Extra play, extra pain: Men’s basketball falls in overtime again

February 27, 2018

The Georgetown men’s basketball team (15-13, 5-12 Big East) lost an overtime thriller to Marquette (17-12, 8-9 Big East) on Monday, 90-86. In their final game at Capital One Arena this season, the Hoyas were unable to capitalize in the extra period after senior guard Jonathan Mulmore made a buzzer-beating layup at the end of regulation. Despite an electric offensive performance, Georgetown struggled to defend Marquette’s lethal outside shooting throughout the contest. With this loss, the Hoyas have now dropped three straight and see their conference record drop to 5-12.

The Golden Eagles started the game on a 7-0 run with buckets from their top three scorers on the season, redshirt senior guard Andrew Rowsey, sophomore guard/forward Sam Hauser, and sophomore guard Markus Howard.

Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing was visibly displeased with his team’s defensive effort and offensive execution early on. “We didn’t start the game with the intensity that we should have, being that it’s our last game at home,” he said.

Out of the timeout, Mulmore drove hard to the basket and found junior center Jessie Govan cutting for an open dunk to give Georgetown its first points of the game. The Golden Eagles maintained their lead, though, with consistent offensive play, especially from Hauser who hit his third three of the contest in as many attempts to push the advantage back to seven at the 12 minute mark. A three pointer from freshman forward Jamal Cain extended the lead to ten a minute later, and Marquette was in position to blow the game open.

The Hoyas stayed focused, though, as freshman guard Jahvon Blair found Govan at the top of key on the next possession for a three pointer. Three minutes later, Blair was fouled beyond the arc and made 2-3 free throws to give Georgetown its first lead of the night. Govan hit his second triple of the game on the next trip down to give the Hoyas a 32-28 lead, and the momentum did not stop there. Freshman guard Jamorko Pickett converted on a pair of free throws with two minutes remaining in the half to cap off an astounding 26-4 run over the course of eight and half minutes.

It appeared the Hoyas were going to head into the break with a significant advantage, but Rowsey hit back-to-back three pointers and, after Mulmore responded with a three of his own, hit yet another one at the buzzer to shrink the gap to six points at the half.

Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski saw Rowsey’s spurt as a key turning point in the game. “The shot at the end of the half was huge,” he said. “Being down nine is a lot different from being down six.”

Marquette kept the pressure on early in the second half and, after back-to-back three pointers from Howard and Hauser, tied the game again at 56. The Golden Eagles used the three-point shot as their primary weapon on offense, as they have all season. This year, they rank ninth in the nation in three pointers made, while shooting a remarkable 40.4 percent from deep. On Monday, they were even better than usual, making 18 of their 31 attempts from beyond the arc.

After the game, Ewing expressed his disappointment with his team’s inability to stop Marquette’s steady three point production. “We let them hit 18 threes. That’s their strength,” he said. “We didn’t do a good defensive job of guarding them at the three-point line… Our defensive effort was just not what we needed to have. It just wasn’t there.”

After Marquette tied the game, it remained a tight, back-and-forth affair from there on out. In fact, the score was knotted up another three times before the end of regulation. With just over a minute remaining, Blair hit two clutch free throws to tie it at 76 and set up a dramatic finish. Wojciechowski called timeout to draw up a final play with 27 seconds on the clock. The ball eventually came to Hauser who hit an incredible step-back jumper with 3.5 seconds left and it appeared the game was over. However, Ewing opted not to call timeout, so Mulmore took the ball the length of court and made a left-handed buzzer-beating layup to send the game to overtime.

Ewing praised his senior guard’s instincts at the end of regulation. “He made a great play,” he said. “He saw an opening and he just took it.”

Neither team was able to establish a significant lead in overtime and the score was tied at 86 with less than a minute remaining after Mulmore sank a pair of free throws. With 34 seconds on the clock, Rowsey worked his man on the left side, got to his sweet spot, and hit a pull-up jumper to put his team up two. Georgetown junior forward Marcus Derrickson missed a well-contested fadeaway on the other end, and Rowsey converted both shots at the line to seal the game.

In the postgame press conference, Wojciechowski praised the Hoyas and their marked improvement over the course of the season. He also pointed to the competitive nature of the Big East. “This league is so unforgiving,” he said. “There are very few games that aren’t close or don’t come down to one possession.”

For Marquette, Hauser and Rowsey tied for a game-high 28 points, while Howard chipped in 16. Govan led the way for Georgetown with 25 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists. Blair, Mulmore, and Derrickson notched 16, 15, and 15 points, respectively.

After a long string of tight losses, Ewing’s frustration was obvious. “We have got a long way to go,” he said. “We need to start winning these [close] games. When we go up double figures, we need to continue to add on, not regress. We continue to regress.”

The Hoyas travel to No. 4 Villanova (25-4, 12-4 Big East) on Saturday for their final regular season game before the Big East Tournament next week. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on FOX. Follow @GUVoiceSports for live updates and breaking news.

Aaron Wolf
Former Sports Executive and 2020 Georgetown College graduate. Enjoyer of OPS.

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