Threes fly, Hoyas fall flat in loss at Villanova

February 28, 2024

Photo by Daniel Rankin

On Feb. 27, Georgetown men’s basketball (9-19, 2-15 BIG EAST) lost in blowout fashion to the Villanova Wildcats (16-12, 9-8 BIG EAST), 75-47. In a season filled with blowout losses, this was one of the worst as the Wildcats sank three-pointer after three-pointer while Georgetown shot under 30% from the field. Put frankly, the Hoyas did not look like they belonged on the same court with one of the worst-performing Villanova teams of the last two decades.

The game started with a bang as seven of the first eight made shots from the field were from three, and the Wildcats, on the back of a 10-0 run, jumped out to a 15-9 lead. By the under-12 media timeout, the two teams had combined to make 7-12 shots from three and senior guard Jay Heath had six of the Hoyas’ nine early points with two triples of his own. While both squads may have been scorching the nets from long range, the same could not be said from inside the arc, as the teams combined for 1-11 from two. 

Coming out of the under-12 both the Wildcats and the Hoyas applied pressure inside the arc as Georgetown junior guard Dontrez Styles and Villanova senior forward Eric Dixon traded post buckets as the Wildcats pushed their lead out to 22-13, forcing a Hoya timeout. Adding insult to injury, Dixon had single handedly put both Georgetown bigs, senior forward Supreme Cook and freshman forward Drew Fielder, into foul trouble with two apiece ten minutes into the game. 

Out of the timeout, the threes would fly once more. Villanova fifth-year senior guard Justin Moore kicked things off with his first three of the game to expand the lead to double digits, but Styles once again had the Hoyas’ answer with a three of his own to cut the lead to 25-16. Once again though, the Wildcat onslaught would continue as Moore would hit his second and third threes of the game and the Wildcats went up 31-16 going into the under-4 media timeout. By this point the teams combined for an excellent 11-23 from outside the arc but an abysmal 5-18 inside of it.

The rest of the half would be much of the same. Villanova scored five straight points, including another three, to extend their run to 11-0 and their lead to 36-16. Once again Styles would provide the only Hoya offense, making a two through contact, drawing a foul and making the subsequent free-throw on Georgetown’s only free-throw attempt in the period. Moore then hit another triple as the Wildcats could not be stopped.

In perhaps the most interesting event of the game, with only seconds left in the half and as Fielder picked up his third foul of the half, Moore apparently took exception to a physical boxout by Styles on the Georgetown defensive glass and gave Styles a shove, initiating a scuffle between he and Styles that caused the Wildcat bench to clear and the referees to intervene. A double-technical was assessed to Moore and Styles and Georgetown went into the half down 43-19. Moore led Villanova with 14 points and Styles led the Hoyas with 10. Sophomore guard Jayden Epps, the third-leading scorer in the BIG EAST entering the game, went into the half scoreless after scoring over 30 points in each of Georgetown’s last two games.

To their credit, the Hoyas showed some fight out of halftime. They forced three Villanova fouls on their first offensive possession of the half. Epps hit three-straight free-throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt. Dixon got two early post buckets, but then Styles responded with a three. Four more Dixon points later, however, Georgetown was forced into a timeout down 53-27. Out of the timeout Georgetown went on a 9-1 run with a three apiece by Heath and Styles, as well as three free throws from Epps. After attempting only one free-throw the entire first half as a team, Epps alone had made six by the under-12. However, any hopes for Georgetown to keep the momentum were squashed by another Wildcat three that pushed the deficit out to a 57-36 Wildcat advantage. 

The Villanova lead would grow out of the under-12 as another big Wildcat run, this time 12-0, got the lead to 69-38 as Georgetown was in the midst of a nearly 8(!!) minute scoring drought. Despite snapping the curse going into the under-4 media timeout, the game was far out of hand. Villanova would go on to win 75-47, finishing 13-27 from three. Dixon led the game with 22 points, and Styles led the Hoyas with 16, although Georgetown shot only 14-51 from the field. Notably, the starting guards—redshirt-freshman Rowan Brumbaugh and Epps—only finished with a combined 15 points and six assists with five turnovers on 3-20 shooting from the field.

The Hoyas will return home on Saturday Mar. 2 when they take on Xavier (13-14, 7-9 BIG EAST) at 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on FS1. For continued coverage and updates on Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.

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