The Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team (6-12, 0-7 Big East) fell 56-53 to the Butler Bulldogs (11-10, 4-6 Big East) in their second meeting of the season. It was not a pretty game for either team, but Georgetown kept up better than they did in Butler’s 72-58 win last month at Capital One.
The Hoyas played their usual starting lineup of Dante Harris, Don Carey, Aminu Mohammed, Collin Holloway and Timothy Ighoefe. They had a strong start, scoring the first points of the game on a Holloway layup and extending their lead to four with a jumper from Ighoefe. Butler responded with a two-point jumper from sophomore guard Chuck Harris to make the score 4-2.
The first half was low-scoring due to a low shooting percentage from both teams, and a lot of back-and-forth, but the Hoyas generally stayed on top. The Bulldogs took the lead for the first time with 11 minutes to go during an 11-0 run with a two-point jumper from graduate guard Aaron Thompson to pull ahead, 13-11. By the time Mohammed hit a jump shot in the paint to interrupt Butler’s offensive flow, the score was 19-13, Bulldogs.
However, Georgetown managed to cut Butler’s lead to one within the next couple of minutes as a result of baskets from Mohammed and Holloway to make the score 21-20. The half ended in a torrent of back-and-forth threes, including a pair from Carey, to bring the score to 32-26, Butler.
Unfortunately for the Hoyas, Carey’s three-point shooting didn’t carry over to start the second half, as he missed the first shot of the half. Carey’s miss led to a defensive rebound for Thompson, which he turned over to Georgetown for a Carey steal, only for Ighoefe to turn the ball back over to the Bulldogs. Turnovers were a theme throughout the game, as both teams racked up 14 each.
The first bucket of the half was a two-point jumper from Butler’s graduate forward Bryce Nze. On their resulting possession, the Hoyas turned the ball over again for a jumper for senior forward Bryce Golden. Georgetown managed to respond with a layup from Mohammed off of a D. Harris assist to make the score 36-28, Bulldogs.
A Thompson jumper, a D. Harris jumper, and a pair of Nze layups brought the score to 42-30, giving Butler their largest lead of the game. Georgetown slowly cut down the Bulldogs’ lead thanks to baskets from various players, making it a 47-46 game with just over eight minutes to play.
The Hoyas remained within six points of the Bulldogs until a Mohammed layup with a minute and a half to go gave the Hoyas the lead for the first time since the first half, 53-52. The Bulldogs responded with a Thompson jumper, and a foul from Carey led to two made free throws for C. Harris, giving the Bulldogs the lead, 56-53, with just 14 seconds left.
The Hoyas took a timeout, and when they returned to the floor, they ran a play that resulted in a weakly contested corner three for Carey with two seconds to go. When the shot bounced off the rim, Simas Lukosius grabbed the defensive board, ending the game with a score of 56-53, Butler.
Mohammed led Georgetown in scoring with 16 points, followed by Carey with 12. They were the only two Hoyas to score in double digits. Simas led the Bulldogs with 13 points, followed by Thompson and Nze with 12 apiece. Nze also recorded 12 rebounds for a double-double.
It was definitely an off afternoon for Georgetown in terms of shooting. The Hoyas shot an abysmal 36.1% from the field and 21.1% from behind the arc. Butler wasn’t shooting much better- only 37.9% from the field and 23.1% from three. Once again, the game came down to defense and being able to finish games strong.
Roster depth was again an issue for the Hoyas, as all of Georgetown’s starters except Ighoefe played at least 32 minutes. This heavy schedule took a toll on the players, leading to some avoidable mistakes down the final stretch. Graduate guard Kaiden Rice played the next most minutes at only 17. Moving forward, the Hoyas will need to see more quality minutes out of their bench to finish out games stronger.
The Hoyas will play their next game on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at home against Seton Hall. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena, and the game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more updates and coverage of all Georgetown sports.