Georgetown showed how could they could be but they also found out the hard way, they aren’t Duke.
The Hoyas excellent first half of the first half went “foul” when the officials decided they would step in. Georgetown kept fighting through it but by the end of the first half, Duke had erased an 11-point deficit and briefly took the lead before a James Akinjo layup tied it at 33.
The numbers at halftime were ugly though. Georgetown had been whistled for 15 fouls including three on Mac McClung. The third one was a bit controversial, along with several others, when McClung was clearing grabbing the ball and Tre Jones literally trucked him. At first, all thought the foul had been called on Jones but that wasn’t the case.
If that wasn’t bad enough, five other Hoyas had two fouls. Yes, you read that correctly, FIVE. Omer Yurtseven, Jamorko Pickett, Terrell Allen, Qudus Wahab, and Galen Alexander were all in the two foul club.
Give Patrick Ewing a lot of credit. Most coaches wouldn’t have been able to cobble the rest of the first half without being blown out. Ewing used a variety of lineups trusting all of the two foul club to play more except Yurtseven. That’s what made the McClung call so big. The savvy sophomore wasn’t even in the game for 10 seconds before picking up his third foul.
To be fair, the Hoyas were a no show in the second half. By the media timeout (15:25) Duke had outscored Georgetown 18-9.
But as the second half went on you could see Ewing getting visibly frustrated with the officiating. Georgetown was in the penalty with over 12 minutes to play. Yurtseven had four fouls before he could blink. With a little over 9 minutes left, Ewing ripped off his tie.
With 10:19 left and Duke up 60-52, Ewing pushed his chips to the middle of the table. He put Yurtseven back in with four fouls and McClung with three.
When Akinjo picked up his third on yet another controversial call, Ewing lost it and was accessed a technical. By the way, watching the replay, it was a terrible call.
The Hoyas showed some fight eventually cutting Duke’s lead to 77-71 but the Hoyas couldn’t get over the hump. They would fall to the number one team in the nation, 81-73.
But all wasn’t loss. Maybe just maybe, Georgetown found something in this team that can’t be fouled up.