Career games from sophomore forward Isaac Copeland and senior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera weren’t enough to stop the woes of the Georgetown men’s basketball team (14-16, 7-10), as the Hoyas lost on the road at Marquette (19-11, 8-9 Big East) 88-87 Tuesday night.
Copeland led the way for the Hoyas with a career-high 32 points and nine rebounds, while Smith-Rivera had a career-high nine assists to accompany his 16 points, but late game execution once again caught up to the Hoyas, who have lost five in a row and drop into eighth place in the Big East standings.
Smith-Rivera’s fadeaway jumper with five seconds left appeared to give the Hoyas an 87-86 lead and much needed win, but on the next possession Marquette freshman guard Traci Carter found junior forward Luke Fischer streaking down the middle of the lane before he was fouled by Smith-Rivera with one second left.
Fischer made both free throws, two of his team-high 23 points, to seal the victory for the Golden Eagles, who have won three of their last four games. Copeland’s desperation attempt at the buzzer from the Hoyas’ own free throw line clanked off the back rim.
The Blue and Gray took advantage of the absence of Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson, who left the game due to an ankle injury with the Golden Eagles up 71-64 with 7:20 left in the second half. Up to that point, Ellenson had 10 points and game-high 11 rebounds. The Hoyas went on a 14-6 run in his absence to close the deficit and take the lead, 78-77, with 3:53 left. Both teams traded the lead three times in the final minute before Fischer’s two game-winning free throws.
Overall for the game, the Hoyas shot 53 percent from the field (35-of-67), 37 percent from three-point range (10-of-27) and 64 percent from the free throw line (7-of-11). The Golden Eagles shot 62 percent from the field (34-of-55), 25 percent from three-point range (3-of-12), and 77 percent from the free throw line (17-of-22).
The Hoyas played with only eight scholarship players due to the surprise absence of sophomore forward Trey Mourning due to illness.
The Hoyas return to action this Saturday for their regular season finale, when they go on the road to face No. 3 Villanova (26-4, 15-2 Big East). Tipoff is set for 12:00 p.m., and the game will be televised on FOX. The Hoyas will have to pull off the upset Saturday in addition to winning two games in the Big East Tournament to be eligible for the NIT, which requires a .500 record.