It has been a rough go at Georgetown under Patrick Ewing.
But one of the darkest stages of Hoyas basketball is finally over. Georgetown posted an 81-76 win over DePaul on Tuesday for its first Big East win of the season and, in fact, its first Big East win in multiple seasons.
The win broke a 29-game regular-season Big East losing streak that encompassed the entire 2021-22 campaign and dates to spring 2021. The Hoyas' most recent regular-season Big East win came against Xavier on March 2, 2021. They hadn't won a Big East game of any kind since a 73-48 win over Creighton on March 13, 2021, to cap a conference tournament championship. It was an unexpected run to the title after the Hoyas finished 7-9 in the Big East in the regular season.
It had all been downhill from there. Georgetown finished 0-19 in conference play and 6-25 overall last season as pressure mounted on Ewing in his fifth season as head coach. But Ewing, a Hall of Fame player and program icon who led the Hoyas to a national championship in 1984, returned for this season. Things haven't been much better.
The Hoyas got off to a 2-0 start with wins over Coppin State and Green Bay. But they'd lost 15 of 18 games since entering Tuesday, including nine straight in Big East play. Tuesday's win broke a 10-game overall losing streak dating to a Dec. 7 win over Siena. The Hoyas improved to 6-15 overall and 1-9 in conference play.
One win isn't much in the grand scheme. But it was relief from unprecedented program futility.
“Finally, we got one,” Ewing told reporters after the game. “My team worked extremely hard. I’ve won pretty much everywhere that I’ve been, so losing is not something that I’m familiar with.
"It’s all about getting up. When you get knocked down, you can’t stay down. You have to continue to get up. I kept getting up every day. My team kept getting up every day and kept on fighting.”
— BIG EAST MBB (@BIGEASTMBB) January 25, 2023
Sophomore guard Primo Spears led the way Tuesday with 21 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Georgetown allowed DePaul to shoot 49.2% from the field and 46.7% (7-of-15) from 3-point distance.
But the Hoyas found their edge with volume at the free-throw line, where they they connected on 27 of 41 (65.9%) attempts, more than doubling DePaul's 11-of-19 (57.9%) output at the stripe. Georgetown limited itself to seven turnovers, while DePaul gave up the ball 12 times.
The Hoyas will look to make it a two-game winning streak when they visit St. John's on Sunday.