For the third time in their last four games, coach Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats came out on the wrong side of the ledger, losing to the Georgetown Hoyas 69-66 at the Wells Fargo Center. It was Villanova’s first home loss of the year. Austin Freeman, the pre-season Big East player of the year, lived up to his billing, scoring 30 points (to go along with 6 assists and 4 rebounds) to help the Hoyas stave off the Wildcats comeback bid.
Georgetown, trailing 17-13 at the 10:49 mark of the first-half, went on a 10-0 run to take the lead 23-17. The Hoyas, coached by John Thompson III, finished the first-half on a 19-9 run to take a 32-26 lead into the locker room. Just as they did up at Providence, the Cats continued to shoot poorly. Corey Stokes, who shot 2 for 16 at Providence, was 0 for 5 in the half. Overall, the Wildcats shot 0 for 3 from three-point range. Corey Fisher had 9 points to lead the Cats in scoring at the intermission.
Freeman led the way for the Hoyas with a dozen points at the break.
Georgetown started the second-half on a 7-2 run to take an 11 point lead, 39-28. Momentarily, the Wildcats regained their stroke with Stokes and Wayns hitting consecutive three-point shots and the Hoyas lead melted to five, 39 -34. Villanova’s 12-3 run brought them to within 2 on a Corey Fisher bucket. Fisher, however, could not complete the three-point play, leaving Georgetown with a 42-40 lead.
Led by Julian Vaughn, who was scoreless in the first-half, Georgetown built the lead back to double digits 55-45. During this stretch Vaughn scored 9 points. The Hoyas lead remained at 8 points 61-53 with 2:59 left in the game, when the Wildcats ran off 7 straight points in a minute to cut the margin to 1 point 61-60. Sadly for Villanova, Freeman scored 6 points down the stretch to give the Hoyas a hard-fought 69-66 win. For the Hoyas, it was their 6th win in the last 7 games against Villanova.
Villanova fell to 17 -4, 5-3 in the Big East, with the loss. Georgetown is now 16-5, 5-4 in the Big East.
Fisher and Maalik Wayns each scored 15 points to pace Villanova. Stokes had 13 points and Antonio Pena finished with 10. Mouph Yarou had 8 rebounds to lead the Wildcats, who were out-rebounded by Georgetown 28-20. Next up for Villanova is a game at the Pavilion on Wednesday night against the Marquette Golden Eagles.
Full photo gallery from Villanova vs. Georgetown: