By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
For One Night, Size Doesn’t Matter
MILWAUKEE (BASN) — Georgetown, the 12th-ranked team in the country, looked intimidating on the court against Marquette with their size advantage.
But the Golden Eagles had the heart of a lion and were up for the challenge. They finally won a close game in a 62-59 upset win Wednesday at the Bradley Center.
“I didn’t think at West Virginia, we had great composure down the stretch,” Marquette coach Buzz Williams said in their 63-62 loss Dec. 29. “And I thought our composure against Villanova (a 74-72 home loss) over the last two or three minutes was much better.
“The difference was, tonight, we were still aggressive just like we were against Villanova. We were able to get stops (against Georgetown) down the stretch.”
Marquette scored the first five points of the game. Georgetown called a timeout with 17 minutes 17 seconds in the first half. After the break, junior guard Austin Freeman hit a three-pointer from the right corner at the 16:34 mark. Georgetown trailed 7-3.
The Golden Eagles (10-5, 1-2 Big East) went on a 10-6 run to lead 17-9 with 11:25 remaining in the first half. The Hoyas answered with six of their points from junior forward Julian Vaughn, part of a 10-4 run, to get within two points at 21-19.
Hot shooting by Marquette helped maintain their slim lead late in the half. However, Georgetown (11-2, 2-1) kept within distance and went in the locker room at halftime down 32-30.
Vaughn’s basket early in the second half tied the score at 32. From there, any momentum that Marquette had went out the door for a moment.
The Golden Eagles were hit with a technical foul with 16:40 left in the game. Freeman made both free-throws for a 38-37 Georgetown lead. His two free-throws from another foul gave the Hoyas a 40-37 advantage.
Senior guard David Cubillan’s three for Marquette knotted the score at 40. He made all six shots from downtown and led the Golden Eagles with 18 points. Senior forward Lazar Hayward’s inside basket gave them a 42-40 lead.
“I was ready to play,” Cubillan said. “Everybody was ready to play. I’m just happy we won. Now we start to get ready for the next one (at Villanova Saturday).”
The Golden Eagles’ defense made it difficult for Georgetown sophomore center Greg Monroe to operate in the paint. Scouts from two NBA teams, Oklahoma City and Houston, attended the game to get an early take on Monroe. He made 1 out of 2 free throws for a 46-45 Hoya lead.
“Greg didn’t have a good day today,” said Georgetown coach John Thompson III. “I got to give (Marquette) credit for that. They did a good job of once he got the ball, coming from different angles and doubling him and dropping down.
“They knocked the ball loose a couple of times and kept him off-balance. We anticipated that going in. But just because you anticipated it, they did a good job of executing.”
Monroe had 10 rebounds and nine points in the game, well below his team-leading 14.8 points per game average.
The game was close throughout the last 6 minutes. Sophomore guard Darius Johnson-Odom’s basket put Marquette ahead, 53-50. Jason Clark’s three for Georgetown tied the game at 53.
The Hoyas cut the Golden Eagles’ lead to 58-57 on Monroe’s basket. Hayward was fouled by Monroe and made both free throws for a 60-57 lead. Freeman’s drive and basket with 35.4 seconds left made the Georgetown deficit 60-59.
Senior guard Maurice Acker was fouled and missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Freeman missed on a drive to the basket. Junior forward Jimmy Butler was fouled and made two free throws to give Marquette their first conference win of the season.
“We got what we wanted,” Thompson said on the Freeman missed shot. “We went (to the basket) and it didn’t go in. That’s the way the ball bounces.”
Freeman’s 20 points led all scorers. Vaughn added 12 for the Hoyas. Hayward and guard Dwight Buycks scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.