Late Monday night, the seconds melted away at Verizon Center quicker than the fitful bursts of snow that overtook the city earlier in the day.
But the basketball seemed to melt away for Georgetown, too.
Turnovers — including five in the final 5:08 — undid the the No. 11 Hoyas in a 68-64 loss to Cincinnati.
“When we’re good with the ball, we’re a great team,” Georgetown senior Jason Clark said after the team’s second consecutive defeat. “When stuff happens like tonight, we don’t look so good.”
Despite 17 turnovers, the Hoyas remained in the game that didn’t tip off until 9 p.m. That is, until the game slipped out of bounds in the final seconds.
Down by two points, Georgetown brought the ball in bounds with 24 seconds left. The “Cha Cha Slide” had barely finished thumping through the arena, urging the crowd to clap their hands.
But then the inexplicable happened: always-reliable freshman Otto Porter’s high top stepped out of bounds. The referee pointed to the second “o” in the “Georgetown” painted along the baseline. Porter had his first turnover of the game. Eight seconds remained.
That was the game.
“It wasn’t unrelenting pressure,” said coach John Thompson III, loosened tie dangling against his gray shirt. “It was just us not being good passers, not being good receivers. … You cannot turn the ball over like that.”
The mistakes — unforced and otherwise — overshadowed a night when Georgetown shot 59.1 percent from the field.
But big man Henry Sims, in the midst of a resurgent senior season, gave the ball away five times in the face of steady defense from fellow big Yancy Gates. Cincinnati’s game plan included denying him the ball and pressuring him when he had it to disrupt Georgetown’s offense. Clark also delivered four more turnovers.
The 17 turnovers tied a season high for Georgetown, which averages 14.1 per game.
But the problem went deeper Monday.
Jump-shooting junior Hollis Thompson torched Cincinnati for 14 points in the first half, including a banked-in 3-pointer as time expired. In the second half, he attempted just one shot.View Entire Story
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