Georgetown's biggest win of the season came last month over then No. 5 Xavier. Based on the rematch result, clearly the Musketeers didn't forget.
Emerging from the halftime locker room with a slim two-point and ample rage, Xavier started the second half with a 13-0 run, shot 77.3 percent from the field after halftime and ran Georgetown off the court, downing the Hoyas 88-70 Saturday afternoon at Verizon Center.
While Georgetown (14-14, 7-8 Big East) showed fight late in the first half, cutting an 11-point deficit to 35-33 at the break, it was ultimately more of the same in their third straight loss. Since handing the Musketeers their lone home loss this season, 81-72 on Jan. 19, the Hoyas have dropped seven of nine.
Inability to stop penetration in half-court sets or fast break rushes allowed Xavier (24-3, 12-3) to open the second half hitting 12 of 13 field goal attempts after the teams played to a near first half stalemate at 35-33. The Musketeers sank 17 of 22 shots after halftime and finished 53.8 percent overall from the floor while hitting 29 of 31 free throws. Freshman Edmond Sumner scored a season-high 22 points.
"A lot defensively, obviously," Georgetown coach John Thompson III on what went wrong against Xavier. "They executed. They're a very talented team. They play well together. They executed. That being said, they shot almost 80 percent in the second half. When someone shoots that well against you -- and it's not just like they were bombing away -- you have to go back and evaluate, re-evaluate every aspect."
Offensive inconsistency against a tricky 1-3-1 zone prevented the Hoyas from generating easy buckets or keeping up during the annual "Gray Out" game. Georgetown committed eight of its 12 turnovers in the first half. After missing eight of nine 3-pointers from the start, they finished 10 of 37 (27.0%). D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 18 points, Isaac Copeland 13 and L.J. Peak 12.
For those not keeping up with the postseason scenario, sit down before reading the gloomy details. Forget the NCAA Tournament. The Hoyas must win two of their final three games to clinch a record of .500 or better, the minimum record requirement for a spot in the NIT. Don't assume the gray skies are going to clear up with remaining games against Butler, at Marquette and the regular season finale at No. 1 Villanova.
The Hoyas have never finished a season with a losing record under coach John Thompson III. With those games remaining, that distinction seems likely to fall outside of a Big East Tournament surge.
RELATED: VCU beats rival Richmond
Three who mattered
Jessie Govan: After scoring a career-high 27 points in Wednesday's loss to Seton Hall, the freshman center had five points on 2 of 6 shooting. Govan only took two shots in the first half and was largely a non-factor. Certainly some onus falls on the player, whether that's lack of aggression or just an off night. However, the Hoyas rarely targeted the 270-pounder inside or set him for 3-pointers. Thompson credited Xavier's defensive plan with two defenders often around the 6-foot-10 Govan inside. Of course, When the plan involves reading-and-reacting to the defense, your desired option can get taken out.:
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera: The senior guard hit 7 of 14 shots from the field and finished with seven assists and only turnover. Finding help outside of Copeland proved difficult.
Edmond Sumner: The 6-foot-6 wing labored in the first meeting, missing 10 of 12 attempts. In the rematch, Sumner continually attacked the lane. Once there, he made shots (6 of 9) or got to the free throw line (9 of 9).
▪ For the ninth straight game, the Hoyas took fewer free throws than their opponent. Georgetown finished 10 of14. Xavier went 12 of 12 alone in the first half. The issues are two-fold: Too may fouls defensively not enough attacking offensively.
▪ Documenting Tre Campbell's scoring drought now a copy and paste situation. The good news is that the sophomore guard made multiple field goals for the first time since the Jan. 23 loss at Connecticut. However, he finished only 2 of 7 for five points. Since scoring 21 at Xavier on Jan. 19, Campbell has 18 points in nine games.
▪ More positive stats for Xavier: 40-18 points in the paint, 18-10 off turnovers, 16-5 fast breaks.
▪ Xavier played turnover-free basketball for much of the first half, helping to establish a 29-18 lead. Just when it looked like the game would turn into a rout, Georgetown fought back, closing the half with a 15-6 as the Musketeers led 35-33 at halftime.
▪ Now comes a week off from game action for the Hoyas. Georgetown closes its home schedule Feb. 27 against Butler. The Bulldogs won the first meeting 87-76 in Indianapolis on Feb. 2.
▪ Former Georgetown standout Othella Harrington was among seven honored at halftime for their induction into the school's athletic Hall of Fame
They said it
"I knew last game we played hard the entire 40 minutes. I think the second half [today] we came out a little flat across the board. They came out ready to go." -- Copeland on the differences between the two games.
"With them, I think our offense goes out the window, meaning they play that 1-3-1. It's not your traditional 1-3-1. ...It's more so about the guys making reads and making plays than it is about a play." -- Thompson
"Xavier did a good job of making you think one thing was open and taking it away. As much as we picked it apart up there, we didn't today." -- Thompson
"They'll get there and when they are hopefully we'll join in the ACC at that point." Xavier coach Chris Mack on Georgetown's freshman slowly learning the offense.
MORE COLLEGE HOOPS: Feinstein: One way or another, Louisville needs to let Pitino go