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DePaul hangs on against still-winless Georgetown

The Blue Demons pick up their fourth Big East win as Georgetown misses 3 three-pointers in their final possession

Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing
Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgetown Hoyas (6-21, 0-16) had a great chance Thursday night to pick up their first conference win of the season against second-to-last DePaul Blue Demons (13-14, 4-13). Yet, as is the case with all of the Hoyas’ Big East games this year, they couldn’t get the job done.

DePaul came into Thursday fresh off a four-game losing streak of their own—three of these four losses coming by one possession, including an OT loss on the road against Providence. Georgetown had suffered from a particularly difficult three-game road trip in which they never got close to that coveted first win. But they came back home to face the Blue Demons and were fresh off a few days’ rest. By all accounts, this was their best shot at avoiding a winless conference record.

And watching the game, I thought they might get it. DePaul didn’t exactly play a flawless game; they shot 25% from 3, 64% on their FTs, and committed 16 turnovers. And in fairness to Georgetown, they hung around thanks to 9 team blocks an 18-point effort from freshman Aminu Mohammed. They erased an 11-point first-half deficit and in the second half, the lead went back and forth, neither team able to pull away.

Georgetown held a 65-64 lead with 1:14 to play, but this would be the last time they scored. DePaul’s Javon Freeman-Liberty, who finished with 25 points and 7 rebounds, hit a layup right before the clock hit 1:00. On Georgetown’s next two possessions, they would chuck up five three-pointers—all pretty good looks—but none seemed to want to find the bottom of the net.

The game ended 68-65; a heartbreaker for Hoya fans looking to avoid a winless season. This is just the recent installment of a season that Georgetown followers wish to soon put in the rear-view mirror. The easiest game on their schedule still wasn’t enough to get the W, and one has to consider the state of the program.

Georgetown—just one year removed from their unlikely Big East Tournament championship—now sits at 0-16 in conference play and 189th in KenPom, and frankly, they deserve to be that low. The Hoyas’ March Madness birth looks even more flukey in hindsight, and when you look at head coach Patrick Ewing’s tenure, there is little, if any, case for keeping him around.

Ewing has failed to even once summit the .500 mark in conference play, only has made the NCAA tournament one time, and his overall record is 68-80 (26-60 in Big East play). As unfortunate as it is for the Georgetown legend, things aren’t working out as a head coach, and it’s unlikely they ever will. However messy the situation and his connections at Georgetown, it’s time to move on. In my opinion, Ewing should voluntarily step away from the program and save himself some dignity. I love Patrick Ewing, as should every college basketball fan. But it’s time for him to recognize the reality of the situation.

As for DePaul, things are looking up! ...well, kinda. This is all relative for DePaul fans. Even though two have come against a historically bad Georgetown team, DePaul’s four conference wins are their most since the 2018-19 season. And while its 108 KenPom ranking isn’t going to make any headlines, it’s still better than all 12 of the past 14 seasons. Not to mention, the Blue Demons just landed Zion Cruz, the No. 2 ranked SG in the 2021 class.

DePaul’s comes home on Sunday against St. John’s, where they’ll look to carry momentum into the homestretch of the season. And hey, after Georgetown’s Big East Tournament run last year, you never know!! Hahaha, jk... unless?