Coming off losses on Thursday night, Saint Joseph’s and Georgetown meet Friday in the consolation game of the Wooden Legacy in Anaheim, Calif.
Georgetown (2-2) fell 73-56 to San Diego State in its tournament opener when a second-half comeback bid was repelled. The Hoyas cut a 15-point, second-half deficit down to four, but then they scored just three points in the game’s final 9 1/2 minutes. The Aztecs closed the contest on a 16-3 run.
Saint Joseph’s (2-3) is coming off of a similar loss, a 70-55 setback to No. 24 Southern California. The Hawks cut a 12-point halftime hole to seven, but a 22-9 run squashed any rally hopes.
The Hawks duo of Taylor Funk and Jordan Hall, who came in averaging 34 combined points per game, scored just 12 and four, respectively, on Thursday. Hall missed 11 of his 12 field-goal attempts.
Saint Joseph’s coach Billy Lange credited USC’s length for altering the Hawks’ looks at the rim.
“When you get into the lane (against a big team), if you’re not willing to be fundamental and pivot and find a way to make the right pass, you’re going to end up taking shots that at the moment you were about to shoot it, looked like they were going to be pretty good and … bang, it changes,” Lange said.
The Hawks face another lengthy team in Georgetown.
Saint Joseph’s carries a three-game losing streak into the matchup. In all three defeats, Saint Joseph’s gave up at least 70 points. The Hawks held Mount St. Mary’s and Maryland Eastern Shore below 70 points in their wins.
Georgetown, meanwhile, scored 83 and 79 points in wins over American and Siena, respectively, but recorded just 60 and 56 in losses to Dartmouth in the opener and then San Diego State on Thursday.
Aminu Mohammed and Dante Harris combined for 39 of Georgetown’s 56 points against the Aztecs. Donald Carey came into the Wooden Legacy averaging 15.3 points per game through the Hoyas’ first three, but he scored just four points while going 0-for-7 from the floor on Thursday.
Georgetown’s Kaiden Rice shot just 2 of 9 from the field en route to eight points. The graduate senior veterans Carey and Rice have been keys to making the Georgetown offense go.
“They’re an integral part of our team,” Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing said last week. “We have a lot of young guys, but there’s a reason why these guys are here.”
The Hoyas are coming off a 4-for-20 3-point shooting performance. They now meet a Saint Joseph’s defense giving up 46.3 percent shooting (31 of 67) from beyond the arc, one of the worst marks in the nation.
–Field Level Media