By Barry Morrison
Let’s call this Patrick Ewing’s payback for the 1985 national title upset!
Jessie Govan had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Mac McClung scored 21 points and Georgetown beat No. 17 Villanova 85-73, snapping a nine-game losing streak against the Wildcats.
Georgetown (16-10, 6-7 Big East) beat a ranked opponent for the first time since 2017, and coach Ewing — the center on the 1985 Hoyas team that lost to the Cats 66-64 — earned his first win against a Top-25 foe in eight tries.
“My son brought that to my attention by the way,” Ewing said of the fact that he had yet to take out a ranked team, something he accomplished with regularity as a player.
James Akinjo had 10 points and nine assists as the Hoyas ended a two-game slide and beat Villanova at home for the first time since 2015.
“We have to build on this, it can’t be just a one game thing,” Ewing said. “We have five more games to go and our dreams and our goals are to make the NCAA Tournament.”
Georgetown has missed the last three postseasons.
Villanova (20-7, 11-3) lost consecutive conference games for the first time since realignment in 2013 — a span of 104 games.
Phil Booth had 26 points, and Eric Paschall added 16 as Villanova lost for the third time in four conference games after starting 10-0 in Big East play. Colin Gillespie scored 13 points after having a career-high 30 in the teams’ first meeting.
The Hoyas took a 42-32 lead into halftime after shooting 7 of 18 from 3-point distance. McClung scored 17 of his 21 points in the first period and it was his hot start that carried Georgetown early. In the teams’ first meeting, he had a poor performance, going 2 for 11 from the field and finishing with four points, well below his average of 13.
“We knew he was much better than how he played against us the first time,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said.
“That allowed him to get it going, and you know, a guy like that, he’s a born scorer once he gets it going. It’s hard to stop.”
Villanova cut the Hoyas’ lead to 50-43 after Booth hit a 3-pointer, but Georgetown responded with an 8-0 run as a 3 by Govan pushed the lead to 58-43 with 13:13 left. The Wildcats never got closer than nine the rest of the way.
Georgetown shot 51 percent from the field and held Villanova to just 38 percent. The Hoyas’ bench outscored the Wildcats’ subs 22-9. Kaleb Johnson led the way for Georgetown with eight points.