CINCINNATI - In an overtime dictated by free throws, the Georgetown University men's basketball team could not hold on as the team fell, 96-91, to No. 6/6 Xavier at the Cintas Center. The Hoyas were the first team to force Xavier to extra minutes this season. With the loss, Georgetown slips to 13-9 with a 3-9 mark in BIG EAST play. Xavier improves to 21-3 overall with a 9-2 record in league play.
With the game being forced to an extra frame, both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net as neither squad put points up until 3:26. The teams traded free throws but with 1:32 on the clock, XU pulled ahead, 92-88, on four-consecutive free throws. With 54 seconds on the clock, junior forward Marcus Derrickson (Bowie, Md./Brewster Academy [N.H.]) knocked down a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game, 92-91. Unfortunately, that would be as close as the Hoyas would get as the Musketeers pulled ahead for the 96-91 victory.
"We shared the ball, a lot of guys chipped in and did a lot of good things," Head Coach Patrick Ewing said postgame. "But the outcome did not come out the way we would've liked."
Junior center Jessie Govan (Queens Village, N.Y./Wings Academy) led four in double figures with 23 points, while adding nine rebounds. Freshman guard Jamorko Pickett (Washington, D.C./Massanutten Military Academy [Va.]) poured in a career-high 21 points, while also chipping in nine boards. Derrickson tallied his fifth double-double of the season with 19 points while grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds. Freshman guard Jahvon Blair (Brampton, Ont./Athlete Institute Prep) added 19 points of his own, on five 3-pointers and a perfect 4-for-4 performance from the charity stripe. Graduate student guard Trey Dickerson (Queens, N.Y./God's Academy [Texas]/South Dakota) paced the offense with six assists.
The Hoyas shot 44.6 percent from the field and knocked down 11 from distance in the game. Georgetown outrebounded the Musketeers, 43-39. The Blue & Gray had a strong inside presence tallying 38 of its points in the paint to XU's 22.
Both teams traded baskets to open the first half but it was a Pickett layup that put the Hoyas up 9-7 early forcing XU to take its first timeout. After the break, the Musketeers scored six unanswered to take the 13-9 lead. Back-to-back buckets from Govan and Derrickson knotted the game at 13. Both teams continued to hit shots, but as the Hoyas trailed 22-19, Derrickson nailed a 3-pointer followed by a layup from sophomore guard Jagan Mosely (Marlboro, N.J./St. Anthony) to give the Blue & Gray the 24-22 edge.
The Musketeers and the Hoyas had strong outside games as the teams traded treys, but it was Govan's conventional three-point play at 5:02 that gave GU its largest lead of the frame at 35-30. However, three-straight 3-pointers from the Musketeers gave XU the 39-33 advantage. Moments later, Pickett had the answer on the other end with a trey of his own. Georgetown tallied four on a pair of free throws and a jumper from Govan, but XU closed on five unanswered to go into the break with the 46-44 lead.
Govan knocked down a shot to start the second half, quickly tying the game at 46. Every time Xavier pulled ahead, the Hoyas managed to find the answer with the score tied three times in the first four minutes. Another 3-pointer down the stretch gave the Musketeers their biggest lead of the game to that point at five, 61-56. But it was another 3-pointer from Blair with the hot hand to make it a one-possession game with 13:04 on the clock. XU inched forward again but Blair continued to have a response from beyond the perimeter, this time pulling within one point, 63-62.
With 10:13 on the clock, Blair knocked down another trey, knotting the game at 65. A Govan layup followed by a Derrickson free throw gave GU its first lead of the half, 68-67. From that point on the lead went back and forth until Blair hit another shot from beyond the arc, his fourth of the frame, to take the 75-74 lead.
It was the freshmen who took over the game down the stretch as a Pickett 3-pointer gave the Hoyas the 78-77 lead. XU's Treyvon Bluiett nailed a 3-pointer to regain the lead but a pair of Blair free throws knotted the game at 80. The Hoyas took the lead on a Pickett layup, 82-80, and another duo of free throws from Blair extended the lead to 84-81 with 1:46 on the clock. Late free throws from Pickett gave the Hoyas the 86-84 lead but a rare four-point play from Xavier would knot the game at 86, forcing the overtime period.
Xavier shot 43.5 percent for the game with Bluiett tallying a team-high 31.
Georgetown returns to action on Tuesday, February 6 as the Hoyas travel to Providence, Rhode Island to face the Providence College Friars at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The game will be shown live on FS1 with Dave Sims calling the play-by-play and Donny Marshall providing analysis. The game can be heard locally on WNEW 99.1 FM with Rich Chvotkin handling the call.