Basketball

Hoyas’ Big East losing skid hits record 25 games

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Georgetown set a dubious Big East record on Wednesday, losing its 25th straight regular-season conference game to break a tie with DePaul for the longest such streak in the history of the league.

The Hoyas were tied with Villanova at halftime but were outscored by 16 in the second half en route to a 73-57 loss. Primo Spears, Georgetown’s leading scorer at 16 points per game, was held to eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Georgetown has lost six straight games to fall to 5-11 on the season, 0-5 in the Big East. The Hoyas lost all 19 of their regular-season Big East games last season while going 6-25 overall, including a 21-game losing streak. They also lost their final regular-season Big East game in 2020-21, before going on a surprising four-game run at Madison Square Garden in New York to claim the conference tournament title. That allowed the team to make its lone NCAA tournament appearance during coach Patrick Ewing’s tenure.

Georgetown’s last regular-season Big East win came on March 2, 2021, a victory at home over Xavier.

Ewing is now 73-95 during his six years in charge of his alma mater, and just 26-68 in regular-season Big East play.

Hours before the game against Villanova, Georgetown athletic director Lee Reed acknowledged it was a “frustrating time” for the program.

“We recognize this is a challenging and frustrating time for the men’s basketball team and our fans,” Reed said in an emailed statement to the Associated Press, issued in response to a request for an interview. “Coach Ewing understands that it is imperative to get the program back on track and no one is more committed than he is to making that happen.”

After Wednesday’s game, which Georgetown president Jack DeGioia attended, Ewing was asked about his job status and the direction of the program.

“I’m here to talk about the game. My future is my future,” Ewing replied. “I’ll be the head coach at Georgetown until the president or the board decides for me to move on. … You know, a friend of mine sent me a quote today: ‘It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get up.’ We got knocked down, so all we’re going to do is keep on getting up.”

Toward the end of last season, Ewing received a vote of confidence from Reed, with the athletic director saying the school was “committed to Coach Ewing, and we are working with him to evaluate every aspect of the men’s basketball program and to make the necessary changes to put us back on the path to success for next year.”

This is Ewing’s first head-coaching job at any level — he worked as an assistant in the NBA after his Hall of Fame playing career ended — and he signed a six-year contract when he was hired by Georgetown in 2017. After the Hoyas reached the NCAA tournament in 2021, Ewing received an extension that reportedly fully guarantees his contract through 2026.

Ewing’s roster has seen repeated turnover because of students transferring away from Georgetown, and before the start of this season, he overhauled his staff by replacing all three assistants and brought in several transfer players, including Spears, who came over from Duquesne.

“I’m a very prideful person, and Georgetown is a very prideful university,” Ewing said at his postgame news conference Wednesday, “and we don’t want to be associated with a losing streak, but it is what it is.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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