DePaul and Georgetown are struggling in the early stages of the Big East season, but they know how to fix their problems.
The Blue Demons and host Hoyas will aim to exercise those strategies on Wednesday when they meet in Washington, D.C., with one of them guaranteed to end a lengthy losing streak.
Georgetown (3-8, 1-5 Big East) enters play having lost five in a row, one more than similarly skidding DePaul (1-4, 0-4 Big East). Both teams came close to turning the tide in their most recent games.
“That is a positive, but we lost,” Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing said after Saturday’s 74-69 nonconference loss at Syracuse. “That’s five in a row. I’m disappointed in the fact that we lost. I thought my team, especially in the second half, fought hard. We still have to be able to get the ball in the paint.”
The Hoyas climbed to within three points of Syracuse down the stretch after trailing by as many as 16. Torrid second-half shooting (14-for-28) and steady contributions from Jamorko Pickett (17 points) and Jahvon Blair (16) kept Georgetown in pursuit before fading.
Consistent with their recent results, the Hoyas lost the rebounding battle 38-32, including 12-7 on the offensive glass.
“We’ve got to shore up our defense and make sure that we rebound the ball much better than we did. … We need everybody to do their part for us to win,” Ewing said.
DePaul also wilted in the late stages in Monday’s 60-53 home loss to No. 25 Connecticut. After grabbing a 53-52 lead with 4:27 to go, the Blue Demons went scoreless the rest of the way.
DePaul committed seven of its 24 turnovers over the final 5:41. Coach Dave Leitao dubbed turnovers the team’s “Achilles (heel).”
Off to an 0-4 start in conference play for the second straight season, the Blue Demons have tinkered with rotations after navigating a series of COVID-19-related cancellations and postponements to begin the season.
Darious Hall scored a team-high 10 points in his first start Monday. Romeo Weems provided an early spark with two 3-pointers in the first half, but didn’t score after that.
“I think it’s good to continue to mix and match lineups whether they start, in the middle, or how we finish to put people in a position to be successful,” Leitao said. “So, I think having the ability to mix and match is important to find that out, but you don’t want to have to do that or manage that in the middle of a Big East season.”
–Field Level Media