Georgetown upends No. 10 Villanova 56-54
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Both teams played stifling defense. Georgetown’s was just a little bit better.
DaJuan Summers scored 16 points and Chris Wright had 13, including a crucial driving layup with 47 seconds left, to lead the Hoyas to a 56-54 victory over No. 10 Villanova on Saturday.
Georgetown (15-12, 6-10 Big East) forced the Wildcats into a season-high 20 turnovers and season-lows in points, field goals (15) and field-goal percentage (33.3 percent).
“They missed shots they normally make and were never able to get into a rhythm,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “We did a good job of protecting the 3-point line. It’s hard to do because of their spacing but we wanted to eliminate their 3s.”
Villanova had one of its poorest games of the season from long range, converting just 3 of 16 (18.8 percent) from beyond the arc.
Georgetown was a big reason for Villanova’s offensive struggles, according to Wildcats coach Jay Wright.
“I thought we played hard but we didn’t execute and didn’t adjust to their defense,” he said. “They played better. They knew our personnel and did a great job of playing our personnel and executing their game plan.”
Nikita Mescheriakov had a career-high 11 points for the Hoyas, who snapped a two-game losing streak while winning their fifth straight over the Wildcats.
Dante Cunningham had 13 points to pace Villanova (23-6, 11-5), which had won three straight and nine of 10. Scottie Reynolds added 12 points for the Wildcats in a game played before a sellout of 20,378 at the Wachovia Center.
Cunningham had to work hard for his points and managed just seven field-goal attempts, six fewer than he’s averaged in his last six games.
“They did a great job of pressure and giving help,” Cunningham said. “They have length and seemed to be everywhere.”
Said Thompson: “It hard to stop Cunningham because he’s such a hard worker. Our big guys did a good job in keeping him less active.”
Villanova’s defense also was strong in the intense, physical game, as Georgetown committed a season-high 25 turnovers.
“I’ll take the win and try to fix the turnovers,” Thompson said.
The Hoyas did just enough on offense late after taking control of the game by making nine straight shots over 6 minutes, 52 seconds spanning both halves, ending with Mescheriakov’s 3-pointer that made it 40-32 with 17:21 left.
Villanova closed to within two points on three occasions, including on Cunningham’s 12-footer that made it 52-50 with 5:02 left.
Then both teams went cold.
The Wildcats went eight straight possessions without a field goal while committing three turnovers, and Georgetown was 0-for-5 with a pair of turnovers but still led 52-51 with 1:15 left after Corey Stokes converted 1 of 2 free throws.
“We were able to get stops even though we didn’t execute on the other end,” Thompson said.
Wright put Georgetown up 54-51 with a driving layup and then secured the win with a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left.
“It feels great, especially on the road in a hostile environment,” Wright said. “We really needed a win.”