Record snow fell on Washington D.C., with more than two feet on the ground before game time. Despite the crazy weather, the show had to go on for Georgetown and Villanova. More the 10,000 people braved the blizzard snow conditions to watch Georgetown handily knock off #2 ranked Villanova by a score of 103-90, bringing to an end Villanova’s 11-game win streak.
Georgetown was led by Austin Freeman and Jason Clark whom scored 25 and 24 points respectively. Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher led the way in a losing effort, each dropping in 24 points for Villanova.
The game was a big bounce back victory for the Hoyas. Earlier in the week, Georgetown was beaten at home by perennial Big East cellar dweller South Florida. The Hoyas were outhustled and outplayed in almost every facet of that game. The Hoyas needed a big performance against Villanova and their backcourt didn’t disappoint.
Georgetown’s offense was unstoppable, shooting 56.3% overall and 52.6% from the beyond the arc. In contrast, the Villanova offense was miserable in the first half, tallying more turnovers (16) than field goals (12) as they struggled to control the ball and make their shots. The Hoyas capitalized on the inept play, forging a lead of 23 points in the first half and never looked back.
Villanova attempted to claw their way back but got no closer than 10 points. As Villanova put on the defensive pressure, they consistently sent the Hoyas to the foul line to beat them. The usually poor free throw shooting Hoyas, with a season average of 69.4%, dropped 39-50 shots from the stripe to close out Villanova for the victory.
The loss by Villanova sends a ripple effect down the Big East Conference standings. Villanova was considered the class of the conference, but has not really played the meat of their schedule or any fierce opponents. Villanova is now 1-2 against current Top 25 ranked teams, has just three victories against quality opponents and now face Top 25 rated teams in four of their final eight games to close out the regular season.
After this handy defeat to the Hoyas and two squeaker victories over Marquette, catcalls of “overrated” are definitely going to rain down on this Villanova squad. How they respond to this will be on full display when Villanova travels to Morgantown for a nationally televised matchup against #6 ranked West Virginia. A victory will silence the critics, but another solid beating like the one delivered today may send this Villanova squad reeling.
This year’s Villanova squad has not showed a defensive spark that helped deliver last year’s Final Four appearance. The presence provided by last year’s departing seniors Dante Cunningham and Dwayne Anderson has yet to be replaced by Antonio Pena and reserves Isaiah Armwood and Maurice Sutton. Villanova will need to see the players step up over the final stretch or it will see a free fall down the ranking and the Big East standings.