Recap: Inside Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon, the Hoyas couldn't miss during the opening 10 minutes. Alas, by rule they were required to play the final 30 minutes. That's when things went wrong against No. 18 Kansas.
Dominated by a collection of physically imposing freshman and hampered by foul trouble, Georgetown suffered its biggest loss of the season, falling 86-64 to the Jayhawks.
Markel Starks scored 19 points and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 12 for the Hoyas (7-3), who entered with a six-game winning streak. None of those dispatched opponents had athletes and size like Kansas (8-3). Looking every bit of a future No. 1 overall draft pick, 7-foot freshman Joel Embiid controlled the paint with 17 points and eight rebounds. Andrew Wiggins had 12 points.
Perhaps Embiid's biggest impact was putting seemingly every Georgetown big man in foul trouble. Josh Smith fouled out with five points and zero rebounds.
Stats: Georgetown started the game shooting 10 of 12 from the field with three 3-pointers, but finished 40.7 percent (22-54) as the Jayhawks shut off the Hoyas halfcourt sets. Kansas shot 54.3 percent, but received its biggest advantage at the free throw line. The Jayhawks finished 31 of 46 while the Hoyas made 16 of 28. The Hoyas were outrebounded 39-29.
Turning point: The pattern reemerged. Just like during each game of the just completed four-game homestand, the Hoyas endured an offensive drought over the final 10 minutes of the first half. The difference is that teams like High Point and Elon couldn't take maximum advantage with notable scoring spurts. Kansas had no such issues.
Thriving initially in the game's fast tempo, Georgetown led 23-17 on Starks' jumper with 11:25 remaining in the first half. Their next field goal came from Smith-Rivera with 53 seconds left before halftime. In between Georgetown went 0 for 12 and fell behind as the Jayhawks surged ahead with a fast-breaking 24-7 run.
Foul trouble: The whistles blew early and often against the blue and gray. Georgetown picked up 15 fouls in the first half including 10 against its big men. Nate Lubick and Moses Ayegba each received three with Smith and Mikael Hopkins had two. The situation forced coach John Thompson III to use Bradley Hayes in the first half, the sophomore' first significant minutes of the season. Ayegba's third put the Jayhawks into the bonus for the 9:47. Kansas finished 15 of 19 from the free throw line before halftime while the Hoyas went 7 of 13.
X-Factor: Reserve Tarik Black also scored 17 points for the Jayhawks. Georgetown recruited Black this past summer when the power forward left Memphis as a graduate transfer. Demoted to the bench after early season struggles, Black's entrance and physical play coincided with Kansas' first half push and he alone outscored Georgetown's bench 17-15.
Help wanted: The search for scoring punch behind Smith-Rivera, Starks and Smith continues. After two early field goals, Smith scored only one point after the opening four minutes. The 6-foot-3 Smith-Rivera struggled to find space or even take fire up shots (4 of 9) when defended by the 6-foot-8 Wiggins. That meant others needed to contribute in half court situations. As has been the case most of the season, that didn't happen. Jabril Trawick and Aaron Bowen each had nine points. Hopkins missed all seven of his shots.
Wiggins watch: Those catching heralded freshman Andrew Wiggins for the first time this season weren't wowed, yet still surely recognized the physical gifts that have many touting him as a future NBA star. The athletic 6-foot-8 forward's first basket didn't come until early in the second half. However, Wiggins brought the defensive energy from the start against Smith-Rivera. With the Hoyas hanging around at 59-47 midway through the first half, Wiggins drained a 3-pointer, starting the final nail in coffin 8-1 spurt.
Random stat: The Hoyas starting five had only three rebounds in the first half, all by Smith-Rivera.
Next year: The Jayhawks visit the Verizon Center in 2014 (and 2016) as part of a four-year series. Georgetown returns to Lawrence in 2015.
On deck: The Hoyas host Florida International on December 28 (12 p.m.) before opening Big East play against DePaul at the Verizon Center on New Year's Eve.