PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Road wins have been in extremely short supply in the Big East this season, all the more so when fundamentals such as free throw shooting and ball security are lacking.
The Georgetown men’s basketball team was balky on those fronts at the most inopportune times Saturday afternoon, and the result was a 60-57 overtime loss to Providence before 10,786 at Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The Hoyas had a two-game winning streak snapped and remained winless in the conference on the road with a game at first-place DePaul next on the schedule.
Among the most egregious of Georgetown’s breakdowns came at the foul line, where it made 5 of 12 in the second half and shot just 55 percent overall. Senior forward Mikael Hopkins went 0 for 6 on free throws in the second half, including a pair that could have given the Hoyas the lead in the final minutes of regulation.
The Hoyas (10-5, 2-2 Big East) committed 15 turnovers for the third time in four games. Saturday, the giveaways led to 23 points for Providence, which scored eight in a row in overtime to open a two-possession advantage. Nine of Georgetown’s turnovers came in the second half, with freshman Paul White responsible for three.
“They are a good defensive team,” Georgetown Coach John Thompson III said. “They did a good job guarding. I don’t know if there was anything in particular that they did, but they were very attentive, and getting good looks was difficult.”
Still Georgetown had the first lead in overtime, 52-50, when White got a baseline floater to fall. From there point guard Kris Dunn converted a three-point play and sank a three-point shot for Providence (13-4, 3-1), and the reigning Big East tournament champions were on their way to their seventh win in eight games.
Junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and senior center Joshua Smith led the Hoyas with 15 points apiece. Smith added a game-high 12 rebounds for his second straight double-double and fourth this season.
The 6-foot-10, 350-pound UCLA transfer, who missed last season’s game at Providence because of academic issues, sent the game into overtime when he collected an offensive rebound and scored with 1.3 seconds left in regulation.
“We drew up a play, and just the ball came off,” Smith said of collecting White’s errant shot and scoring. “I just reacted.”
Smith added three points in overtime, all from the foul line, but Georgetown missed 5 of 7 from the field.
The only player other than White and Smith to score in the extra session was L.J. Peak. The freshman forward’s driving layup with 10.1 seconds to go trimmed the deficit to 58-57, but Dunn made a pair of foul shots, and White was unable to release a three-pointer in the right corner before time expired. The loss was Georgetown’s first in three overtime games this season.
White added 11 points and at times showed court awareness uncommon for a freshman. The 6-8 forward logged one of his two assists when he drew two defenders to him and delivered a one-handed pass to Peak for an uncontested layup. Moments later he scored on a driving layup while drawing contact and made the bonus to give the Hoyas a 46-41 lead with 3 minutes 59 seconds left in regulation.
After that three-point play, Providence’s Tyler Harris scored his only five points of the game with a layup and three-pointer, and neither team led by more than two the rest of the way until overtime.
LaDontae Henton finished with a game-high 19 points, but the Big East’s leading scorer missed 12 of 16 shots and went 1 for 8 from the three-point line. Dunn added 16 points on 5-for-15 shooting with nine assists and three steals. The sophomore leads the conference in assists and steals for the Friars, who are one of two teams with a Big East road win this season.
“We didn’t execute as much as we would have liked,” Smith-Rivera said. “We’ll get another crack at them.”
Box score: Providence 60, Georgetown 57 (OT)