WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 4: Darius Johnson-Odom #1 of the Marquette Golden Eagles shots is blocked by Henry Sims #14 and Jabril Trawick #55 of the Georgetown Hoays during a college basketball game on January 4, 2012 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Just when we thought this season couldn't get more awesome, Georgetown decided to erase a 17 point deficit and beat Marquette in a 73-70 thriller at the Verizon Center. The Hoyas' three upperclassmen - Jason Clark, Henry Sims, and Hollis Thompson - were sensational in the victory. Thompson showed that he remains a closer, with his second game winning three pointer of the season. He finished with 16 points on 6-7 shooting from the field. Clark was the best player on the floor, singlehandedly keeping the Hoyas in the game for much of the second half and finishing with 26 points and 6 rebounds. Sims took over late in the game, dominating on both the offensive and defensive ends, finishing with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals.
After The Jump, VICTORY.The upperclassmen shouldn't overshadow the immense impact that our freshmen had on this game. Otto Porter was his usual scintillating self, and it was the contributions from Greg Whittington, Jabril Trawick, and Mikael Hopkins that helped keep Georgetown in the game. Down 17 with 13 minutes left, John Thompson III went to a lineup of the four freshmen and Clark, which started the rally that ultimately ended in the most epic Georgetown comeback since Austin Freeman singlehandedly defeated UConn in 2009-2010.
Whittington, of all the freshmen, really impressed tonight. His defense on Darius Johnson-Odom changed the complexion of the game. It is an incredible asset to have a 6'9" shooting guard on the floor that can defend three positions. His length, coupled with Porter and Thompson, caused the Marquette swingmen fits down the stretch.
Georgetown has now won 11 straight games, the longest winning streak since the 2006-2007 season, which resulted in a Final Four appearance. I'm just sayin'. This season remains very young, but the poise that this team has exhibited in wins over Alabama, Memphis, Marquette, Louisville, and Providence is well beyond what should be expected of a roster comprised of 10 underclassmen.
More than anything, what I love about this team is that different players make huge contributions on different nights. In the victory over Louisville, it was Markel Starks scoring 20 points and Trawick keeping us in the game in the first half. Tonight those two players combined for 2 points. In the Louisville game, Thompson, Clark and Sims combined for 24 points. Tonight the three of them scored 55 of 73 points. In addition, JT3 seems to be having the most fun he's had in a few years, even fist pumping after Marquette missed their last three point attempt and high fiving Trawick for good measure. His coaching performance this year makes him the early favorite for National Coach of the Year.
The Hoyas now sit at 13-1 overall and 3-0 in Big East play, with another massive challenge coming Saturday against West Virginia and then Monday against Cincinnati. With Duke losing tonight at Temple and Providence down two at half against Syracuse, this could be one of the most satisfying nights in a long time.
West Virginia is next.