Xavier gets lesson in politics, then schools Georgetown
WASHINGTON (AP) — It never hurts to try something different after a bunch of unsuccessful out-of-town trips. Xavier broke the routine with a game-day visit to House Speaker — and school alum — John Boehner at the U.S. Capitol, then showed up at the Verizon Center a half-dozen blocks away and beat Georgetown for the second time this season.
Myles Davis scored 19 points in his third start of the season, and the Musketeers held the No. 21 Hoyas without a field goal for more than 11 minutes in the first half Tuesday night in a 66-53 victory that snapped a five-game road losing streak.
"It took us too long to finally get one," Davis said. "But we finally got one against a great team."
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," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "The hole was just too deep to climb out of."
Xavier coach Chris Mack said he was worried a bit about the visit to see Boehner (Class of ’77) because it made for a long day. Boehner posed for photos with the players, with everyone making the crossed-arms, clinched-fists "X" sign.
"I’m not big on politics," 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."
Sophomore guard Davis started two games last season and re-entered the starting five last week against Providence. He scored 16 against the Friars and followed up with 25 against DePaul.
"His confidence level is through the roof," Mack said. "He’s hitting big shots. He lost his confidence a lot last year. … He’s playing like a leader, and he’s only a sophomore. To me, he’s one of the most improved players in our conference."
Georgetown went 4 for 16 from the field with 13 turnovers in the first half. Jabril Trawick finished with six turnovers for the Hoyas, who stumbled for the second time against Xavier immediately after entering the Top 25. Georgetown had just moved in at No. 25 when it lost to the Musketeers on New Year’s Eve, a defeat that pushed the Hoyas out of the polls until this week.
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.
Xavier: The five-game road losing streak was the school’s longest since an eight-game skid in 1987, according to STATS.
Georgetown: The Hoyas made 13 of 24 free-throw attempts. … Trawick started despite bruising his right thigh in Saturday’s win at Marquette. … 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.
Xavier visits Seton Hall on Saturday.
Georgetown visits Creighton on Saturday.