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X-factor: No. 21 Georgetown falls to Xavier for 2nd time, commits 17 turnovers in 66-53 loss

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WASHINGTON — Georgetown made it to halftime with 13 turnovers, four made field goals and not a single offensive rebound.

That's not a symptom of one thing that's amiss. A whole lot was wrong with the No. 21 Hoyas on Tuesday night in a 66-53 loss to Xavier.

"It was a bad loss. It's a hard loss," coach John Thompson said.

He paused, then continued: "Every loss is a bad loss and a hard loss. I don't know how, big picture, to sum up today. We did not play well; they played very well."

In an otherwise promising season, Xavier has been Georgetown's X-factor. The Hoyas have made it to the Top 25 twice; both times they were promptly beaten by the Musketeers.

Xavier (14-7, 5-4 Big East) had been 4-0 at home and 0-4 on the road in conference play, but the Musketeers cut off passing lanes and effectively used double-teams to shut down Georgetown's motion offense and forced 17 turnovers. Aaron Bowen made a layup with 11:17 remaining in the first half, and the Hoyas didn't make another field goal until Isaac Copeland's mid-range buzzer-beater made the score 29-16 at halftime.

Georgetown (14-6, 6-3) got as close as seven late in the second half, but then went cold again — going more than three minutes without a field goal — as Xavier closed with a 12-6 run to knock the Hoyas out of first place in the Big East. They trail Villanova and Providence (both 5-2) by percentage points.

"We dug a hole for ourselves against a good team," Thompson said. "The hole was just too deep to climb out of."

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 13 points for the Hoyas, but he went 5 for 14 from the field, including 2 for 7 from 3-point range.

"They made it hard for him to breathe," Thompson said, "which happens when you're as good as D'Vauntes."


PHOTO: Georgetown head coach John Thompson III, right, talks with an official during a break in the action during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Xavier, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Washington. Xavier won 66-53. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Georgetown head coach John Thompson III, right, talks with an official during a break in the action during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Xavier, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Washington. Xavier won 66-53. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

CAPITOL WIN

Xavier made a game-day visit to House Speaker — and school alum — John Boehner (Class of '77) at the U.S. Capitol. Coach Chris Mack said he was worried a bit about the excursion because it made for a long day, but the players seemed to get something out of it.

"I'm not big on politics," sophomore Myles Davis said. "I just know the president and vice president, but it was great to know that we have a guy from Xavier in office."

Added center Matt Stainbrook: "I think a lot of guys learned a lot of things, including what the D.C. stands for in Washington, D.C. ... I won't name any names, but a couple of guys did not know that."

TIP-INS

Xavier: As Stainbrook sat down for the postgame news conference, he said in jest: "I'm just here so I don't get fined" — essentially the same sentence uttered repeatedly by media-shy Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch earlier Tuesday at the Super Bowl media day.

Georgetown: The Hoyas made 13 of 24 free-throw attempts. ... Jabril Trawick started despite bruising his right thigh in Saturday's win at Marquette. He finished with six turnovers. ... L.J. Peak, who hurt his left ankle in that game, did not start Tuesday but entered five minutes into the game. Copeland got his first career start in Peak's place.

UP NEXT

Xavier visits Seton Hall on Saturday.

Georgetown visits Creighton on Saturday.


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