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Saturday’s victory, in which the Hoyas erased an eight-point deficit over the final 13 minutes, was undoubtedly the best of the bunch considering what was at stake. The Hoyas, who had fallen from third to seventh in the crowded middle of the Big East with the loss to DePaul, will head to New York with a renewed sense of confidence.
“We knew this was a big game for us,” McClung said. “This could really be a big detriment to our season if we lost this game. We’ve got to keep going, and we’ve got to get a lot better, and we’ve got to be a lot more focused in the Big East tournament.”
Georgetown appeared headed for disaster following an embarrassing loss to DePaul. But after the Hoyas knocked off No. 16 Marquette, their NCAA hopes are alive. My Washington Post dispatch from Milwaukee. https://t.co/CIBK53wWcZ— Jeff Arnold (@JeffArnold_) March 10, 2019
“James (Akinjo) didn’t play his best game the first time we played them, made some key mistakes,” Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing said. “But I thought he grew from them. In the first half, he started reverting back to mistakes that he made in that game. I got on him a little bit, but I thought that he showed that he’s growing up.” ...
“We had a great win today and it would be a shame if we don’t follow it up on Thursday with another great performance. So, we have to build on it,” Ewing said.
James Akinjo ... PG for Georgetown is the toughest point guard in the country— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) March 9, 2019
“James Akinjo ... PG for Georgetown is the toughest point guard in the country,” Lillard tweeted as Georgetown finished off the win, high praise from one of the NBA’s best point guards.
Akinjo did it all for the Hoyas Saturday, pulling down five rebounds and dishing out five assists to go along with his 25 points, which included a pair of clutch free throws with 10 seconds left.
James Akinjo fan club saw an increase today pic.twitter.com/S0mbF7FozD— Shoot The Jay (@SportsManCave) March 9, 2019
MU and Georgetown traded blows in the final few minutes of the game. But thanks in part to two free throws by James Akinjo with 10 seconds remaining, the Hoyas went up by four to help put the game out of reach. Markus Howard hit a 3-pointer, with three seconds to go, but the effort was still futile. Jamorko Pickett knocked one free throw down with two seconds remaining, and MU couldn’t get the job done after that.
James Akinjo drops team-high 25 points in Georgetown’s win over No. 16 Marquette | FOX Sports ; Gotta hand it to the Hoyas young guards this afternoon. They were relentless! https://t.co/rNoxmYADpu— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) March 10, 2019
It all looked like it was going so well. Even though Las Vegas had Marquette -10 coming in, the first half didn’t trend in that direction. MU needed an ultra-cold three-pointer buzzer beater from Sam Hauser to have a 39-37 lead at halftime, but that lead was gone less than four minutes into the second half. A flurry of three-pointers seemed to tilt things towards the Golden Eagles, especially with the second two coming from little used freshman Brendan Bailey. When you get a guy taking advantage of his opportunity knocking down big shots for you, things are going in your favor.
RECAP: The freshmen star in the huge away win as Akinjo and McClung combine for 48 points. https://t.co/q9HW3JgqSM— Voice Sports (@GUVoiceSports) March 10, 2019
“James Akinjo played his butt off,” Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing said.
Howard led MU with 28 points, but he did so at an inefficient 8-for-25 clip.
“I don’t think you can stop (Howard). He’s an outstanding player, but I think James Akinjo took the challenge for pretty much the whole game,” Ewing said. “Then Jagan Mosely did his part. … You have to throw a lot of bodies on him, and we have the ability to do that, especially with thos two guys.”
Georgetown 86, Marquette 84: Four-game skid to end regular season more to come by @BenSteeleMJS @MUHoops @MarquetteMBB @GeorgetownHoops @GeorgetownHoyas https://t.co/9rT6QaR8TS pic.twitter.com/mQ2OTLHHll— Mark Hoffman (@MJSphotog) March 9, 2019
“We got to try to figure it out,” MU coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “Regardless, when your offense isn’t going the way you want it to, you got to play defense.
”And I thought their freshman guards just had their way with us. Credit to them, they hit tough shots; not all of them were easy. But you can’t let a backcourt come in here and score 50.”
Georgetown freshman guards Mac McClung and James Akinjo combine for 48 points in the win over Marquette. Neither are expected to enter the draft this June, but both show tremendous promise going forward. pic.twitter.com/quqzEZAQ8a— Draft Lead (@DraftLead) March 9, 2019
Freshman phenoms James Akinjo and Mac McClung paced Georgetown with 25 points and 23 points respectively...
If we learned one thing Saturday afternoon, it is that James Akinjo will not be intimidated by anyone. Staring down perhaps the most prolific scorer in the nation in Markus Howard, Akinjo was constantly in Howard’s airspace, forcing the Big East’s leading scoring to work for each of his 25 shot attempts.
Year 6 is complete in the New Big East Round Robin— Retire FiftyTu (@RetireFiftyTu) March 10, 2019
Villanova: 90-18 (.833)
Xavier: 66-42 (.611)
Creighton: 56-52 (.519)
Butler: 54-54 (.500)
Seton Hall: 53-55 (.491)
Marquette: 52-56 (.481)
Georgetown: 46-62 (.426)
St. John’s: 40-68 (.370)
DePaul: 25-83 (.231)
The thing I was most impressed about today with Georgetown is that (and maybe this is due to the youth aspect of the team) the young players completely got the DePaul game out of their minds. Moreover, the game got close in the last few minutes – and the Hoyas did not fade – they found a way to win.
James Akinjo and Mac McClung (has father played football at Virginia Tech) scored 23 and 25 points, respectively (Marquette had no answer for their slashing drives to the hoop).
Furthermore, Georgetown - a 37.1% 3-point team on the season - shot a blistering 57.9% this afternoon. McClung was 2-3, Akinjo 5-8. Some were well defended, others weren’t. (3/5)— The Marquette Podcast (@RealChillyPod) March 10, 2019
Prior to this matchup, Marquette led the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal percentage defense, only allowing opponents to shoot 31.7 percent from beyond the arc.
But against the Hoyas, the Golden Eagles couldn’t stop freshmen Mac McClung and James Akinjo from 3-point range...
The two guards combined shooting 7 for 11 from 3-point range. The rest of the team was 4 for 8 from 3-point range.