Despite committing 15 turnovers and shooting just 4-15 from 3-point range, the Georgetown Hoyas defeated the North Carolina A&T Aggies on Saturday afternoon, 83-74.
Snowfall outside of the Capital One Arena was indicative of the cold offensive performances both teams would turn in during the first half. The Aggies failed to score in the first 8:14 of play, while Georgetown managed just 10 points in that span, despite scoring 10 points in the game’s first four minutes. With NC A&T struggling to find offensive rhythm, the Hoyas looked to push the pace and open up the lead. But the turnover bug was present once again. Georgetown committed 10 in the first half, with many resulting from errant passing.
“It’s carelessness,” head coach Patrick Ewing said when asked about his team’s turnovers. “It’s just being careless with the ball. Sometimes you just need to make the simple play.”
Following the Aggies’ first points, the teams exchanged baskets for the remainder of the half. Albeit inefficiently. By the break, the teams combined for 19 turnovers and just 36 percent shooting, including 12.5 percent from deep. Femi Olujobi, who came into the game leading the Aggies at 25.1 points per game, was held to just four on 1-for-5 from the field.
The second half proved more fruitful on the offensive end for both teams. Marcus Derrickson opened the scoring with a short jumper, and the Hoyas enjoyed a 15+ point lead for the majority of the half. They would lead by as many as 18 in the game before going cold in the final five minutes. During that stretch, the Aggies managed a 13-4 run to cut the deficit to nine with 27 seconds remaining. From there, the Hoyas dribbled out the clock for their eighth consecutive victory.
Jessie Govan contributed his sixth double-double of the season with 22 points and 15 rebounds, while Jamorko Pickett and Kaleb Johnson added 12 and 10 points, respectively. The Aggies were led by Milik Gantz’s 21 points.
The Good: Jessie Govan
Govan has been a walking double-double this season. He’s the Big East’s leading rebounder (13 rpg) and ranks fourth in scoring (20.6 ppg). When the Hoyas have needed a presence on both ends, he has answered the call. Prior to the season, Ewing said that the team would only be as good as Govan plays. He’s played extremely well thus far, and Georgetown is undefeated as a result. Only time will tell if his production is sustainable.
The Bad: Turnovers
Georgetown handled the ball much better in the second half, committing just five. But the team continues to lead the conference in turnover average (15.0), and has yet to demonstrate its ability to adapt to different defensive sets. With Syracuse and its patented 2-3 zone on the horizon, the Hoyas have work to do if they’re to make inroads on curbing their turnovers.
The Ugly: Closing Games
Georgetown once again struggled to put an inferior opponent in the rear-view on Saturday. The Hoyas have struggled all year to put together a consistent 40 minutes of basketball, and allowed a sizable second-half lead to be cut to single digits for the second consecutive game.
“They’ve been exhaling,” Ewing said of his team. “We’ve been doing a good job of getting out to leads... and then we’re letting teams back in. And that’s something we can’t do, especially when we start playing much better teams.”
“In the Big East, if we’re in a close game, we’re gonna have to execute down the stretch,” Govan said.
Georgetown will have a full week to prepare for archrival Syracuse (8-1, ACC) next Saturday.