Tagged with Men’s Basketball

THE RUNDOWN: Sports Stories for February 5

DANIEL KREYTAK/THE HOYA

DANIEL KREYTAK/THE HOYA

Men’s Basketball

After suffering a tough loss to Butler (15-7, 4-6 Big East) Tuesday night, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (13-10, 6-4 Big East) looks to get back on track Saturday night on the road against Seton Hall (16-6, 6-4 Big East). The Pirates, led by Head Coach Kevin Willard, are enjoying one of their most successful seasons in recent history, and they have the potential to reach the NCAA tournament if they can keep up their strong play. Seton Hall defeated Providence (18-5, 6-4 Big East) on the road at the Dunkin Donuts Center in January and lost to Villanova (19-3, 9-1 Big East) at home by just one point.

In their last game, the Pirates defeated the Marquette Golden Eagles (15-8, 4-6 Big East) by a score of 79-62. The current Big East Player of the Week, sophomore guard Isaiah Whitehead, scored a game-high 21 points while sophomore forward Angel Delgado had a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Whitehead also added eight assists, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals. This season, Georgetown has struggled to defend breakout guards on opposing teams — Providence junior guard Kris Dunn scored 26 points last week against it — so limiting Whitehead will be key.

“The teams that don’t get as much appreciation are just as tough to battle night in and night out [because] they’ve got some great players,” senior guard and co-captain D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera said of Big East competition early in the season. “But hopefully at the end of the race, we’re on top.”

KARLA LEYJA/THE HOYA

KARLA LEYJA/THE HOYA

Women’s Basketball

The Georgetown women’s basketball team (12-9, 5-6 Big East) returns to McDonough Arena this weekend after winning three straight games on the road. Georgetown will face off against conference rivals Marquette (11-11, 6-5 Big East) and DePaul (17-7, 9-2 Big East) — two teams that have already beaten it this season.

“Being able to come off that road swing with three straight road wins, it shows our growth. It shows our maturity,” Head Coach Natasha Adair said. “Those last three games — Villanova, Providence, Creighton — the light bulb came on. They’re getting it. … Three games on the road — that’s pretty good.”

In its matchup with Marquette earlier this season, Georgetown took a commanding lead in the first half. The Hoyas led by 10 points at the conclusion of the first quarter and then strung together a 7-0 run in the second period to extend their advantage to 18 points. Going into the locker room at halftime, Georgetown led by 12.

IPPOLITO/AUERBACH: Super Bowl 50 Commentaries

IPPOLITO: Broncos’ Defense Must Stifle Running Game

Eighteen Super Bowls ago, the Denver Broncos made history by winning their first title after defeating the heavily favored Green Bay Packers. During the trophy presentation, owner Pat Bowlen declared, “This one’s for John!” in reference to John Elway, the hall-of-fame quarterback who put this team together and is now the general manager. In 2014, Bowlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and has not attended a game this season. Bowlen will not be in attendance at the Super Bowl this weekend in Santa Clara, Calif.. Like Bowlen now, and the entire team in 1997, the Broncos are underdogs again. However, there is still reason to hope and believe that Denver can win this one, and win it for Bowlen.

The Broncos will rely on what got them to the Super Bowl in the first place: defense. The Broncos, by most statistical measures, boasted the league’s best defense over the course of the 2015 season and were at their best two weeks ago against quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Denver pressured Brady all afternoon and hit him 23 times. Just as they did two weeks ago, Denver’s major pass rushers, Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson, must find ways to pressure the Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and force mistakes. By forcing Newton to throw on the run or into tight coverage windows, Denver’s ball-hawking secondary should have opportunities to knock down or intercept passes. If Denver can win the turnover battle, then it can pull off the upset.

AUERBACH: Carolina’s Postseason Dominance Poses Threat

The last time the Carolina Panthers played in the Super Bowl, it was 2004. They lost the championship game to the New England Patriots, an American Football Conference team led by a young Tom Brady capturing his second Super Bowl ring. This Sunday, the Panthers will again face off against a superior quarterback in the big game, but this time, in the form of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. However, based on the Panthers’ outstanding defense, multi-faceted running game and versatile quarterback, this year’s Super Bowl will likely tell a very different story than it did 12 years ago.

The Broncos’ defense kept them at an elite level this season — especially while undergoing the turmoil of having to sit Manning and start inexperienced Brock Osweiler — and led the league in overall and passing defense. However, it would be a mistake to consider the Panthers’ defense inferior by comparison. The Panthers ranked sixth in the league in overall defense, behind the Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals — and the Panthers have already beaten two of those teams. They also boast some of the best individual defensive players in the game: Luke Kuechly, Josh Norman and Jared Allen, to name a few.

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THE RUNDOWN: Sports Stories for February 2

FILE PHOTO: MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA

FILE PHOTO: MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA

Men’s Basketball

No team has experienced a more difficult start to conference play than the Butler men’s basketball team (14-7, 3-6 Big East), and it has since fallen from the rankings despite having been ranked as highly as No. 10 in the country entering Big East play. The Georgetown men’s basketball team (13-9, 6-3 Big East) will head to Indianapolis to face the struggling Butler squad in an effort to reclaim a grasp on second place in the conference after dropping a close home game to No. 11 Providence (18-4, 7-2 Big East) this past Saturday.

The Bulldogs rank in the middle of the pack of the Big East in most major statistics. They are an average three-point shooting team within the conference and defend the three at an average rate as well — ranking fourth in offense and seventh in defense. Georgetown, coming off its worst three-point shooting performance of conference play thus far, will look to rebound against an inconsistent Butler team.

“I don’t want to equate sense of urgency with panic, but you know, we got nine games left and we are … two games out of first place. [We’ve] got to win,” Head Coach John Thompson III said of the team beginning the second half of conference play.

KARLA LEYJA/THE HOYA

KARLA LEYJA/THE HOYA

Women’s Basketball

The Georgetown women’s basketball team (12-9, 5-6 Big East) returned home Sunday night after picking up two victories on the road against conference opponents. The Hoyas kicked off the weekend with a decisive 31-point victory over the Providence Friars (4-17, 0-11 Big East) before downing the Creighton Blue Jays (11-12, 5-6 Big East) 57-44.

“Closing out January, heading into February, I feel like we are definitely in a good place,” Head Coach Natasha Adair said.

Georgetown dominated the matchup with Providence from the tip to the final whistle. The Hoyas scored a season-high 31 points in the opening quarter and held a 16-point advantage at the end of the first 10 minutes.

Track & Field

The Georgetown men’s and No. 11 women’s indoor track and field teams started off the weekend strong with impressive performances in the distance medley relay on both sides at the Penn State National Invitational on Jan. 29 and 30. The women’s team broke the school record in the DMR, while the men’s team captured the third-fastest time in school history. The weekend saw many Georgetown runners create new personal records as well.

The women’s DMR relay, consisting of graduate student Andrea Keklak, senior Heather Martin, junior Sabrina Southerland and graduate student Katrina Coogan, set a new school record of 10:54.77, breaking the previous time of 10:55.63 set at the 2014 Big East Championship.

“I think we did great,” freshman Audrey Belf said. “It was so much fun on Friday night getting to watch the DMR. It was so inspiring how they all put forth their best effort. It was such a team effort.”

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RAPID RECAP: Providence 73, Georgetown 69

Entering the game as a three-point favorite, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (13-9, 6-3 Big East) fell to Providence (18-4, 6-3 Big East) 73-69 Saturday night at Verizon Center. Providence sophomore forward Ben Bentil and junior guard Kris Dunn provided much of the offensive support for the team, combining to score 52 of the team’s 73 points.

The first half was a half to forget for Georgetown. The Hoyas could not find their offensive groove in the first half, shooting a mere 38.7 percent from the field and converting on only two of their 11 three-point attempts in the half, compared to the Friars’ 50 percent from the field. Georgetown also committed eight turnovers.

Providence was equally sloppy with the ball, but Georgetown could not take advantage of Providence’s nine turnovers in the first half and entered halftime down 38-28. Dunn and Bentil outscored Georgetown’s struggling offense, scoring a combined 29 points in the half.

Senior guard and co-captain D’Vauntes Smith Rivera took control of the Hoyas’ offense as they slowly began to chip away at the Friars’ lead. The closest Georgetown got to Providence was when senior center and co-captain Bradley Hayes rebounded a missed layup by Smith-Rivera and drew a foul on the put-back shot. Hayes converted on the free throw to make it a one-point game with 13:33 left in the game.

But whenever Georgetown started to give hope to its fans, Dunn and Bentil would quickly shut down any chances of Georgetown taking the lead. Dunn singlehandedly went on a 5-0 run to make it 53-45 at the 9:48 mark.

With 2:21 to go, it seemed as if there was no chance the Hoyas could come back and pull off the upset attempt, as they were down 65-56. But Smith-Rivera’s and-one conversion and sophomore guard L.J. Peak’s seven points in a span of 30 seconds brought the Hoyas within three points of the Friars.

Bentil was intentionally fouled three straight possessions but converted on all six of his free throw attempts to seal the win for the Friars. With the loss, Georgetown dropped to fourth in the Big East.

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THE RUNDOWN: Sports Stories for January 29

CLAIRE SOISSON/THE HOYA

CLAIRE SOISSON/THE HOYA

Men’s Basketball

After a thrilling 74-73 comeback win against Creighton (14-7, 5-3 Big East) Tuesday night, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (13-8, 6-2 Big East) will now will host No. 10 Providence (17-4, 5-3 Big East) Saturday at Verizon Center for a rare weekend night game. Georgetown is currently in a two-way tie for second place in the Big East, and a win against the No. 10 team in the country would boost its NCAA tournament resume. Providence, which is currently tied with Creighton for third place in the conference standings, is coming off a 75-68 loss to No. 7 Xavier (18-2, 6-2 Big East) at home.

After their scintillating victory Tuesday, the Hoyas will enter this game on a high note. Despite several questionable foul calls that they received in the second half, the Hoyas were able to overcome an 11-point deficit with 2:32 left in the game. A 15-3 run over the final 2:17, capped off by a late steal by freshman guard/forward Kaleb Johnson and two free throws — including the game winner — from senior guard and co-captain D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, was enough to complete the comeback and give the Hoyas a win that improves their chances of playing in the NCAA tournament.

“We had ample opportunities to quit and pack it in, but our guys kept fighting and found a way to put us in position to have some success in the end,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said of the win.

Women’s Basketball

B10_Womensbball_KarlaLeyja-300x224

KARLA LEYJA/THE HOYA

The Georgetown women’s basketball team (10-9, 3-6 Big East) kicks off the second half of its Big East schedule this weekend with contests on the road against Providence (4-15, 0-9 Big East) and Creighton (10-11, 4-5 Big East).

The Hoyas will enter Friday’s matchup coming off a 57-51 win over conference rival Villanova University (13-7, 6-3 Big East). That win snapped a four-game losing streak for Georgetown — the team’s longest of the season.

“We had a great win against Villanova at Villanova and that has really increased the team’s confidence,” Assistant Coach Sarah Jenkins said.

FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA

FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA

Men’s Tennis

In his four years of playing in the number one singles position for the Georgetown men’s tennis team, senior Daniel Khanin has balanced the pressures of leading his team both on and off the court.

The only freshman on the team when he arrived at Georgetown and now the only senior on the 12-athlete men’s squad, Khanin has stepped into two critical roles at both ends of his career: that of a talented underclassmen with potential for greatness, and that of a visible leader with the maturity needed to guide a new group of promising freshmen.

The Baldwin, N.Y., native — a three-star recruit — attended Bollettieri Academy, a tennis-training academy located in Bradenton, Fla. Khanin was one of 135 students in Bollettieri’s Class of 2012 who went on to commit to top athletic programs at universities across the country.

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Rapid Recap: Georgetown 74, Creighton 73

On Tuesday night, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (13-8, 6-2 Big East) looked to bounce back from a disappointing loss this past weekend as it faced off against its Big East rival, Creighton (14-7, 5-3 Big East). Senior guard and co-captain D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera’s 19 points led the Hoyas to a 74-73 victory, giving them sole possession of second place in the Big East.

Early on, both teams struggled offensively and missed wide-open shots throughout the first half. But the Hoyas’ defense made up for the lack of offensive production and kept them in the game by blocking shots and forcing multiple shot clock violations late in the first half. Senior center and co-captain Bradley Hayes and freshman center Jessie Govan both got into foul trouble early, but sophomore forward Trey Mourning came off the bench in the final minutes of the half and scored six points to help give the Hoyas a 32-31 lead going into the half.

In the second half, it seemed as if Creighton was taking over the game and started to grow a lead, with a little help from the referees. Whenever the Hoyas began to chip away at the Bluejays’ lead, a foul would be called against the Hoyas, many of which were questionable. Govan fouled out with 7:50 left in the game and Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III strongly voiced his displeasure toward the refs. It seemed as if Thompson’s passion fueled a fire for the Hoyas, as they began to play with more energy afterward.

The game started to tilt more towards the Hoyas in the final minute of play when freshman guard Kaleb Johnson forced a steal and finished with a one-handed slam to make it a one-point game. With 23 seconds left, Creighton freshman guard Khyri Thomas missed two key free throws, keeping the score of the game at 73-72 in favor of the Bluejays. Sophomore guard L.J Peak fought for the important defensive rebound and quickly passed the ball to Smith-Rivera, who was fouled by Creighton junior guard Maurice Watson Jr.

Watson, who led Creighton in scoring and came close to recording a triple-double, cost his team with this foul, as it was his fifth and final one to give. Smith-Rivera displayed why he is the captain of this team, nailing two clutch free throws to give the Hoyas a 74-73 lead with six seconds left.

With Watson Jr. fouled out, Creighton gave the ball to senior guard James Milliken, who drove to the hoop to attempt a buzzer beater. The shot did not fall, however, and Peak grabbed the defensive win to secure Georgetown the win and their second place spot in the conference.

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THE RUNDOWN: Sports Stories for January 26

Men’s Basketball

FILE PHOTO: ISABEL BINAMIRA/THE HOYA

FILE PHOTO: ISABEL BINAMIRA/THE HOYA

After a poor late-game performance doomed the Georgetown men’s basketball team (12-8, 5-2 Big East) in its last nonconference game of the season against the University of Connecticut (14-5, 4-2 AAC) in a 68-62 loss, the Hoyas must now turn the page and prepare for their matchup on Tuesday at home against the Creighton Bluejays (14-6, 5-2 Big East). Creighton defeated Georgetown earlier in the season with a score of 79-66. The game will help resolve the jumble in the Big East standings for second place, where Providence (17-3, 5-2 Big East), Creighton, Georgetown and Xavier (17-2, 5-2 Big East) are all tied with 5-2 conference records, behind No. 6 Villanova (17-3, 7-1), which sits atop the conference at 7-1 against Big East opponents.

After losing a close game at home to Providence with a score of 50-48 on Jan. 12, Creighton went on to defeat DePaul (7-12, 1-6 Big East) and then-No. 18 Butler (13-6, 2-6 Big East) in its next two games. In the Butler game, junior guard Maurice Watson Jr., a transfer from Boston University who scored a career-high 27 points against the Hoyas in the first matchup of the season, scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half to lift his team to victory. That win matched Creighton’s win total from last season and allowed it to keep pace with the other teams at the upper half of the conference standings.

Junior guard Isaiah Zierden followed up a 31-point eruption against DePaul with a 13-point performance versus Butler, while senior center Geoffrey Groselle chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds.

ILLUSTRATION BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ FOR THE HOYA

ILLUSTRATION BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ FOR THE HOYA

Men’s Basketball Feature

Entering this season, junior forward Reggie Cameron and senior center and co-captain Bradley Hayes had been little more than afterthoughts for the Georgetown men’s basketball team (12-8, 5-2 Big East). Cameron earned occasional playing time as a freshman but fell out of the rotation last season, while Hayes was a benchwarmer for his first three seasons, playing mostly garbage-time minutes.

Nevertheless, the two upperclassmen were optimistic about their chances of breaking into the Hoyas’ rotation.

“I came in my freshman year thinking I was going to make a large impact,” Hayes said. “Unfortunately, I had to sit back and learn from the older guys. Now I feel like I learned a lot, I learned what’s right and what’s wrong, and now I can come in and be a real leader.”

Women’s Basketball

The Georgetown women’s basketball team (10-9, 3-6 Big East) closed out the first half of its conference schedule with a 57-51 road victory against Villanova (12-7, 6-3 Big East). The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Hoyas.

“It feels great to beat Villanova at Villanova. We definitely needed it. The four-game losing streak was a tough one because those were teams that we knew we could have beat,” sophomore guard Dorothy Adomako said.

Villanova entered the matchup having won four straight games — three of which were against the top teams in the Big East conference. The Wildcats defeated No. 24 DePaul (16-6, 8-1 Big East) on the road before earning victories over Seton Hall (16-4, 6-3 Big East) and St. John’s (16-4, 7-2 Big East) — both of which have been ranked among the best 25 teams in the country this season.

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