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Govan's career-high 27 points cannot save Hoyas against Pirates

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Govan's career-high 27 points cannot save Hoyas against Pirates

Outside of the basketball, the highlight of any Georgetown game involves the school's living breathing mascot, Jack the Bulldog, skateboarding from one end of the court to the other during a first half break. Whether it was Wednesday's late 9:00 p.m. tip or late season blues, Jack essentially passed on his performing his trick, dismounting twice.

The hooping Hoyas didn't dog their effort against visiting Seton Hall, which didn't make a field goal for the final 14 minutes, 11 seconds. Yet for the second time in 11 days, the Pirates bucked them out of their desired plans and sent Georgetown's postseason hopes careening toward uncertainty.

Freshman center Jessie Govan scored a career-high 27 points on 10 of 13 shooting but had scant help as Georgetown lost its second straight game, falling 72-64.

The Hoyas (14-13, 7-7) shot 37.7 percent from the field against an aggressive defense, including a dismal 6 of 27 on 3-pointers before a sparse crowd at Verizon Center.

They likely shot their chances at an NCAA Tournament at-large bid with their current slide. Georgetown has lost six of eight. That includes 69-61 at Seton Hall on Feb. 6.

"They are one of the leaders in our league in steals," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said of Seton Hall. "I'm looking at the stat sheet. It says 13 [turnovers]. It felt like we had 30 turnovers."

Isaiah Whitehead scored 22 points for the Pirates (18-7, 8-5), winners of five of six. Khadeen Carrington had 18 points.

The Pirates overcame their field goal drought, missing their final 10 attempts, by hitting 25 of 30 free throws including 21 of 26 in the second half.

Seton Hall pulled away with a 10-0 run overlapping halftime for a 39-28 lead and increased the margin to 16 with 13:31 remaining. Georgetown clawed back within six points on three separate occasions including 62-56 with 3:16 remaining, but could never get over the half-dozen hump.

It's time to get over dreams of Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament outside of winning its final four regular season games or the automatic bid that comes with winning the Big East Tournament.

If the Hoyas want to get into the NIT, they must finish all conference games, including the Big East Tournament, with no less than a .500 record. That means picking up two wins over their final four regular season games. For that to happen, Georgetown must buck its current and unwanted trend. Considering the daunting remaining schedule, we'll see about that.

Three who mattered

Jessie Govan: No question who was the bright spot for the Hoyas. Making his second straight start in place of injured center Bradley Hayes (hand), Govan opened the game sinking his first three shots inside. Later he moved beyond the arc where he hit 4 of 5. Do the math and his teammates shot 2 of 22 on 3-pointers and 13 of 48 from the field.

Isaiah Whitehead: The dazzling sophomore guard sank his first four 3-pointers, finishing 4 of 5 from deep. He also had a game-high six assists.

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera: The senior finished with a respectable 18 points, but missed eight of 10 3-point attempts.

Observations

▪ Other than Govan inside, the half-court offense rarely gelled. Georgetown had as many turnovers (10) as field goals in the first half. Down 11 in the first half, the Hoyas rallied to 29-28, but the Pirates closed the first half with a 7-0 for a 36-28 halftime lead.

▪ Seton Hall's players had more bounce in their step throughout, whether gobbling up 50-50 balls or clogging potential driving/passing lanes defensively. The Pirates had nine steals. In the previous loss, the Hoyas shot 33.9 percent from the field. 

▪ Govan took a blow to the head late in the first half  and went to the locker room after a significant cut opened above his left eye. With his No.15 jersey bloodied, he played in the second half  wearing No. 20 and sporting a bandage. He finished 4 of 5 for nine points as 15 and 6 of 8 for 18 points as 20.

▪ Game in, game out, Georgetown loses the free throw battle. The Hoyas were outscored 25-12, taking only 14 free throws. That's eight straight games with fewer made free throws.

Worth mentioning

* When Georgetown trails at halftime, it typically does after the final buzzer as well. The Hoyas are 1-12 when down at halftime.

▪ No. 8 Xavier visits Saturday (12:00 p.m.) for Georgetown's penultimate home game. The Hoyas shocked the Musketeers 81-72 in Cincinnati last month. After Xavier, Georgetown hosts Butler before playing at Marquette and No. 1 Villanova.

▪ Georgetown starting guard Tre Campbell's scoring drought continues. The sophomore went scoreless for the fifth time in six games, missing all four of his field goal attempts. Since scoring 21 at Xavier on Jan. 19, Campbell has 13 points.

They said it

* We've been fighting...We just have to find a way to manufacture wins. The beauty of being in the best conference in the country is that you look and we still have two games against top 10 teams. ...As frustrated as we all are, we still can make some noise." -- Thompson.

MORE HOYAS: Hoyas' epic comeback not enough against Friars

Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.

Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.

Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing.  At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.

Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.

Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.

Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.

Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

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Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.