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"A walk in the park."--Gus Johnson, Fox Sports 1
This one was over early, as #6 Villanova collected 18 Georgetown turnovers and deposited a 77-59 win at Wells Fargo Center this afternoon.
In its meeting Jan. 27, Georgetown lost the game as a result of turnovers, and turnovers returned to the story in this one. Villanova raced to a 9-2 lead to open the game, and within the first four minutes Georgetown had already allowed four turnovers, part of 10 surrendered by halftime. Georgetown never led in the opening period, closing to 16-15 on a Jabril Trawick three with 12:04 to halftime, but Trawick picked up his third foul 36 seconds later and Georgetown's offense (and defense) took a step backward.
Georgetown continued to keep things close despite the turnovers and trailed 26-22 on an Aaron Bowen three with 7:57 remaining. Following a Markel Starks basket at the 6:57 mark, 28-24, the Wildcats answered on a 10-1 run and thus began yet another run of Georgetown offensive futility, as the Hoyas made only one basket the rest of the half and trailed 42-29 despite shooting 57 percent from the field and 5-8 from three point range.
The Hoyas' first basket of the second half closed the count to 11, 42-31, but no closer. Villanova pushed the lead to 13, 15, and then 16 four minutes into the half, as Georgetown had little in the way of interior defense. When the interior regained form, the Cats went outside. Following a Smith-Rivera basket to close to 14, 49-35, Villanova guard Ryan Arcidiacono hit back to back threes to push the lead to 20, and that was about it for the Hoyas. A tight official's whistle kept Georgetown in the game early in the second half but Villanova pushed the lead to 21 midway in the second half and it never got below 16 thereafter. The Hoyas managed three field goals in the final seven minutes of the game despite Villanova emptying its bench down the stretch.
Markel Starks led the Hoyas with 20 points, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera with 14, and a season high 13 from Aaron Bowen. With the biggest game of the season on the line, Mikael Hopkins turned in one of the poorest results of his Georgetown career, fouling out with no points and three rebounds. Sadly, he was not alone for a Georgetown team which has dropped four of its last six: Nate Lubick picked up one rebound, Reggie Cameron failed to take a shot attempt, and Moses Ayegba had just two rebounds, all in respective 15 minute stands.
In the first game between the teams, the Hoyas scored 23 field goals, committed 23 fouls, and set a Big East season high with 18 turnovers. Saturday's game showed no improvement whatsoever: 20 field goals, 23 fouls, 18 turnovers.
Last game where
Villanova defeated GU
by 16 or more pts.
GU field goals
rest of starters
Five Villanova players finished in double figures, a rarity for any Georgetown opponent.
"They're good on both ends of the court," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III in post-game comments. "They have a big versatile team that defensively is tough to play around because of their size and length, they can switch and disrupt you a bit. On the offensive end, they're a very unselfish team. They drive and kick it to the person that's open and he can make the shot. The press they put against you on both ends of the court makes them impressive."
The loss ends the regular season and drops Georgetown under .500 in Big East play for the first time since 2009, when the Hoyas failed to make the NCAA tournament. Its road record of 2-8 is the worst since the 1997-98 season, another NIT campaign, with its only wins against the bottom two teams in the conference, Butler and DePaul.
"We have to play better than we did today,” Thompson said. “Significantly better.”
But can they?
Short of a dominant Big East tournament run, all signs point to John Thompson III's first team in five seasons to fall short of an NCAA tournament bid, a team noticeably short on talent, and plagued by offensive inconsistency. Despite significant non-conference wins over VCU, Kansas State, and Michigan State, the last Big East team selected to the NCAA's with a conference record below .500 was Seton Hall in 1994, when the Big East put six of its 10 teams in the tournament. A six team selection seems unlikely for the league right now, with only two teams with better than 40 in the RPI index.
Two wins in the Big East tournament, or a trip to the semifinals, would bring Georgetown to .500 in terms of conference opponents and rekindle talk of its strength of schedule (12th nationally) and a 19-win season, but it remains a significant challenge for a team who has not won consecutive games in the last month of play.
First up, DePaul, who finished last for the sixth consecutive season in Big East play. The winner faces #2 seed Creighton in the Big East quarterfinals.
The Georgetown half of the box score:
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS
Starks 32 4-8 2-4 6-6 3 3 4 20
Smith-Rivera 35 3-5 2-6 2-2 5 2 1 14
Trawick 24 1-2 1-2 2-6 2 3 3 7
Lubick 15 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 2 2
Hopkins 18 0-2 0-0 0-0 3 0 5 0
Cameron 15 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 1 0 0
Allen 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Williams 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Bowen 28 4-5 1-2 2-3 4 0 2 13
Caprio 6 0-1 0-0 1-3 1 0 2 1
Domingo 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
Ayegba 15 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 1 2 2
Hayes 6 0-0 0-0 0-2 1 0 1 0
Team Rebounds 5
TOTALS 200 14-26 6-14 13-22 30 10 23 59
||Updated 3/8/14 10:30 pm EST |
On the final day of the Big East regular season, here's a look at the final pairings.
||Updated 3/8/14 10:30 pm EST |
A snapshot of where the teams stand in terms of RPI ratings through March 8 is below. A team in green is among the range generally chosen for NCAA at-large selection team. A team in yellow is on, or near, the NCAA bubble for teams hoping for an at-large bid. Teams in gray are not projected to be an at-large selection. Here's the latest look:
As always, prior stories over this past week or the last 15+ years of coverage can be found at the News Archive pages, including recaps of all prior games over the season. It's a good way to keep up to date if you've visit the site less frequently. The last 10 stories:
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