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Georgetown’s skid reaches seven with a 96-73 loss at No. 20 Connecticut

What to know from Tuesday’s defeat, which dropped the Hoyas to 0-6 in the Big East

Connecticut's Andre Jackson winds up for a dunk as Georgetown's Timothy Ighoefe defends Tuesday night. (Jessica Hill/AP)
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The horrors just keep coming for Georgetown, which has matched its worst stretch under Coach Patrick Ewing.

On Tuesday night in Storrs, Conn., the Hoyas lost their seventh straight game, 96-73, to No. 20 Connecticut, never leading or even really threatening after the Huskies went up early. Georgetown’s winless start to Big East play already was the worst in program history, and that reached 0-6 on Tuesday. This loss matched the longest skid of Ewing’s five-year tenure, which came at the end of the 2019-20 season.

The Hoyas (6-11, 0-6) visit Butler on Saturday with a chance to top that lowlight.

“Hey, look, there’s no cavalry coming over the hill,” Ewing said. “This is our team. Banged up or whatever, covid or whatever — this is our team. We have to go out there and we have to compete and we have to get it done.

“We’ve played six [Big East] games ... so we still have a chance to get ourselves back in the hunt. We just have to stay positive, watch the film and show them things that we didn’t do right tonight. And we have to regroup and come back for our next game on Saturday.”

Georgetown trailed 52-40 at halftime despite showing outstanding touch. The Hoyas shot 53.3 percent, including a shocking 8 for 13 (61.5 percent) from behind the three-point line. But turnovers, defense and rebounding were issues.

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Seven first-half turnovers led to easy transition buckets the other way. The Huskies went to halftime with 11 points off turnovers and 18 fast-break points. The Hoyas had just two points off turnovers and three on the fast break.

The defense couldn’t be called stout, either; Connecticut (14-4, 5-2) shot 55.9 percent and grabbed eight offensive rebounds off just 15 misses in the opening half. Add all of that to zero free throw attempts before halftime, and the Hoyas were in a hole they couldn’t escape. That they shot 36.7 percent in the second half made it impossible to rally.

“We just got to step up and play,” Ewing said. “Just got to keep on encouraging them, keep on patting them on the back. But we can’t keep making the mistakes that we’re making. That’s what’s causing us to lose. If you give up 19 offensive rebounds for 18 points and then 27 fast-break points, that’s a recipe for disaster. ...

“We have to show them the things that we’re doing wrong, but while we’re talking about the things that we’re doing wrong, we still have to encourage them.”

Freshman Aminu Mohammed led the way for Georgetown with 15 points and seven rebounds, but 13 of those points came in the first half. Collin Holloway added 11, and Donald Carey finished with 10.

The Huskies’ Adama Sanogo scored a game-high 19 points to go with eight rebounds. Isaiah Whaley had 15 points and seven rebounds. R.J. Cole, the former Howard standout, posted 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and Tyrese Martin ended up with 13 points and eight rebounds.

“In practice, you just see a deep team,” Martin said. “... It looks scary to see when everybody’s on fire and things like that, what we can do. And today was sort of something like that.”

Here’s what else to know from Tuesday’s game:

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Stretching out

Mohammed has given opponents fits with his ability to get to the rim and his relentlessness in the paint. The freshman showed off a little something different Tuesday, making 3 of 4 three-point attempts in the first half.

The previous time he made more than one three was Nov. 16 against American — the second game of the year. Mohammed made eight three-pointers in the first nine games of the season but had just two in the next seven games.

Billingsley down

Freshman forward Jalin Billingsley left the game late in the first half; Ewing said afterward that he suffered a knee injury.

Billingsley finished a layup and then limped back on defense and tried to get through the possession before the officials halted play to let him exit the game. He went straight to the locker room, and the team announced early in the second half that he would not return.

Inconsistent minutes

Center Ryan Mutombo had six points and six rebounds in a season-high 22 minutes against the Huskies after not playing at all against Villanova on Saturday and getting a combined 12 minutes in the two games before that. The freshman has seen his court time vary wildly from game to game.

Ewing explained that Connecticut played a bigger lineup, which allowed the 7-foot-2 center to be on the floor more. Villanova played smaller, so Mutombo didn’t step on the floor. Mutombo’s minutes often will come down to matchups, Ewing said, to keep him from being a liability on one end.

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