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LINKS: Xavier Out-Muscles Georgetown with 48 Points in the Paint

Ewing’s squad wasn’t ready to see two big men, Haskins and Jones, together... as Steele forecasted.

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NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Xavier Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgetown Hoyas lost to the Xavier Musketeers in Cincinnati. Here are the links. Read them for catharsis or masochism or something.

Govan’s 27 Not Enough as Men’s Basketball Falls to Xavier | GEORGETOWNVOICE

The Georgetown men’s basketball team (11-5, 1-2 Big East) could not hold onto a halftime lead against Xavier (10-7, 2-2 Big East), and fell, 81-75...

The Hoyas were up by as many as 17 points in the first half, but could not maintain their advantage due to poor shooting and rebounding.The Hoyas were unable to keep up their hot shooting from early in the game, as they went 3-of-14 from deep in the second half after going 7-of-13 in the first. Georgetown was also dominated on the glass in the second half. They had just ten rebounds to Xavier’s 20 and allowed Hankins and Jones to have their way inside, with the pair combining for eight offensive rebounds in the second half.

How a fiery timeout helped Xavier erase a 17-point deficit to beat Georgetown | CINCINNATI

The Musketeers answered their coach like the rest of the season hung in the balance. And maybe it did...

When Steele got fiery in that huddle, he saw a look from his players that told him they would be alright in what Steele said was the toughest performance from his team this entire season...

Xavier settled down, went to its two-three zone and started to wage war in the paint, and the paint is where Xavier won the game. That, and a four-turnover performance that Steele said he’ll take every time his team takes the floor.

For the first time this season, Xavier’s big men – Tyrique Jones and Zach Hankins – played together at the same time.

Down by 17, Xavier rallies for 81-75 win over Georgetown | FOXSPORTS (AP)

The Musketeers (10-7, 2-2 Big East) have won six in a row and nine of 10 against the Hoyas (11-5, 1-2), who were missing two starters. With the Musketeers trailing by 17 late in the first half, Hankins had a fast-break dunk and a reverse layup that sparked a 17-point run. Jones’ 3-point play completed the run and tied it at 39-39.

Jones finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Hankins and Jones are the Musketeers’ only post players. Coach Travis Steele has been reluctant to play them together, fearing they’d get in foul trouble. He gave them a chance on Wednesday and it worked out nicely. “That’s the first time you’ve seen it,” Jones said, noting they’ve played together in practice. “It definitely felt great. We’ve been in coach’s ear trying to stay on the floor, both of us at the same time. Today we proved we can both stay on the floor.”

Paul Scruggs made a pair of free throws and a layup as Xavier pulled ahead by seven points and didn’t trail again. Scruggs finished with 10 points.

Xavier picks up victory over Georgetown | BIGEASTCOASTBIAS

To Georgetown’s credit, they didn’t fold after giving up the lead. They stayed competitive and the teams traded the lead throughout the first ten minutes of the second half. Once Xavier took a 55-54 lead on Elias Harden’s second three-pointer of the evening, they never looked back, turning that into a 9-0 run and never letting Georgetown get closer than three points for the rest of the evening.

Zach Hankins had a career night for the Musketeers. In the first half, he was one of the only Xavier players playing well, scoring 10 of the team’s first 19 points. He continued to get better as the night went on and finished with a career-high 23 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double in his time at Xavier. Tyrique Jones also had a double-double, with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Georgetown was unable to stop Xavier down low, leading to 48 points in the paint for the Musketeers.

NB: Really, Ewing? Flashback (from Steele’s press conference, featured here):

With their backs to the wall against Georgetown, Xavier figured out who they are | BANNERSONTHEPARKWAY

Xavier was 1-8 from deep when Travis Steele’s clipboard died. In the nearly 24 minutes of basketball that ensued, they shot just 5 more threes. Georgetown came into the game surrendering the arc but with a solid interior defense and - in Jesse Govan and Josh LeBlanc - two of the best big men in the conference. Xavier just didn’t care.

Coach Steele started Zach Hankins and Tyrique Jones together for the first time all season, sending the message from the jump that he trusted his double pivot to be the focus of the game. The next 40 minutes - and especially the final 20 - would be vindication for the coach’s confidence, as they combined to shoot 15-23/0-0/12-14 on the way to 42/20/4 with 3 blocks and just 1 turnover. That’s a dominant performance.

Paul Daugherty: Xavier is growing up, but how much and how fast? | CINCINNATI

Hankins ruled the first half, Jones the 2nd. The big pair combined to make 15 of 23 field goals, score 42 points and grab 20 rebounds. One can only imagine what Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing, defender deluxe in his playing days, thought as he watched his bigs get trucked by Hankins and Jones.

(How Ewing could watch this game and not play any zone is a question for the Washington writers. “They (XU) got 48 points in the paint,’’ Ewing noted. And very little resistance.)

Men’s Basketball vs Georgetown | GOXAVIER

Zach Hankins led the Musketeers with a career-high 23 points, shooting 10-of-14 from the floor. Tyrique Jones finished with 19 points, matching his career high, after going 9-of-9 from the free throw line.

Hankins and Jones, who started together for the first time this season, helped Xavier dominate the points in the 48-28. Hankins and Jones each also grabbed 10 rebounds, as Xavier held a 36-32 advantage on the boards.

NB: Great photo, but ... tough night.

Markus Howard’s 53 points overshadowed by controversy in Marquette win at Creighton | SPORTS.YAHOO

In a season full of unbelievable performances by the 19-year old junior, this was as incredible as any of them. Howard scored those 53 points on 15-for-26 shooting. He was 10-for-14 from three. 14 of those 53 points came in overtime, including the first 11 that Marquette scored in the extra period in just 2:30. Should I mention that he also finished with six assists?

As incredible as Howard was, it was the sixth of his assists on the night that is going to dominate the conversation in Omaha for the next couple of days, because Marquette may have been given the gift of a game-tying three.

So there was a great game on CBS Sports Network while the Hoyas blew a 17-point lead on FS1. No justice.

Well, what else can fans do?