On Saturday, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (10-2, 0-1 Big East) will go on the road to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles (9-4, 0-1 Big East) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Both teams are still looking for their first victory in Big East play after losing on Wednesday.
Both games on Wednesday went down to the wire. The Hoyas kicked off conference play at home against Butler (11-3, 1-0 Big East), and lost 91-89 in double overtime to the Bulldogs. This was a disappointing loss for head coach Patrick Ewing and his troops, as Georgetown held a 42-24 lead at halftime. They also had a two point lead with just seconds left in regulation, but Butler redshirt sophomore forward Sean McDermott got to sophomore guard Kamar Baldwin’s missed three pointer and converted a last-gasp tip in. Eventually, senior forward Kelan Martin sunk the Hoyas with a two-point bucket with two seconds left in double overtime.
As usual, Georgetown’s junior center Jessie Govan had a productive game. To continue his breakout season, Govan poured in 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Junior forward Marcus Derrickson provided 23 points and 10 rebounds, as well as a clutch three pointer late in regulation. A bright spot was Georgetown’s 80 percent (28-35) free throw shooting, especially a combined 11-13 from their big men Govan and Derrickson. However, as they have been all season, turnovers were a big issue for the Hoyas, with 21 on the night, including five from freshman guard Jamorko Pickett and four from freshman guard Jahvon Blair. In the end, Georgetown was unable to stop the dynamic tandem of Baldwin and Martin, who combined for 58 points.
The Golden Eagles also played at home on Wednesday, suffering a 91-87 loss to No. 6 Xavier (13-1, 1-0 Big East). Senior guard Andrew Rowsey had a monster game for Marquette, pouring in 31 points. Rowsey is averaging 21.5 points per game on the season. However, the Golden Eagles did not have an answer for the Xavier offense. Five players scored in double figures for the Musketeers, including a 23 point effort from two-time First-Team All-Big East senior guard Trevon Bluiett.
Once again, all eyes will be on Govan’s matchups on Saturday. He fared well against Butler’s Nate Fowler, who, at 6-foot-10, is the same height as Govan. Marquette’s two centers, junior Matt Heldt and sophomore Harry Froling, scored a combined three points and nine rebounds in 33 minutes against Xavier. They have the size to match up with Govan, however, as Heldt is 6-foot-10 and Froling is 6-foot-11. If Govan can dominate both offensively and defensively and grab enough rebounds, Georgetown will have an easier time.
Conversely, Georgetown’s medley of guards will have to figure out a defensive strategy for the dominant Rowsey. Senior Jonathan Mulmore boasts great quickness and athleticism from a defensive standpoint, as long as he stays out of foul trouble, and may be Georgetown’s answer to defending Rowsey.
Lastly, it is yet to be seen if the Hoyas can put together a complete game against stronger opponents. In the only two games against more evenly matched teams (Syracuse (11-2, ACC) and Butler), Georgetown blew double-digit second half leads. This may be an issue that stems from inexperience, but it is a problem that Georgetown will have to fix if they want any success in the Big East.
Tip off is set for 4:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1. It can also be streamed on Fox Sports Go. Follow @GUVoiceSports for game day updates and breaking news.