Georgetown Hoyas

Despite hot start, Georgetown falls to 13th-ranked Seton Hall

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Despite hot start, Georgetown falls to 13th-ranked Seton Hall

NEWARK, N.J. -- On Friday night, after No. 13 Seton Hall practiced for the final time before playing Georgetown on Saturday, the Pirates had a special guest -- none other than former Pirates coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Carlesimo, who led Seton Hall from 1982 through 1994, was in town for a special 25th anniversary presentation honoring his 1992-93 Pirates team that won both the Big East regular season and tournament championships. He paid a visit to practice and spoke to the team.

"P.J's message was if you want to be good in March, you have to be good now," said Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard, after his team defeated Georgetown 74-61. "It was a really good message for my guys. It was good to be able to pick his brain and listen to the stories he tells. I can't measure what he's done for the school. I'm still waiting for us to put up a statue of him for everything he did."

The Pirates were very good Saturday, coming off a tough 20-point setback to Marquette on Tuesday.

"I thought they played hard against Marquette, but just didn't have it emotionally," Willard said. "I'm proud of the way we played today."

Desi Rodriguez and Myles Powell each scored 19 points to lead the Pirates. Powell was especially fired up after the team's sluggish performance against Marquette.

"I had a good week of practice," Powell said. "The four seniors (Rodriguez, Khadeen Carrington, Angel Delgado and Ismael Sanogo) all came to me and told me I had to shoot more, be aggressive, go to the basket. They wanted me to bring some energy and that's what I did."

The Pirates (15-3, 4-1 Big East), who remained undefeated at home (11-0), received 11 points and 13 rebounds from Delgado.

The Hoyas (12-5, 2-4) were led by Marcus Derrickson, who scored 18 points. Jahvon Blair and Jessie Govan scored 11 points each.

The Hoyas controlled the action early on, jumping out to a 12-3 lead, but the Pirates outscored the Hoyas 29-10 over the final 11 minutes of the first half to take a 44-31 lead.

"We got off to a good start, but then we started turning the ball over," Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing said. "We let them back into the game. We can't turn it over that way. We missed layups. We need to get easy baskets. Our offense needs to improve. As a team, we have to stop turning it over."

The Pirates led by as many as 16 in the second half, but the Hoyas cut the lead to 60-52 with 8 minutes left on a steal and a layup by Trey Dickerson.

But the Pirates got a power move from Delgado who pushed the lead back into double digits at 62-52 with 6:29 remaining.

Rodriguez made a driving shot in the lane with the shot clock set to expire that gave the Pirates a 69-54 lead with 3:28 left.

"I was really impressed with the way we played today," Willard said. "We had only one practice in five days. Defensively, we picked up our energy. I was impressed with the way they came back after a real sluggish week."

More than just a mixtape, Hoyas' Mac McLung drops career-high 38 points in win over Little Rock

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More than just a mixtape, Hoyas' Mac McLung drops career-high 38 points in win over Little Rock

The Mac McClung to Allen Iverson comparisons are outlandish and, as Wizards forward and former Georgetown star Jeff Green noted previously, unfair. At a minimum, any side-by-side talk is wildly premature even though McClung is the most electric guard to play for the Hoyas since the Basketball Hall of Famer roamed the Hilltop in the mid 90’s.

In the 12th game of his college career, McClung made the comparison slightly tangible at least for one day.

The social media sensation – in this case we mean the 6-foot-2 guard from Gate City, Virginia – scored a career-high 38 points in Georgetown’s 102-94 overtime win over Little Rock Saturday afternoon. Based on some internet sleuthing, that’s more points than any Hoyas freshman since Jim Barry dropped 39 and 41 during the 1962-63 season.

In between notables like Eric “Sleepy” Floyd, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Iverson, Green and Otto Porter suited up for Georgetown. McClung’s scoring performance topped them all.

He sank 10 of 21 shots from the floor including four 3-pointers, several assertive driving layups and a dunk to satisfy the fans familiar with his aerial work via YouTube videos. 

McClung hit 14 of 16 free throws, though the two misses in the final seconds of regulation kept Little Rock alive for a game-tying 3–pointer at the buzzer. His 4-point play with 46 seconds remaining in overtime, set up by a pass from fellow freshman James Akinjo, sealed the win.

“I just tried to stick to the game plan,” the deferential McClung said of his performance. "James did a lot of great things too. We just try and feed off each other’s energy.

Akinjo, hardly a supporting player, had 25 points and seven assists.

“It becomes real fun,” Akinjo said of playing with McClung. “You get the crowd involved. He’s making shots; I make a couple plays here and there. It’s real fun playing with him. He makes it easier for me and our team as well.”

Head coach Patrick Ewing started the kids together in the season opener.

“They’re ability to create and get to the hole, they used that to their advantage today,” Ewing said after the Hoyas improved to 9-3 in their penultimate non-conference game of the regular season.

Anybody that watched highlights of McClung dominate high school games and set the state of Virginia single-season record, surpassing Iverson in the process,  knows he can get to the rim. It’s why the buzz popped leading to his arrival on the Hilltop and the comparisons began.

"It's not hype. The kid is good," Green said of McClung in November. "You can't put these expectations (on him). What have people been calling him? White Iverson. There's no other player that's gonna be Allen Iverson. He's gonna be who he's gonna be."

McClung was all kinds of good against Little Rock. More notable than the scoring fest, at least by those on the media side and long-time fans eager to hear from the team’s stars, is what happened postgame. McClung and Akinjo joined Ewing for the postgame press conference.

Georgetown’s long-standing policy dating back to at least Ewing’s arrival in 1981 precludes freshmen from engaging officially with reporters. No matter the talents and interest, the Hoyas never waver from this approach.

Then McClung and Akinjo entered. They were still wearing their gray home uniforms rather suits, another new wrinkle. Ewing left the press conference noting the pair needed a shower.

Little stunk about McClung’s work Saturday.

“We’re excited about the win, but we’re excited to get back (to practice) and keep growing,” McClung said on a day his legend took another leap.

That doesn’t mean those Iverson comparisons should re-start. It just means McClung had quite the day.  

Govan, Georgetown top Richmond, 90-82

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Govan, Georgetown top Richmond, 90-82

Jessie Govan had a season-high 29 points, on 11-of-15 shooting, and nine rebounds to help Georgetown beat Richmond 90-82 on Wednesday night.

The Hoyas led 40-35 at halftime behind Govan's 19 points and six rebounds in 17 minutes. Georgetown made 8 of 10 shots midway through the second half to extend its lead to 73-62.

Matthew McClung added a career-high 16 points for Georgetown (6-1) and freshman James Akinjo scored 13. Greg Malinowski had 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Grant Golden had 22 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for Richmond (2-5). It was his 14th career 20-point game and his third straight as the Spiders have had five different players score at least 20 this season.

Richmond freshman Jake Wojcik made six 3-pointers and scored 20 points and Nathan Cayo added 18 points. Freshman Andre Gustavson was the only Spider starter not to score in double figures, but he had eight points, five rebounds and a season-high 10 assists. It was the most assists by a Spider in the past two seasons.