Georgetown hasn’t struggled much offensively during its current winning streak but, off-balance against a pesky Marquette squad, the Hoyas scrapped their way to an eighth consecutive win with a 69-60 victory Feb. 13 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
“We didn’t play well,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “You have to give credit for that. They do a very good job of taking you out of your rhythm. They just run and jump and trap. They just play hard.”
Georgetown seemed to get every rebound and loose ball in the second half with the aid of sophomore forward Hollis Thompson’s 13 rebounds. Thompson (not related to the coach) said he focused on crashing the boards in the second half.
“In the first half they out-rebounded us,” Thompson said. “Coming out of the locker room at halftime we emphasized boxing out and getting rebounds. I think my teammates did a great job of boxing out, which allowed me to come in and get to the boards.”
The Hoyas struggled throughout the game on the offensive end. Coming into the game, Georgetown was first in the Big East in field goal percentage at 50 percent, but Marquette held them to just 42.6 percent in a defensive struggle.
Conversely, Marquette came into the game right behind Georgetown in field goal percentage at 48.3 percent, but struggled against Georgetown’s much improved defense, shooting only 40 percent and recording only five assists as a team.
“I think our defense has been better,” coach Thompson said. “I think it’s as simple as the guys understand now that it is personal. You’ve heard me say this in previous games, we sit here and talk about schemes and systems and man or zone, but at the end of the day; you’ve got to guard somebody.”
The two teams stayed even for the first ten minutes of the first half, but Marquette slowly but surely started to build a lead over the next eight minutes.
With 2:46 remaining in the half, Marquette held a 35-26 lead, but wouldn’t score for the rest of the half and only led by four at halftime.
The first 10 minutes of the second half saw Georgetown methodically claw their way back into the lead. However, Georgetown didn’t gain true breathing room and take control over the game until the last seven minutes.
Key Players: Georgetown’s senior guards Chris Wright and Austin Freeman led the team with 20 points and 17 points respectively. Marquette junior Darius Johnson-Odom finished with 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting.
Key Stretch: The Hoyas went on a 10-1 run late in the second half to take a 10-point lead.
Next Up: Georgetown travels to face Connecticut on Feb. 16. Marquette returns home to play St. John’s on Feb. 15.