had the edge on Georgetown despite the effectiveness of the Hoyas’ corner traps on defense. Butler went on a 5-0 scoring run to end the half, thanks to layups from redshirt senior Bo Hodges and graduate forward Bryce Nze. The run brought the score to 32-27 at halftime, giving the Bulldogs their largest lead of the game thus far.
The Bulldogs started off the second half going on an 8-0 run, from which Georgetown never recovered. The Hoyas struggled to get stops on defense and to put up unrushed shots on offense; they had good ball movement but weren’t able to finish. The Hoyas’ full-court press was effective on defense, but their offense couldn’t reap the benefits. Compounding the night’s misery, the Hoyas shot just 58.82% of free throws in the second half. Ultimately, the Hoyas couldn’t keep up with the Bulldogs, and the game ended with a final score of 72-58 in Butler’s favor.
Rice, who had been averaging 13.7 points per game, went one-for-eight on three-point shooting and only tallied five points. Freshman guard Aminu Mohammed also fell short. His physicality and athleticism may have been enough to score earlier in the season, but bodying his way into the paint isn’t going to work in Big East play. One bright spot of the evening was freshman forward Jalin Billingsley, who played well in the post, racking up six rebounds and a career-high eight points.
The Hoyas will look to snap their three-game losing streak on Sunday, Jan. 16 against St. John’s (9-5, 1-2 Big East). Tipoff is at 4:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden. The game will be broadcast live on Fox. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more updates and coverage of all Georgetown sports.