Under former G-Town assistant, American off to hot start
Recap: The trend is clear - Georgetown cannot handle sizable leads in the second half. The Hoyas' Big East title and NCAA Tournament at-large hopes are fading because of it.
For the second straight contest, the Hoyas let a double-digit lead slip away. This time Fuquan Edwin's 3-point shooting helped grease the skids to the latest setback as Seton Hall took control with a 17-4 run in the second half for a 67-57 win over the Hoyas on Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Center.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 14 points for the Hoyas (11-6, 3-3 Big East), who had only two field goals over the final 14:06 minutes stretch of the second half after taking a 44-37 lead with 14:07 left. Aaron Bowen's layup with 9:44 remaining was their final basket of the game.
Georgetown has lost two straight and three of four.
Fuquan sank five 3-pointers including all four of his attempts in the second half and finished with 24 points for the Pirates (11-7, 2-3) before fouling out. He drained back-to-back 3's during a 7-0 spurt , the second set up by one of his five steals, as Seton Hall took a 60-51 lead with 4:23 remaining. Georgetown never pulled closer than seven points from there despite Seton Hall clanking free throws down the stretch and not making a field goal for the final 4:21. The Hoyas shot 23.1 percent (6 of 26) in the second half.
Mikael Hopkins had 11 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for his first career double-double and the Hoyas' first this season. He also matched his personal best with three steals to go with three assists and six offensive rebounds. Aaron Bowen also set career-highs with 13 points and seven rebounds.
The loss snapped the Hoyas' 16-game home winning streak, which included eight games this season. Georgetown entered the day with the nation's eighth-longest home winning streak (Duke, 26).
Georgetown closed the first half on a 14-1 run for a 35-26 lead and was up 38-28 inside the opening minute of the second half.
The Hoyas went the final 6:14 without a point and lost 80-67 at Xavier on Wednesday despite leading by 17 points in the second half.
Shooting woes: Georgetown won't win many or any games when Smith-Rivera and Markel Starks (9 points) struggle from the field. The backcourt pair combined for 7 of 24 against the Pirates including 1 of 10 from beyond the 3-point arc. Nate Lubick missed three of his field goal attempts.
3-pointers: The Pirates made 11 of 20 from beyond the arc against a Georgetown defense that ranked 12th nationally in 3-point defense. The Hoyas missed 10 of 11 3-point tries in the second half and finished 4 of 18.
They said it: "This year I really focused on attacking the glass. But it wasn't good enough. They still got 15 offensive rebounds which we cant allow to happen. Those offensive rebounds led to wide open 3-point open shots. We just have to focus on crashing the boards a lot better and closing out." - Hopkins
Heroic Hopkins: Today was different for the former DeMatha product right from the start. Hopkins scored Georgetown's initial six points, two coming on a professional looking sweeping hook shot. The 6-foot-9 forward also channeled his inner Dikembe Mutombo with two blocks and a career-best matching nine rebounds in the first half. Hopkins finished the first half with 8 points, including a thunderous two-handed dunk, and 9 boards. For context, Hopkins, Nate Lubick and Moses Ayegba combined for eight points and seven rebounds against Xavier. He also picked up a second foul just before halftime and his third with 18:01 left in the second half. Overall
They said it: I thought Mikael played with energy and a passion that I probably have never seen him play with. I told him walking down the hall [into the interview room] that we wasted the best game of his career. ...If he can play with that energy and that passion, that's a step toward what we need to figure out." - Thompson
First half: This section had more of a baseball vibe seeing as there was nothing but runs. Georgetown broke an 8-8 tie with a 9-0 spurt capped by a John Caprio back door layup. The Pirates countered with a barrage of 3-pointers for a 17-4 spurt and a 25-21 lead with 5:08 remaining. Undeterred, the Hoyas closed the half with a 14-1 run behind 3-pointers from Starks and freshman Reggie Cameron. Smith-Rivera's two free throws with 4.4 seconds remaining gave Georgetown a 35-26 halftime lead
Scoring help: Thompson said he played Starks and Smith-Rivera all 40 minutes against Xavier in part because they were the only two generating points. Hopkins and Bowen provided scoring punch against the Pirates primarily with energy plays. However neither are conventional scorers and Georgetown's attack had no flow over the final 10 minutes. Starks and Smith-Rivera played 38 and 37 minutes respectively.
They said it: "I think Smith-Rivera and Starks are probably two of the best guards in the country. ...I challenged our guys to try and stop them. I thought we did a great job of making the shots they made were tough shots. We tried to make other guys make some shots." - Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard
Tough Teague: Seton Hall played its opening four conference games without 6-foot-9, 270-pound center Eugene Teague, who entered Saturday ranking second among Big East rebounders with 9.4 points per game. He played limited minutes in the first half after picking up two quick fouls, but then controlled the paint after halftime, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Odds and ends: Georgetown last lost to Seton Hall on at home during the 2002-03 season. ...Bowen started the second half, replacing Lubick. Thompson said he made the change because of the swingman's positive effort during the late first half spurt ....Seton Hall finished 16 of 30 from the free throw line. Former Maryland recruit Sterling Gibbs scored 11 points, but struggled on free throws, shooting 6 of 15. Georgetown finished 17 of 21.
See you soon: Georgetown plays at Seton Hall on Feb. 20
On deck: Quick turnaround for the Hoyas as they host Marquette on Monday at 9 p.m.