WASHINGTON — Creighton entered its first meeting of the season against Georgetown seeking a winning formula without injured point guard Maurice Watson Jr.
The struggling Hoyas showed the 16th-ranked Bluejays no mercy.
L.J. Peak scored 20 points and Georgetown held Creighton to its lowest scoring game of the season in a 71-51 victory Wednesday night.
The Hoyas (11-10, 2-6 Big East) limited the Bluejays to 1 for 18 from 3-point range and 34.5 percent shooting overall. Creighton (18-3, 5-3) entered the game second in the country at 52.8 percent.
Now the Bluejays have dropped two straight without Watson. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in a victory over Xavier on Jan. 16. His 8.5 assists per game still tops all Division I players.
“Obviously we’re fighting a lot of adversity right now,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “We’ll find a lot about ourselves in the coming week or so. We’ve lost a good player.”
Justin Patton scored 20 points for the Bluejays, who lost 102-94 at home Saturday to Marquette.
The Hoyas had lost two straight and six of eight. Head coach John Thompson III expressed true sense of relief after the much-needed win.
“You’re going through a stretch like we’ve been going through — I’ve heard a lot of people do this, but I never have. But I just want to give God the credit and thank him for the win,” Thompson said with a smile.
The Bluejays lost to the Hoyas because they couldn’t make shots and didn’t stop Georgetown from doing the same during the latter stages of the first half and lost the battle of the boards.
Rodney Pryor’s electrifying first half included several dunks, two of his three 3-pointers and 15 points. Fueled by a 13-2 run, Georgetown led 39-27 at halftime.
“We just stopped executing and didn’t follow the scouting report,” Patton said of the first-half struggles.
The lead ballooned to as many as 22 points in the second half and the margin didn’t dip below 14 over the final 15:32.
The Hoyas outrebounded the Bluejays 47-36. Five players had at least five rebounds including guard Jonathan Mulmore in his first start of the season.
Without Watson, Creighton needs a collective effort for a team rebound.
“We’ve got some guys hurt. We’ve got some guys fighting the flu,” McDermott said. “We have to be able to corral that adversity and try to use it to our advantage.”
Creighton: Other than Patton, who made 9 of 13 shots, the Bluejays’ offense never found a rhythm in their second full game without Watson. Leading scorer Marcus Foster had 12 points, but went 0 of 4 from beyond the arc. Creighton ranked 10th nationally in 3-point shooting at 40.6 percent.
Georgetown: The Hoyas had lost nine of 10 to ranked opponents including four straight. The victory helped Georgetown avoid matching the program’s worst start in Big East play. “We were very, very engaged,” Thompson said. “As a unit, I thought we did maybe the best job we’ve done this year, maybe in a couple of years of the people off the ball anticipating what’s going to happen next.” During the 1998-99 season, the final one with coach John Thompson Jr., Georgetown started 1-7. Thompson, the father of the current Georgetown coach, retired after the Hoyas lost their first four conference games.
The victory was Georgetown’s first over any Big East team other than St. John’s and DePaul, two teams perennially at the bottom of the conference standings, since it defeated Creighton on Jan. 26, 2016.
Creighton returns home for the first of two regular season meetings against DePaul. The Bluejays enter with a four-game winning streak in the series.
Georgetown plays at No. 11 Butler on Saturday, its third straight game against a ranked opponent. In the first meeting on Jan. 7, freshman Jagan Mosely scored a career-high 20 points, but the Hoyas fell in overtime 85-76.
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