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Georgetown vs. Providence recap: Friars barely hold on to defeat Hoyas

The Friars led by as many as 26, but barely survived a furious comeback attempt from Georgetown, winning 75-72.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

This contest was a tale of two halves. Before the game even started, Georgetown announced they would be without starting center Bradley Hayes, who had been a key contributor for the Hoyas all year. Hayes' absence was felt early, as the hometown Friars got off to an extraordinary start. Providence was looking to end a three-game losing streak, and their effort early on showed that desire.

Providence took command of the first half with their defense, forcing eight first half turnovers that lead to nine easy points. The Friars led by as many as 26, at one point holding Georgetown scoreless for 6:50 during a key 13-0 run. Georgetown was ice cold from the floor for most of the half, as they started the period shooting 6/24 from the floor and 1/8 from 3 point range.

The Hoyas were able to find their stride a bit towards the end of the half, as they cut the deficit to 20 points before the break.

The second half was a completely different story for both teams. The Hoyas played with much more energy in the second half, as they were able to take the crowd out of the game by quickly cutting the Providence lead to 15.

In Hayes' absence, Georgetown's other big men really stepped up in the second half. Marcus Derrickson, Jessie Govan, and Trey Mourning were each hampered with two fouls in the first half, but were all key components of Georgetown's second half run. Derrickson lead the Hoyas with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Govan and Mourning both scored in double digits.

Georgetown was able to get within one point of Providence after a Trey Mourning three pointer with just over one minute left. After two Rodney Bullock free throws brought the lead back to three, Issac Copeland had a chance to tie the game for the Hoyas, but missed the first of his three free throw attempts.

Providence was able to hold on to win by that same three point margin, in a game they desperately needed after three tough losses. Although the last twenty minutes of the game weren't ideal for Providence, they will surely take the end result. The Friars have had their inconsistencies this season, but as they showed in the first have they have the ability to be dominant. They just need to figure out how to play at that level for 40 minutes, if they want to play deep into March.

For Georgetown, this loss all but assures they will not make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large bid. This one had to be especially frustrating for Hoyas fans, as this was not the first time they've watched an impressive comeback attempt fall short. You have to wonder where this team would be if they did not find themselves behind early in so many games.