Riding the efficient hot hand of Jessie Govan and aerial attack of Mac McClung, the Georgetown Hoyas (17-11, 7-8 Big East) defeated the DePaul Blue Demons (13-13, 5-10 Big East), 82-73, on Wednesday evening at Capital One Arena. Govan racked up 26 points on 10-for-18 shooting and McClung added 15 points. Max Strus impressed with 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting, while Paul Reed and Eli Cain combined for 30 points.
The Hoyas comfortably controlled play from the opening tip to the final buzzer, as they led for all but 38 minutes and 58 seconds of action. Govan was the focal point to start the game, as Georgetown fed him the ball on each of its first two possessions. The senior converted on his second field goal attempt to open his account. Femi Olujobi hit a three-pointer shortly after to give the Blue Demons their only lead of the day at 5-4 with 17:20 to play in the half. Jagan Mosely, starting in place of Jamorko Pickett (DNP - coach’s decision) provided the Hoyas with solid minutes offensively, scoring five points in as many minutes to maintain Georgetown’s slim lead.
Both teams struggled to protect the glass, with Jaylen Butz and Trey Mourning turning in strong performances on the offensive boards. The former grabbed five offensive boards and nabbed eight points in the first half, while the latter grabbed three offensive rebounds. The teams exchanged baskets throughout the half until Georgetown took its first double-digit lead of the game with 4:02 remaining on a McClung transition layup. The freshman followed that up with a spectacular double-clutch reverse slam minutes later to extend the lead to 11. The Hoyas ended the half on a 7-0 run to take a 49-34 lead.
McClung picked up where he left off to start the second, converting a reverse layup through traffic to get the Hoyas off the line. Despite trailing by 17 early in the half, the trio of Strus, Reed and Cain steadily picked away at the lead. Reed scored six points while Strus and Cain each added a field goal over a three-minute stretch to stay within striking distance at 59-49 with 13:17 remaining.
But each time the Blue Demons looked to be making inroads, Govan responded with a clutch bucket. His personal 5-0 run midway through the half retained Georgetown’s strong form. Cain hit consecutive three-pointers just after that to make it a single-digit lead for the first time in the half. The Hoyas quickly responded to restore their double-digit lead for the ensuing five minutes, before DePaul scored late points in garbage time.
Georgetown now sits tied with Xavier and Seton Hall for fourth place in the conference, though all three hold just a 1.5 game advantage over ninth-place Providence. DePaul, meanwhile, remains firmly in last place, one game behind Providence.
The Hoyas will host the Pirates on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET. The winner of that one will likely guarantee a bye in the conference tournament. Meanwhile, DePaul will entertain St. John’s on Sunday afternoon.