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Georgetown uses strong second half to down North Texas

Marcus Derrickson led the Hoyas with 17 points and seven rebounds.

NCAA Basketball: North Texas at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off their first loss of the season, the Georgetown Hoyas (9-1, Big East) defeated the North Texas Mean Green (7-6, Conference USA) 75-63 on Wednesday night.

The opening minutes of the game were hotly contested, with neither team managing to open a comfortable lead. The Hoyas briefly held a 10-8 lead after four minutes of play, but North Texas found its offensive rhythm in the ensuing 10 minutes. They enjoyed a lead that would grow to as large as seven points.

Balanced scoring aided the Mean Green during the half, as five players scored at least five points apiece, with Ryan Woolridge’s eight points leading the way. Despite shooting just 38 percent from the field, including 29 percent from deep, the Hoyas managed 12 offensive rebounds, fueling a late run that gave them a 34-33 advantage at the half.

While Georgetown shot the ball at a much better rate in the second half, 48 percent from the field and 43 percent from behind the arc, nine turnovers stymied much of the team’s momentum. Each time the Hoyas looked to be firmly in control, a turnover would provide their opponents with a clean offensive look. But North Texas couldn’t find its offensive groove. They converted on just four of 17 (23.5 percent) 3-point attempts and committed seven turnovers.

Between the Mean Green’s cold shooting and Georgetown’s long offensive possessions, the Hoyas managed to maintain their double digit lead in the game’s closing minutes.

Jessie Govan notched his seventh double-double of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds, tying him for the third-most in the nation. Marcus Derrickson chipped in 17 points and seven boards.

One BIG Thing

Chris Sodom’s release from the team has drastically undercut what little depth the Hoyas had at their disposal. On Wednesday night, head coach Patrick Ewing kept his rotation to just eight players, with only Jahvon Blair, Trey Dickerson and Jagan Mosely making appearances off the bench. Govan was forced to play 36 minutes due to the frontcourt’s depth issues, something which could slow the conference’s leading rebounder when league play begins at the end of the month.

If the Hoyas hope to make any noise against the Big East’s best, they’re going to need Govan. He cannot be expected to continue his solid early-season pace logging those kinds of minutes. With just one nonconference game remaining on the schedule, Hoya fans will want to keep an eye on how Ewing adjusts the rotation to account for the loss of their 7-foot-3 freshman center.

Georgetown will host Alabama A&M (0-11, Southwestern) on Saturday before hosting Butler (9-3, Big East) on Dec. 27 in both teams’ Big East opener.