Georgetown Hoyas Lose to Louisville Cardinals, 76-58

By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

With its national ranking a distant memory and its standing in the Big East slipping further each week, Georgetown needed a decisive victory and a stirring display of heart last night to prove its worthiness for an NCAA tournament bid.

But the Hoyas managed neither, delivering instead another erratic display of basketball -- listless at the start and frantic over the final stretch -- before falling, 76-58, to sixth-ranked Louisville before 12,653 at Verizon Center.

Georgetown (14-12, 5-10) never led after taking a 2-0 lead and spent most of the night trailing by double digits despite spirited efforts by guards Chris Wright and Jessie Sapp to rally their teammates.

But the result mirrored the season, providing glimpses of Georgetown's potential -- Wright's tenacity, Sapp's heart and Greg Monroe's athleticism -- but with much of it wasted.

Yet again, the sum was less than the gifted parts of Georgetown's roster. And with only three games remaining, the Hoyas are now assured of finishing below .500 in the Big East, which almost certainly will cost the team a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Some will argue that Georgetown's brutal schedule was the culprit. But Louisville (22-5, 13-2) plays in the Big East as well.

And last night, Louisville was better than Georgetown in every facet of the game. The Cardinals shot 55 percent, compared with Georgetown's 39 percent. They out-rebounded the Hoyas, 34-27. They made eight three-pointers, including six consecutive in the first half. Georgetown, meanwhile, was 3 for 16 from long range.

Louisville excelled at everything not measured by statistics, as well: quickness, fight and physicality on both offense and defense. Georgetown looked tentative and sluggish by comparison, particularly in the first 11 minutes, in which Louisville didn't miss a field goal.

Wright had 12 points to lead the Hoyas in scoring for a fourth consecutive game. Monroe added 10. No other Georgetown player managed double figures.

DaJuan Summers, the team's top scorer through the early part of the season, was all but invisible, finishing with four points on 1-for-8 shooting and four rebounds in 30 minutes' work.

"The stars were just not aligned for him today," Coach John Thompson III said.

The same could be said of the team, which started 10-1 but has now lost nine of its last 11 games.

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