Georgetown (7-1, Big East) defeated Liberty (7-2, Atlantic Sun) on Monday evening, 88-78, at Capital One Arena. James Akinjo scored 19 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Jessie Govan turned in another efficient performance, scoring 17 points and 10 rebounds on 7-of-12 field goals, his second double-double of the season. Mac McClung, Trey Mourning, Jahvon Blair and Jamorko Pickett all recorded at least nine points.
Govan opened the game with five points in the opening two minutes of action, but Liberty was hot from the perimeter, drilling three three-pointers in the early stages. Later, McClung hit an and-one layup before drilling a three-pointer on the Hoyas’ next possession, stretching the lead to five midway through the half. Georgetown would lead by as many as seven in the half following a pair of made free-throws from Josh LeBlanc.
Liberty countered with the duo of Lovell Cabbil and Scottie James, who combined to score 11 of the Flames’ next 14 points en route to a 14-3 run that saw their team take a 30-26 lead with eight minutes remaining. Blair hit two three-pointers off the bench to put the Hoyas back in front, and they held a slim 40-38 lead at the break.
Georgetown committed 11 turnovers in the first half after committing just eight in each of their two previous games. Pickett committed three of the turnovers despite coming off the bench for the first time all season—Malinowski started in his place. A unanimous All-Big East Freshman Team selection last season, Pickett scored seven first-half points, a welcome sign after he scored 15 points in his previous five games. Patrick Ewing stated he will return to his usual starting lineup when the team travels to Syracuse on Saturday.
The Hoyas played well after the intermission. Akinjo led the pack, scoring 10 points in a four-minute stretch to catalyze an 18-2 Georgetown run. LeBlanc’s layup with 9:39 remaining capped the run and provided the Hoyas with their largest lead of the night at 23 points. The Flames would not be extinguished easily, however. Darius McGhee hit three three-pointers in the final eight minutes as Liberty would climb to within 10, but the team was unable to mount a serious comeback effort.
Georgetown will travel to Syracuse for a date with the Orange (5-2, ACC) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. It will be the first time Patrick Ewing returns to the Carrier Dome as a member of the Georgetown team since Jan. 28, 1985, when No. 11 Syracuse defeated No. 2 Georgetown, 65-63.