Your Georgetown Hoyas (6-20, 1-14) hosted the #10 Marquette Golden Eagles (20-6, 12-3) at Capital One Arena today, giving up their second meeting to this squad by a score of 89-75. Jay Heath (18 pts) and Bryson Mozone (11pts) led the scoring, Akok Akok added 10 points alongside 5 blocks, and Ezewiro put in a second consecutive strong performance, with 7 points and 9 rebounds. The balanced and diverse offensive threat posed by Marquette rendered all of this a moot point; effective defense against an individual player simply meant that another threat got activated, and giving up 15 three-pointers is not a recipe for victory.
Qudus Wahab was out today for personal reasons (or other rumors) so Ezewiro got his first (ever?) start after his 19-point outing this past Wednesday against Providence. The Golden Eagles were ranked #10 in the country this week having won five of their last six, with their most recent matchup a loss at #21 UCONN on Tuesday night. Georgetown’s inauspicious recent performance needs not be dwelt upon. If you’re still reading this you don’t need me to twist that knife, though their uncanny ability to cover the betting line may have dried a few tears of late.
Once again it took a handful of possessions before either team found their way through the hoop, with Mitchell getting the Golden Eagles on the board first. Primo Spears was fouled while driving to the basket and made both of his free throws, in a hopeful sign of the Hoyas’ ability to keep it close with a stronger performance from the line. Ezewiro’s scoring ways carried overwith a dunk assisted by Heath.
An early gut punch for the Hoyas came after what began as a highlight defensive sequence, with an authoritative block from Akok seeming to set the Hoyas up to get out in transition. However, they were unable to control the deflection and instead ended up gifting Marquette’s Kam Jones with a wide-open triple. Mozone hit a smooth baseline jumper, the only basket for the Hoyas within a 12-2 run for Marquette. With Wahab unavailable, Ryan Mutombo entered the game early. At the U2 the Golden Eagles had a 19-9 lead.
Georgetown managed a bit more organization in the following sequences, featuring a layup from Mutombo, a forced turnover, and a dunk from Jordan Riley off the backdoor cut. Ighodaro had yet to miss a shot, but a cutting up-and-under layup from Heath pulled the Hoyas briefly within 5, before back to back three pointers for Marquette gave back all that ground. The double defensive efforts of Akok and Ezewiro challenged Mitchell and others in the paint, but hot outside shooting nullified that impact. A pair of threes from Akok and Murray, with an alley-oop by Akok from Spears in the middle, helped keep it within single digits.
The Hoyas made six shots on seven attempts, but when that isn’t paired with effective defense the overall margin won’t budge. A last second layup from Ighodaro was made possible by precision passing from Kolek & Ross, sending Georgetown into the locker room trailing by a dozen, 45-33.
Second half play looked a lot like the first, with another triple from Jones and a layup for Akok. An easy layup for Kolek and some free throws from Prosper were counterbalanced by strongdefense by Akok, but the deficit continued to grow. Two triples from Heath for the Hoyas were met by three-pointers from Mitchell, Prosper and Jones for Marquette. The math — and the momentum — was not in Georgetown’s favor. With 11:47 left to play, the Hoyas trailed 66-50.
The pace of both play and scoring tapered off for both teams at this point, with the squads managing approximately one layup per minute. Georgetown was struggling with turnovers — forced or otherwise — and Marquette was not converting on as many of their available looks. Kolek’s back-to-back-to-back baskets ultimately pushed the Golden Eagles over the 20-point advantage mark, with the final layup in that sequence occurring with a questionable block/charge faceoff with Mozone.
Back to back baskets from Murray followed by a dunk from Akok presented enough discomfort that Shaka Smart called a timeout with just over six minutes remaining, even though the gap between the teams was still well into the double digits. Baskets from Mutombo and Heath, along with some foul shots from Riley, allowed the Hoyas to inch closer. While that continued effort was meaningful from a symbolic and psychological standpoint, the outcome of this one was not in doubt. When the final possession was dribbled out, the Hoyas were on the wrong end of an 89-75 result.
There are six games remaining in this BIG EAST season, and the biggest remaining questions surrounding the program will be what happens after all of those contests are played.
Up next, the Hoyas make the journey up I-95 to visit Seton Hall. That one tips off at 6pm on Valentine’s Day (2/14) at 6pm, and as far as I know will be carried on CBS SportsNet.