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A Microcosm: Georgetown Takes Marquette to Overtime, Loses 90-86

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Hoyas One Bullet Short Against Golden Eagles’ Sharp Shooters

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Georgetown Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Your Georgetown Heart Attack Hoyas are here to take years off your life. The fighting Hoyas fell behind by double digits, went up by double digits, and nearly gave it all back, all before the half. Georgetown and Marquette engaged in a wild shootout Monday night that went and kept on going into overtime. Jessie Govan led the Hoyas with a stout 23-9-5 line and Jonathan Mulmore matched a career high with 15 points, including a hyper speed bucket to force overtime. Ultimately, stout interior offense and plenty of shooting from the outside couldn’t quite keep pace with the Golden Eagles’ flame throwing, as Marquette emerged victorious, 90-86.

Monday night was Georgetown’s final home game of the season, and its best chance at an additional regular season victory before heading to the Big East Tournament next week. As with much of the past five weeks, the Hoyas showed improvement, playing to their strengths down low offensively while generally holding their own defensively. But as with each of the previous two outings in the season-ending home stand, Georgetown came up just a bit short. This time, the cause was Marquette’s shooting, which the Golden Eagles used to exploit even the smallest opening to find net, again and again.

Coming off a hard-fought game against Providence Saturday, Georgetown looked a little flat at the jump. Marquette has a deep stable of shooters and started finding them early, hitting sophomore forward Sam Hauser for a trio of early three-pointers that helped put the Golden Eagles up 27-17. The Hoyas’ defense, particularly Hauser’s counterpart Marcus Derrickson, was strained early and often covering the pick-and-pop, as Marquette’s sweet-shooting big man scurried to the corner or above the break for open triples.

Outrageous shooting displays, even from Marquette, aren’t necessarily built to last, and, after starting the game 10 of 12 from the field, the Golden Eagles started to lose steam just as Georgetown locked in defensively. The Hoyas proceeded to peel off a 26-4 run that turned a 10-point deficit into an even bigger lead. Govan, who has played within the arc for much of the season, stepped back for a pair of triples. Mulmore, who hasn’t looked for his shot much in conference play, attacked the defensively challenged Marquette back-court, getting to the rim repeatedly.

Lest Hoya fans get comfortable, though, things started to slip before the half. Marquette point guard and general antagonist Andrew Rowsey answered back, burying an NBA-depth three, then losing Mulmore in the corner for another triple, before burying a third trey in transition as the halftime buzzer sounded.

Leads, especially the half-time variety, have been tenuous in the hands of this Georgetown team, and Monday was no exception. Marquette guard Markus Howard and then Hauser hit threes to tie the game up, and soon a game of wild swings turned into a nip-and-tuck affair down the stretch. Georgetown went up 6, and looked in control, when a couple of marginal foul calls on Marcus Derrickson sent him to the bench. By the time he came back, a 19-8 Golden Eagle run had turned the tables.

As we’ve learned this season, 8 minutes remaining is no time to switch off a Hoya game, and that’s when Derrickson returned, with the Hoyas down 5. Javon Blair, a quick trigger if ever there was one to counteract Marquette’s deep bombers, hit a three-pointer. Blair buried a trio of bombs on the evening en route to 16 needed points. Trey Dickerson, exploiting Rowseys, er, shortcomings on the defensive end, echoed with another triple to put the Hoyas ahead.

Progress against Marquette comes in fits and spurts, and soon it was time for the Golden Eagles to answer. Hauser hit a three—the road Warriors’ 17th of the evening!!—to put them back up. Govan scored a pair of buckets down low, but it was only enough to keep pace. With a tie game and under a minute to play, Hauser went to work, facing up Jagan Mosely and burying a difficult, step-back jumper to put Marquette up 2 with 4 seconds to play. As surprising as Hauser’s impressive shot was, what happened next almost immediately erased memory of it.

Speed has rarely been a word associated with Georgetown in recent years. For a brief few ticks, Mulmore embodied that quality. Grabbing the ball off the inbounds, he raced up the court, needing to get to the rim before the horn sounded. The sixth-year senior, in his last home game after an odyssey of a college career beset by injuries and various junior college stops, knifed down the lane, all length and velocity, laying the ball in as time expired to force overtime.

End game situations, particularly overtimes, have not been kind to the Hoyas this season. Monday, unfortunately, was no different. Marquette’s shooting on the evening — 18 of 31 from deep, including a pair from a back-up center who had hit just 2 all season — was something to behold, the mix of good offense, occasionally suspect defense, and WTF shotmaking that is rare even for the Golden Eagles. In overtime, Rowsey buried the 18th of these makes, which was very much allowed by the defense. Jagan Mosely inexplicably left Rowsey to double Hauser, who kicked the ball to Marquette’s pest for the go-head triple. Rowsey hit free throws down the stretch — part of nine straight to end the game — that sealed the win for the Golden Eagles.

After the game, Georgetown Head Coach Patrick Ewing summed it up, saying “We have got a long way to go. We need to start winning these [close] games. When we go up double figures, we need to continue to add on, not regress. We continue to regress.”

Twenty-seven games in, that’s where we are. Truly lousy teams don’t get up game after game in one of the most competitive conferences in America. And truly good teams close out those wins. Georgetown is in the middle, winning some, losing more, and hopefully trending for the better. The Hoyas have led at the half of each of their last six games, and were within a bucket at Xavier. They’ve won just 2 of those 7 games, but a small twist of fate here or there could cast this recent stretch in a much different light. The Hoyas still have a couple of games before this season is set in stone, and will enter that last week seeking a final win or two.

Hoya Saxa.

(Shoutout to a Wizard at Hoya Prospectus for his invaluable insight on tonight’s game.)