Butler vs. Georgetown: Beyond the box score

Kamar Baldwin dribbles through the Georgetown defense. Baldwin finished the game with 16 points, six rebounds, and seven assists. Photo by Jimmy Lafakis.

JOSHUA DOERING | ASST. SPORTS EDITOR | jdoering@butler.edu

The Butler men’s basketball team dropped its third straight game and second straight at home, this time to the Georgetown Hoyas. Butler’s defense struggled all game long in the 87-83 defeat. Another comeback effort came up short as the Hoyas were able to hold on. Here are three takeaways from the worst loss of the Bulldogs’ season to date.

Photos by Jimmy Lafakis. 

1. The defense isn’t good enough right now.

Any way you spin it, this was not a good defensive performance. Georgetown made eight of their first nine field goals and never looked back. The Hoyas shot 60 percent in the first half and 59 percent for the game. They also converted their 3-pointers at a 47 percent clip.  The 14 assists Georgetown recorded in the first half show that the Bulldogs simply weren’t providing enough resistance on the defensive end of the floor. This wasn’t a fluke.

After playing excellent defense during their winning streak, Butler has given up 271 points in their last three games. Granted, part of that has to do with the fact they played Xavier and Villanova, but this game was a chance to get the defense back on track. Instead, they let the Hoyas score nine points above their season average. If the Bulldogs are going to finish out the regular season strong, adjustments need to be made. The intensity is nowhere near where it was earlier in the season.

2. Paul Jorgensen is nowhere to be found. 

In his last three games, Jorgensen has scored a total of 13 points in 89 minutes. His field goal percentage in those games was 25 percent, a really scary number. Perhaps most frightening of all, the redshirt junior has made only one of his last 13 3-point attempts. Against Georgetown, Jorgensen was held scoreless in the first half and finished with six points on 3-for-9 shooting.

Jorgensen is the third leading scorer on this team by a significant margin. When he is struggling this much, Butler is in a really tough position. Either Kelan Martin and Kamar Baldwin need to play out of their minds, or someone else has to step up. While that has happened on multiple occasions this season, this team can only last so long before Jorgensen’s ineffectiveness comes back to hurt them in a big way. He is Butler’s X-factor, there’s no doubt about it.

3. This was a bad loss with potentially serious consequences.

Butler got outplayed at home by a team that was 4-9 in the Big East and 14-10 overall. The Big East is as deep as any conference in the country but protecting home court and winning the games against the teams in the bottom part of the Big East are crucial. These are the kind of games you simply have to find a way to win, especially near the end of the season. The Bulldogs weren’t able to get it done.

Butler now has a bad loss on their resume. Time will tell just how big of a deal this loss will be, but the Bulldogs need to turn things around fast. Another loss at home to Providence on Saturday and things could get really sticky. Butler is still in good shape to make the NCAA tournament, but their margin of error is getting thinner and thinner. There are still plenty of winnable games left. The Bulldogs need to take advantage.

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