The American came back from a 16-point deficit to overturn crosstown rival Georgetown, 74-70beating the Hoyas for the first time since 1982, when Ewing was a star sophomore at Georgetown.
Now Ewing coaches the Hoyas (3-3), and the result — along with last week’s loss to Loyola Marymount — will only serve to raise doubts about the state of the program in the wake of last season’s disastrous 6-25 campaign that ended in a 21-game winning streak.
For the Eagles (3-2), after coming off a 10-22 season, the victory led Brennan’s players to put him out in a postgame celebration.
“Moments like this are few and far between for a lot of shows,” Brennan said. “So, hopefully we can make use of him. I’m happy for the group. They’ve worked since they got here. … They stuck with it as a group, stuck together. So I’m glad they are able to celebrate a moment like this.”
The American has only one winning season since 2016.
For Ewing, who at 71-87 is in his sixth season since taking over at his alma mater, the loss is the latest setback in a rocky start. Ewing reconfigured his coaching staff during the offseason and brought in 10 new entrants to create a fresh start for a program seeking a return to national prominence. It doesn’t.
“Things will happen in a year,” Ewing said. “Hopefully by the end of the year, we’ll look back on these setbacks and laugh. But right now I’m not laughing.”
“You can’t begin to drop ship. We’ve got a lot of games to go. At some point everyone has to look at themselves and figure out what they’re doing right or wrong in order for the team to do a better job. We’ve had long conversations. Sometimes a conversation needs to Stop. It’s about getting out there and getting the job done.”
The Eagles led by 16 points over Johnny O’Neal. Geoff Sprouse added 15 and Jaxon Knotek shrank at 14.
Primo Spurs led Georgetown with 15 points and six assists, but the base guard also notched five turnovers. Akok Akok scored 14 points and Jay Heath 10.
Here’s what else you should know about losing Georgetown:
Ewing’s anger sparks a run
The anxiety started early on as Ewing’s anger reverberated throughout the arena (he advertised for a crowd of 3,267) as he lashed out at his team less than eight minutes into the game. The Hoyas trailed 11-10 at the time, and the coach ripped his players off during an intermission.
His anger seemed to reap the benefits. The Hoyas came out of that timeout and went on a 19-2 run, sparked by Ryan Mutombo using his length advantage over the smaller Eagles with a hook and a layup before closing out the half with a return. Georgetown took a 40-30 lead at the break.
The American got back into the game, shooting 59.3% from the field in the second half. Not only did the Eagles find their range, they got to the edge after cutting the back and penetrating the dribble. The Hoyas shot 25 percent after halftime and pulled back on a 14-3 Eagles run that put Georgetown in the six-point hole at 61-55.
“We’ve been working all year on this, just making these kind of wins,” O’Neal said. “The energy from the bench and everyone on the court was tremendous. And it just helped us build on it. Especially in the second half, we started running and had that support off the bench, it kind of added a little bit of motivation to hear those guys cheer and know you’re not alone.” there “.
Ewing was asked after the game about the pressure he faces leading a program struggling to get off the right foot after last season’s disaster.
“Pressure is life. You go through stress every single day in life,” Ewing said. “There are people living on the streets trying to find food. This is pressure. Our parents get up at 5 in the morning, get to their jobs and try to provide for them – that’s stress. Yes, we talk about pressure in sports, but this isn’t real pressure.
“We all have to do what we need to do to be successful, and yeah, to get Georgetown back where I think we need to be. But sometimes you’re going to have bumps in the road. Now we have bumps in the road, and it’s all about how you handle those bumps.” Are we going to put our heads down, or are we going to be like rats and run away from the sinking ship? Or are we going to step up and get the job done? We’ve got guys who can get up and get the job done. We just have to fix the things we’re doing in the second half of the games to be able to do what we need to do. with it “.
Georgetown guard Brandon Murray missed the game with a lower body injury. The 6-foot-5 Germantown, Maryland sophomore has started each of the first five games, leading the team in assists (4.4) and finishing second in scoring (15.4).
The American was without the main scorer Colin Smalls. The junior guard averages 11.7 points.