Flying High: Georgetown cruises to victory against Marquette

February 11, 2017

Photo: Jonny Amon/ The Georgetown Voice

The Georgetown men’s basketball team (14-12, 5-8 Big East) cruised to an 80-62 victory against the Marquette Golden Eagles (15-10, 6-7 Big East). Sophomore forward Jessie Govan led the Hoyas with 23 points and eight rebounds, five of which came on the offensive end. Junior guard L.J. Peak finished with 20 points, and graduate student guard Rodney Pryor added a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Marquette Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski’s team struggled to contain the trio, and Wojciechowski singled out Govan’s big day following the game.

“When Govan plays well, they’re [Georgetown] a lot to handle,” he said. “And he played better than well today. He kicked our butts.”

Junior guard Tre Campbell didn’t dress again after sustaining a knee injury in the team’s bus crash on Monday, while senior center Bradley Hayes left the game early with a foot injury.

Peak attacked the Marquette interior early, scoring Georgetown’s first four points and drawing fouls against Marquette redshirt junior guard Duane Wilson. On the defensive end, Pryor opened the half contesting Marquette senior center Luke Fischer on dunk attempts, forcing a miss on one and blocking the second as Georgetown took a 7-4 lead into the first media timeout.

A well rehearsed inbounds play led to an easy layup from sophomore forward Marcus Derrickson give Georgetown a five point cushion. Govan, who was substituted early by Head Coach John Thompson III, hit a three pointer shortly after, looking more settled and comfortable after his early breather.

Marquette redshirt junior guard Andrew Rowsey looked to provide the Golden Eagles with a spark off the bench, coaxing switches out of Georgetown’s defense and attacking the slower members of Georgetown’s team to draw fouls. Rowsey shot 6-6 from the free throw line and added a three pointer en route to 11 points.

Beyond Rowsey, however, Marquette couldn’t find any holes in the Georgetown defense. The Hoyas forced shot clock violations, blocked shots, and deflected attempted Marquette passes, bothering the Golden Eagles’ offensive rhythm.

On the other end of the floor, the Georgetown offense looked more efficient than it has all season. The team created space for shots and shot 51.6 percent from the field and a scorching 50 percent from beyond the arc. The scoring stalled towards the end of the first half as Marquette switched to a zone and brought the game to within two points, but a shot clock-beating three pointer from Peak ended the Hoyas’ drought and kick-started an 11-5 run to end the first half at 41-32.

“We just want to keep moving the ball,” said Thompson. “When we share the game, good things open up.”

The trio of Govan, Peak, and Pryor finished the half with 12, 11, and 10 points, respectively. Pryor added eight rebounds and three of Govan’s four rebounds came on the offensive end. The Hoyas only shot 51.6 percent from the line, but found creative ways to score from them anyway.

“A key, key play of this game, either the last play or the latter part of the first half, a foul shot,” said Thompson. “Rodney keeps it alive; (freshman guard) Jagan (Mosely) puts it in.”

In the second half, Georgetown picked up right where it left off, opening with a 5-0 run and forcing a quick Marquette timeout. After Marquette came out of its timeout hot, Thompson responded with a timeout of his own to calm the team’s nerves, and Peak and Govan came out of the stoppage back in a rhythm.

Photo: Jonny Amon / The Georgetown Voice

The Hoyas methodically stretched their lead to 18 and were into the bonus at the 10:21 mark in the second half. Pryor hit a double clutch dunk off a full court outlet pass from Mosely to ignite an already excited crowd. A three-pointer from Pryor and another emphatic dunk, this time from junior forward Akoy Agau, all but ended the game just under the eight minute mark.

A deflated Marquette team couldn’t get any closer than 13 in the closing minutes, and the Hoyas’ final two meaningful offensive possessions, a shot fake and layup by Mosely and a corner three from Pryor, put an exclamation point on a dominant Georgetown performance.

The Hoyas outrebounded the Golden Eagles 39-28, converting eight offensive rebounds into 10 second chance points. They raised their free throw percentage to 64 percent by the game’s conclusion and limited Marquette’s free throw attempts to eight in the second half after surrendering 12 in the first.

Georgetown is now 10-1 when its trio of Pryor, Peak, and Govan all score in double digits.

Marquette freshman guard Markus Howard, who torched Georgetown for 23 points in the Big East opener, was held to just three points, coming from a three pointer with 1:46 to play.

Beyond limiting Howard, Georgetown held Marquette to 3-14 from beyond the arc thanks to a defensive adjustment, to not collapse on drives, from the first game against the Golden Eagles to this one.

“Going into this game we said we’re not going to help and support, just stay at home,” said Thompson. “To only let them attempt 14 threes, I think I’ve got to give our guys credit just for how hard they worked today.”

Wojciechowski’s team struggled to cope with the intensity brought by the Hoyas and have struggled of late, going 1-3 since the turn of the month after a 5-4 start to conference play.

“When you get to February and March, and you have a chance to do some good things, like the vast majority of the teams in our conference do, eight teams have a chance to do something special, the intensity raises, the stakes raise,” said Wojciechowski. “So what you did to get to that point is not good enough.”

Georgetown’s first matchup with then-No. 16 Creighton (21-4, 8-4 Big East), began the Hoyas’ current spark in form, winning four out of their last six. On Sunday, Feb. 19, Georgetown travels to Omaha to take on the No. 23 Bluejays. The game is slated for 3:30 ET on FS1.

Jorge DeNeve
Los Angeles native. Still wondering where the Galaxy went wrong and decided buying Jermaine Jones was a good idea.


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