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Georgetown Falls to Loyola Marymount, 65-52

Hoyas unable to solve matchup zone defense.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Just three days removed from their first signature nonconference win of the Patrick Ewing era, the Georgetown Hoyas (3-1, Big East) suffered their first nonconference loss to a mid-major, falling 52-65 to Loyola Marymount (4-0, West Coast). James Batemon led the Lions with 27 points, 13 of which came from the charity stripe and eight rebounds, while Jessie Govan paced the Hoyas with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Both teams struggled to find offense in the first half. Georgetown shot 37 percent from the field, including 0-for-7 from deep. Loyola Marymount, meanwhile, shot just 26 percent from the field, but made 2-of-11 3-pointers to stay within striking distance. Despite his team’s struggles, Govan started strong, scoring the game’s first points on a mid-range jumper en route to 10 points. Josh LeBlanc again provided solid minutes from the bench. His fastbreak dunk midway through the half put the Hoyas up 14-10, but the Lions tied the game within the next minute, demonstrating the game’s back and forth nature. Georgetown’s five-point lead at the end of the half, courtesy of a pair of made free throws by Govan, was the largest either team enjoyed. Georgetown did well in limiting its turnovers, an area in which the team has struggled this season. The Hoyas committed just five while forcing seven, helping to offset the team’s struggles from behind the arc.

But the Blue & Gray’s fortune quickly dried up in the second half. Loyola Marymount tied the game in just over a minute of game time before taking the lead at the 17:09 mark. Batemon spearheaded the Lions’ strong second half, scoring nine consecutive points within three minutes to break the game open. On the defensive end, the Lions implemented a 2-3 matchup zone, which exasperated the Hoyas’ offensive struggles by forcing turnovers and contested shots. The Hoyas turned the ball over 10 times in the half, and James Akinjo made the team’s first 3-pointer of the game with just 4:14 remaining. Govan followed this up with a 3-pointer of his own on the Blue & Gray’s next possession, making it a nine-point game with 3:31 to play, but this offensive spark was not sustainable. The Hoyas continued to struggle from the field and the Lions made free throws as needed to see out the win.

Georgetown will face South Florida (3-0, American) on Sunday at noon for their second game of the Jamaica Classic.