Pittsburgh deals Georgetown its largest Big East loss ever

Pittsburgh deals Georgetown its largest Big East loss ever
January 8, 2013, 11:45 pm
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Coach Thompson 'embarrassed' by team's effort

Many inhabitants of this planet live by the try anything once credo. Georgetown went that daring route in many historic ways against Pittsburgh, just not by design.

With their lackluster offense rearing its ugly head and their usually trusty defense generating few early stops, the Hoyas fell to Pittsburgh 73-45 on Tuesday night.

The loss dropped No. 19 Georgetown to 10-3 overall and 0-2 in Big East play for the first time during coach John Thompson III's nine-year tenure.

Also in the first time for everything category, the 28-point deficit, Georgetown's largest since it started play games at the Verizon Center in 1997 and its worst home defeat since 1971.

Perhaps the biggest stunner - and an interestingly timed considering the current conference uncertainty" the loss is Hoyas worst in their Big East history.

That is a lot of historic wow right there.

"It's embarrassing," Thompson said after Georgetown's second straight loss. "This group has not responded like we did today. I don't think its characteristic of who this group is, but today was very disappointing."

Pittsburgh (13-3, 1-2) led 37-22 at haftime and shot 55.1 percent. No previous team managed to shoot over 47 percent against Georgetown this season.

"Our defense was nowhere near where it has been all year," Thompson said.

Consistent offense figured to be at a premium; Pittsburgh entered the week sporting the nation's fifth-rated scoring defense while Georgetown clocked in seventh. Regardless, inability simply to generate shot attempts against the Panthers interior size led to frustration and mounting turnovers.

The Hoyas finished with more turnovers (17) than made field goals (13) and scored less than 50 points for the second straight game and fourth time this season. Georgetown also finished without any player reaching double figures for the second time in eight games.

Adding to the rare events, Thompson picked up his first technical foul since 2007 while arguing an early second half call against junior forward Nate Lubick following jostling with one of the Panthers big men.

"I don't think I did anything that was out of character for me or anything different than I was doing for most of the game," said Thompson, who argued . "Was I out of the [coach's] box? Yes. Now, if you watch as many games as I do, many people get out of the box."

Not so rare is Pittsburgh winning at the Verizon Center or defeating Georgetown. The Panthers haves won six of the last eight meetings including three straight on the Hoyas home court.

There may not be an opportunity for payback anytime soon. While the Hoyas and six other basketball-centric programs determine their next step after announcing they are parting ways with the conference's football schools, the Panthers are leaving for the ACC after this season. There is no scheduled game with Pittsburgh on Georgetown's docket.

In recent weeks, the Hoyas have collectively emphasized the battle on the boards, especially after being outrebounded by nine against Marquette in its Big East opener. Led by 7-foot center Steven Adams and forward Talib Zanna, the Panthers finished ahead on the glass (30-23) and with interior scoring (32-16). On the season, the Hoyas are now underwater in the rebounding department at minus-two.

In addition to the crowd of 13,011, the Verizon Center audience included 24 NBA and professional scouts. Porter and Pittsburgh's 7-foot center Steven Adams were the headliners.

Hopefully the scouts come back. The Hoyas versatile star did not have one of his usual stat-stuffing games, thought he inexplicably paced the Hoyas with nine points. Georgetown shot 35.1 percent from the floor and missed 10 of 12 from beyond the arc.

"I think that's on all of us, the older guys, the younger guys," Lubick said. "As coach said, we have some things we need to address, and they will be addressed. We have made positive that we're going to fix these things and move on from there."

Zanna sank 7 of 9 shots and led Pittsburgh with 15 points. Tray Woodall added 11 points and seven assists, two more than Georgetown's entire team, which next plays Saturday at St. John's.

"We've continued trying to make changes as the season has gone on," Thompson said. "It's not like we're sticking our head in the sand, and saying, "Hey, let's not worry about it." We've worked on a lot of different things as the season has progressed."

All the signs were there during non-conference play, all of which took place in 2012. Georgetown's halfcourt offense frequently struggled for punchy consistency, its height but not girth lineup often lost the battle of the boards. Still, the wins kept coming thanks largely to the Hoyas lengthy defenders.

On this note, like many of the dubious records surpassed against Pittsburgh, 2012 seems like eons ago.

Notes...Former UCLA transfer Josh Smith officially enrolled at Georgetown this week, the team announced before the game. The 6-foot-10 junior forward is eligible to play in December 2013 following the first semester...In 1971 Georgetown lost at home to St. John's 107-67...Capitals star Alex Ovechkin and Wizards rookie Bradley Beal watched the game courtside.