The Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team (6-11, 0-6 Big East) lost 96-73 on the road to the No. 20 UConn Huskies (14-4, 5-2 Big East) on Tuesday night for their seventh consecutive loss of the season and extended their winless stretch in conference play. Freshman guard Aminu Mohammed led the Hoyas in scoring with 15 points. Sophomore forward Adama Sanogo led the Huskies with 19 points, followed by graduate forward Isaiah Whaley with 15 points.
The score was close for the beginning of the first half. UConn opened up a 5-0 lead off of baskets from Sanogo and Whaley. The Hoyas responded quickly with a three-pointer from sophomore forward Collin Holloway and a two-point jumper from junior center Timothy Ighoefe. But a pair of Hoya turnovers and a foul from Ighoefe sent the Huskies back up 9-5 before Mohammed put up a layup to cut their lead to two.
UConn started to pull away at around the 15-minute mark, going up 13-7 due in part to a couple of turnovers from Georgetown’s sophomore guard Dante Harris. Harris redeemed himself by hitting a two-point jumper, but the Huskies were quick to up the pressure and led the Hoyas 25-14 four minutes later.
Graduate guard Don Carey hit a two-point jumper to get Georgetown’s offense going, and the Hoyas scored their next 18 points off of three-pointers from Holloway, Carey, Mohammed and graduate guard Kaiden Rice to bring the score to 40-34 in UConn’s favor with just three minutes to go in the first half. However, Georgetown couldn’t get any defensive stops, so UConn finished the half out strong. The score was 52-40 at halftime, a high-scoring half for both teams.
The second half started poorly for both teams, with a missed three-pointer from UConn graduate guard R.J. Cole that the Hoyas rebounded and then promptly turned over. Nearly two minutes passed before Whaley made a fast-break layup for the first points of the half for either team. But once they got their momentum going, the Huskies couldn’t be stopped- and the Hoyas just couldn’t keep up. Ighoefe fouled out with five minutes to play, sealing the defeat.
With four minutes left in the half, UConn had built up a nearly 30-point lead, 88-59. The Georgetown bench closed out the game as strong as they could, putting up 14 points to UConn’s 8 in the final stretch thanks to baskets from Rice, freshman center Ryan Mutombo, freshman guard Tyler Beard and junior guard Chuma Azinge. The game ended with a final score of 96-73, another Georgetown loss.
Offensively, though, it wasn’t a bad night for the Hoyas. They shot 45% on all field goals, and even better from three at 52.4%. What really killed Georgetown was their defense– or rather the lack thereof.
The Hoyas haven’t been playing Big East-quality defense this season and Tuesday night was no exception. Their full-court press was somewhat effective, but once the Huskies broke it, the Hoyas weren’t fast enough getting back to their defensive half. The Hoyas also struggled to stop fast breaks, allowing UConn to outscore them 27-6 on fast-break points. While the Huskies did shoot better than their season average, making 50% of their field goal attempts and 41.7% of their three-point attempts on the night, much of their offensive success was more a result of Georgetown’s poor defending than their own luck or skill.
Moving forward, the Hoyas need to work on their defense. They’ve shown that they can make threes and find other ways to score, but against ranked teams like UConn, a good offense isn’t enough. The other team knows how to score, too. Defense wins games.
Georgetown men’s basketball will play their next game on Saturday, Jan. 29 against Butler in Indianapolis, Indiana. Tipoff is scheduled for 12:00 PM EST, and the game will be broadcasted live. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more updates and coverage of all Georgetown sports.