While the manner in which Georgetown’s winning streak ended was difficult for coach John Thompson to explain, the end of Creighton’s historic losing streak provided temporary relief for its players.
The 21st-ranked Hoyas will try to bounce back by winning its third in a row on the road Saturday against the last-place Bluejays, who hope to build on their first victory in 10 games.
Georgetown (14-6, 6-3 Big East) took over the top spot in the conference last Saturday following a fourth straight win, 95-85 at Marquette. That run included a 78-58 home victory over then-No. 4 Villanova on Jan. 19.
The stay at the top proved to be short-lived after the Hoyas suffered a 66-53 loss to visiting Xavier on Tuesday. They couldn’t recover after scoring a season-low 16 and committing 13 of their season-high 17 turnovers in the first half.
Georgetown went 13 of 24 from the free-throw line following a 28-of-32 effort at Marquette and was outrebounded 36-28 after owning a plus-5.3 margin on the boards over its previous six games.
"Every loss is a bad loss and a hard loss. I don’t know how, big picture, to sum up (this defeat)," Thompson said. "We have a couple of days to get ready for Creighton on the road and we have to be significantly better on Saturday."
Thompson’s squad hopes to play more like it did in the first matchup with the Bluejays on Jan. 3, when it shot a season-high 58.7 percent from the field and hit 8 of 19 from 3-point range in a 76-61 home victory.
Creighton (10-12, 1-8) has let opponents make 22 of 44 3-point attempts in its last two games heading into this matchup.
The Bluejays, however, can finally breathe a little easier after snapping a skid that matched the longest in the 99-year history of the program with Wednesday’s 77-74 home win over St. John’s.
Freshman reserve Toby Hegner finished with a season-high 21 points, hitting 5 of 6 from 3-point range and sinking four free throws in the last 12 seconds to seal the team’s first win since beating Texas-Pan American on Dec. 19.
James Milliken added 17 points with three 3-pointers, leaving him with a 15.5-point average over his last four games.
"We came to practice fighting every day, and we knew this day would come," Hegner said Wednesday. "Getting the win was refreshing."
Joshua Smith led the Hoyas with 16 points in the first meeting with Creighton, while freshmen L.J. Peak, Tre Campbell and Paul White combined for 37 on 14-of-21 shooting – including 6 for 10 from beyond the arc.
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera had a season-low five points with three rebounds in that contest after scoring a combined 36 while pulling down 18 boards in two matchups last season.
The junior has averaged 17.6 points and hit 14 of 29 from 3-point range over his last five games, but he’s looking to get back on track after scoring 13 on 5-of-14 shooting against the Musketeers.
Georgetown lost 76-63 in the teams’ only meeting at Creighton last Jan. 25.
The Bluejays had won seven of 10 at home versus ranked opponents before a 68-67 loss to No. 19 Seton Hall on Jan. 10.