PHILADELPHIA - Despite a career-high 30 points from junior center Jessie Govan (Queens Village, N.Y./Wings Academy), the Georgetown University men's basketball team dropped a 97-73 decision at No. 4/5 Villanova at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday. With the loss, the Hoyas close the regular season with a 15-14 overall record and a 5-13 mark in BIG EAST Conference play. With the win, the Wildcats improve to 27-4 with a 14-4 record in league action. Prior to tipoff, Georgetown had clinched the No. 8 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament, scheduled for March 7-10 in New York City.
"Not having Marcus hurt us," Head Coach Patrick Ewing said after the game. "It's hard to play a great team like Villanova without one of your best players. They're a very good team and were the No. 1 team in the nation for a long stretch of the year for a reason."
Govan poured in a career-high 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting and a perfect 10-for-10 effort from the free throw line, while grabbing a team-best eight rebounds. The Hoyas had two in double figures as freshman guard Jamorko Pickett (Washington, D.C./Massanutten Military Academy [Va.]) chipped in 10 points. Graduate student Trey Dickerson (Queens, N.Y./God's Academy [Texas]/South Dakota) paced the offense with four assists.
The Hoyas were on the board first and took an 8-2 advantage bolstered by a pair of layups, one apiece from senior guard Jonathan Mulmore (New Orleans, La./Redemption Christian [Texas]/Allegany) and Pickett, and a Govan jumper. Junior forward Kaleb Johnson (South Hill, Va./The Carlisle School) added a pair of free throws for the six-point lead. However, Villanova tallied seven unanswered to take its first lead of the game, 9-8. The Wildcats were hot from downtown early and eventually took an 11-point lead as they sunk three-straight daggers, 26-15.
Georgetown continued to push back with a Johnson layup cutting the deficit to six, 28-22. Govan's jumper was the last bucket before the Blue & Gray found itself in a scoring drought. A pair of free throws from freshman guard Antwan Walker (Washington, D.C./Hargrave Military Academy [Va.]) pulled the Hoyas within single digits, 36-27, but six quick points for the `Cats extended the advantage.
Georgetown closed the frame with buckets from Govan and Walker and went into the break trailing 44-31.
Johnson scored to open the second stanza aided by a pair of Govan free throws. However, the Villanova long ball continued to thwart the Blue & Gray as the Wildcats would tally 14 in the game and nine in the second frame.
Johnson's free throw pulled the Hoyas within 10, but Villanova maintained a double-digit lead through the remainder of the half despite Govan's best efforts as he provided much of the point production. The freshman class combined for 10 points in less than three minutes with a pair of buckets from Walker and Pickett sandwiched between triples from guard Jahvon Blair (Brampton, Ont./Athlete Institute Prep), but that spurt would only pull the Hoyas within 11, 69-58.
The `Cats staged a 17-6 run over the next four minutes to widen the gap and put the game out of reach for the Blue & Gray. Behind five in double figures, Villanova cruised to the 97-73 victory.
Villanova shot 57.4 percent from the field. Mikal Bridges led the VU effort with 24 points.
Georgetown has earned the eighth seed in the BIG EAST Tournament. The Hoyas will play in the first round on Wednesday, March 7 against ninth-seeded St. John's. Tipoff at Madison Square Garden is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be shown live on FS1.