OMAHA, Neb. (AP)Georgetown followed up what had been its biggest win of the season with an even bigger one.
Jahvon Blair scored 22 points to lead four Hoyas in double figures, and Georgetown used its best shooting in weeks to build a quick lead and beat No. 15 Creighton 86-79 on Wednesday night.
The Hoyas’ win, which came four nights after they rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Providence 73-72, was their first on the road this season. Creighton was the highest-ranked opponent coach Patrick Ewing has beaten in his four seasons.
”I’m not sure if it was my best win, but I loved it,” Ewing said. ”We beat a ranked team, a great team, and they’re very well-coached and we didn’t back down. They made runs at us but we didn’t let go of the rope. We kept on fighting and were able to come away with a huge win on the road.”
Georgetown (5-8, 3-5 Big East), a 13-point underdog, was playing its second game following a three-week layoff because of a COVID-19 outbreak. The break allowed the Hoyas to reset their season after a 2-8 start.
”I just think we exhaled,” Ewing said.
Georgetown entered the game as the second-worst shooting team in the Big East. The Hoyas hit 50% from the field, their best mark since Dec. 13 against St. John’s, and were 10 for 21 on 3s.
”I thought everybody did something positive to help us win, and hopefully this will be a signature win for us,” Ewing said. ”One of the things I talked to them about before the game is we had a great game versus Providence and we needed to continue to build on that, and I think we did that tonight.”
Creighton (13-5, 9-4) had won three straight, but the Bluejays were not sharp in any of them. They turned in another unpolished performance, and this time they couldn’t overcome it.
”We self-destructed,” Bluejays coach Greg McDermott said. ”We had 15 turnovers. We don’t turn it over, and Georgetown isn’t a team that forces a lot of turnovers. We didn’t have an answer for them defensively. We’ve been a pretty good team defensively and tonight that wasn’t the case.”
Blair made five 3-pointers, the biggest coming with 1:34 left when he banked one in from the wing as the shot clock was about to expire. That put the Hoyas up 79-70.
”Hey, look, any way I can get it I’m going to take it,” Ewing said. ”It was a great shot, a tough shot. Jahvon is one of our best shooters and I’m just happy it went in.”
Chudier Bile had 15 of his 17 points in the second half and Jamorko Pickett had four 3s and finished with 16 points. Qudus Wahab added 12 points.
Denzel Mahoney led the Bluejays with 22 points. Mitch Ballock added 16 points and Christian Bishop and Marcus Zegarowski had 14 apiece.
The Bluejays rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit to tie it at 44 on Zegarowski’s 3 early in the second half. Blair’s 3 the next trip down the court put the Hoyas ahead again, and they were up 67-57 on Bile’s steal and layup.
Bishop converted Zegarowski’s pass into a reverse dunk to pull the Bluejays within 72-66 and force Ewing to call a timeout with 4:39 left. The Bluejays got no closer.
Georgetown: The Hoyas are playing their best ball of the season. They never trailed after the first six minutes while ending a five-game losing streak against AP Top 25 opponents. The Hoyas won for the first time in five road games and beat the Bluejays in Omaha for the first time in six tries.
Creighton: The Bluejays shot under 50% for the fifth time in six games and Georgetown converted their 15 turnovers in 19 points.
The Bluejays wore white uniforms with pink trim and themed warmup tops for their 11th annual Pink Out. Those items and others were sold at a fan auction that raised $40,381 for breast cancer research. Creighton’s Pink Outs have raised more than $300,000 since starting in 2011. McDermott’s wife, Theresa, is a breast cancer survivor.
The Bluejays extended their streak of making at least one 3-pointer to 900 games. The last time they didn’t have a 3-point field goal was Feb. 20, 1993, against Illinois State.
Georgetown visits No. 3 Villanova on Sunday.
Creighton visits Marquette on Saturday.
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