The Georgetown Hoyas (12-7, 2-4) dropped a close one to the Marquette Golden Eagles (13-5, 3-3) on Saturday afternoon, 84-80. It might be easy to focus on the normally free-throw-successful Mac McClung missing the first of two foul shots with 10 seconds left, but not being able to slow down Markus Howard (42 points, 14-31 FG, 6-14 3PT) was the true lynchpin. In fact, Howard scored 28 of Marquette’s 42 second-half points.
The Hoyas outscored the Golden Eagles 44-42 in the latter half, and shot 15 for 33 from the field and 6-11 from three-point range. However, with some foul trouble, Yurtseven lost a bit of rhythm, McClung’s legs looked less strong, and GU’s ball movement wasn’t quite as smooth. But the offensive woes of the last few minutes pale in comparison to the defensive struggles for 40 minutes.
In a game where the Hoyas gave up 84 points—half of which came from a single dude—criticism of Georgetown’s shot selection seems pointless. A tournament-worthy team has to be able to defend, especially at home.
The Big East has its share of Howards, Powells, Zegarowskis, Beys, Baldwins, Diallos and Moores who can catch fire and, spoiler alert, each team uses picks and weaves to create space and mismatches. Georgetown under Patrick Ewing has not proven that they can douse the flames. Whether the effort issues stem from foul-trouble or rubber legs, strategy for hedging on screens needs to improve and perimeter defense can’t be an afterthought.
Having your two top talents score 20+ in an 80-point performance at home is clearly not enough to win in this conference this year.
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In an electric atmosphere, Georgetown (12-6, 2-3 Big East) and Marquette (12-5, 2-3 Big East) competed in Big East play this Saturday. Despite strong play from Georgetown’s senior center Ömer Yurtseven and an impressive 50 percent shooting percentage from three, the Hoyas faltered in offensive rebounds. Yurtseven, who had only made one 3-pointer so far this season, was 2-of-3 from deep, and notched yet another double-double on 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Mac McClung led the Hoyas in scoring with 24 points, and also grabbed six boards. The lack of rebounding gave Marquette’s senior guard Markus Howard an opportunity to score a game-high 42 points and lead his team to an 84-80 victory. Marquette redshirt senior guard Sacar Anim and Yurtseven both came out strong to start the game, with Yurtseven making two 3-pointers and finishing an alley-oop from McClung.
For a while there, it appeared as if Georgetown’s plan for Howard, such as it was, might work. The Marquette star started 3-of-11 from the field, and finished the first half with 14 points on 13 shots, a generally favorable ratio for the Hoyas. (That four of those 13 shots were made 3s, of course, is part of the problem: If Howard, who is shooting 42 percent from 3 this season, is hitting even a couple of deep looks, the cost-benefit analysis evens out in a hurry.) In any case, Georgetown forward Omer Yurtseven matched that tally in the first half despite shooting just six times.
At the same time, Georgetown still wasn’t reliably getting stops. An offense that ranks 16th in the country in adjusted efficiency kept pace throughout the game, but the Hoyas’ defense — which has now allowed 1.09 points per trip in Big East play, good for last in the league — couldn’t keep Marquette’s supporting pieces, particularly Sacar Amin, off the board either.
Ewing cited struggles with pick-and-roll defense as the difference today.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) January 18, 2020
Doesn't allow for excuses with 7-man situation. "The calvary isn't coming over the hill."
That said, Hoyas didn't practice much since Wednesday's win because guys played heavy minutes.
Omer Yurtseven, who was great for GU with 22 points on 9-for-17 shooting to go with 11 rebounds, blocked a Sacar Anim attempt at the rim..... but the ball bounced off his calf and out of bounds. Markus Howard scored with a three off the ensuing inbounds, and Marquette fiiiiiinally, with 1:21 to go had a lead, 79-76, that they would not give away. And yet, it wasn’t over. Pickett made a layup, and then Howard only hit the front end of his foul shots after drawing a call against Terrell Allen with 28 seconds to go. Brendan Bailey maaaaaaaybe fouled McClung, but McClung only hit his second throw, and Georgetown was forced to foul while trailing by one with 10 seconds left.
“Markus, do something!” went the sarcastic early taunt from a joking Georgetown fan, after Howard started his first couple minutes in DC relative quietly.— Eamonn Brennan (@eamonnbrennan) January 19, 2020
He finished with 42 points on 31 shots. https://t.co/6S4KsjXeIc
Howard ended the game with an impressive 42 points on 14-for-31 shooting, with 28 of those points coming in the second half...
McClung was fouled by Bailey while shooting a jumper with just ten seconds left in the game. The Hoyas were down by two, but McClung missed the first and made the second, leaving the Golden Eagles lead at one. From there, the Hoyas intentionally fouled and Marquette was able to knock down the free throws to close out the game, despite the team going just 14-20 from the free-throw line including four uncharacteristic misses from the line for Markus Howard.
One big factor in Marquette’s offense was the lack of turnovers. The Golden Eagles did not turn the ball over once from the eight-minute mark in the first half until just under three minutes to go in the second half. They had just six turnovers for the game.
”The difference is that we didn’t do a good job on the pick and roll. One, the guards are looking for the pick and roll; two, the bigs didn’t get up in time to show or help. He was either driving away or splitting or driving around or we just were not there. They’re a good team, [Markus Howard] is a good player and we can’t give him everything.” - Head Coach Patrick Ewing ...
Jagan Mosely and Jamorko Pickett added 11 and 10 points, respectively, to round out those in double figures. Mosely and Terrell Allen each had five assists to pace the offense.
Georgetown shot 50.8 percent (15-26) for the game, including a 50.0 percent (9-18) effort from 3-point land, while holding the Golden Eagles to 46.9 percent (30-64) and 37.0 percent (10-27) from beyond the arc. The Blue & Gray was narrowly outrebounded 36-33.
holy defense optional Batman— Anonymous Eagle (@AnonymousEagle) January 18, 2020
final points per possession
Marquette - 1.27
Georgetown - 1.21#mubb
The Golden Eagles (13-5, 3-3 BIG EAST) also used 13 points from Sacar Anim and a near double-double from Jayce Johnson (eight points and seven rebounds) to even their conferene record through six games. Marquette used some clutch free throw shooting down to stretch to hold off the Hoyas, who shot 50 percent from the floor (30-of-59). Both teams were fairly efficient on the day as the Golden Eagles shot 46.9 percent from the field and only turned the ball over six times.
What Georgetown (12-7, 2-4) did give up were rebounds. On paper, Marquette’s edge on the boards looked minimal: It outrebounded the Hoyas 36-33. But too many of those were crucial offensive boards. The Golden Eagles had 13 offensive rebounds to Georgetown’s nine and led 17-8 in second-chance points — exactly the type of buckets that appeared to sap energy from an already short Hoyas rotation...
“When you play a team like this, we can’t give them 13 offensive rebounds for 17 points,” Ewing said. “We have to do a much better job of boxing out. . . . That’s another weak period we lost the game in. We have to step up, we have to make our free throws, and guys have to make shots. . . . It’s a little bit of everything.”
Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing said his bigs weren’t arriving in time to provide the help defense on pick-and-rolls.
“(Howard) was either driving away or splitting or driving around or we just were not there,” Ewing said...
The Hoyas didn’t try to face-guard Howard, which so far this season has proven to be the only way to slow him down... That’s not to say the Hoyas didn’t give their best effort. Graduate transfer Terrell Allen drew the primary defensive assignment and coaxed him into missing a few shots in transition. Mosely took him on at points throughout the game. Howard just found ways to beat them.
“I think they were showing a lot on ball screens, so you know, just trying to read off that,” Howard said. “(At times) I could have settled for a three but I wanted to make sure I was getting to the teeth of the defense. I’m not really known for shooting mid-range jump shots a lot, so teams don’t really expect me to shoot that. When I was coming off the screens I was able to read those and able to get those shots off.”