Pregame Primer: Men’s Basketball Hosts No. 15 Marquette

January 14, 2019

On Tuesday, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (12-5, 2-2 Big East) will host No. 15 Marquette (14-3, 3-1 Big East) at Capital One Arena. Tuesday will be the second game of a three-game homestand for Georgetown. Both teams are looking to build on home wins against Big East opponents in their last outings. This will be the first matchup between the Hoyas and the Golden Eagles in the current season. Last year, Marquette swept the series, with their visit to Capital One resulting in a narrow 90-86 victory in overtime.

The Hoyas are coming off a gritty double-overtime 96-90 victory against Providence (10-6, 0-3 Big East) on Saturday. Senior center Jessie Govan scored a career-high 33 points along with 14 rebounds and four blocks against the Friars to continue his stellar year. However, the game would not have gone to the second overtime period without the contributions of Georgetown’s freshman guards. Mac McClung, in his first game back from an ankle injury, contributed 16 points, including a miraculous buzzer-beating three from near half-court to send the game to overtime. James Akinjo dropped 20 points along with nine assists, and hit a deep three of his own to tie up the game at the end of the first overtime. Freshman forward Josh LeBlanc and sophomore guard/forward Jamorko Pickett contributed on the glass, combining for 11 crucial rebounds, while Pickett also blocked four Friar shots.

The Golden Eagles took down Seton Hall (12-5, 3-2 Big East), 70-66, at home on Saturday to extend their winning streak to three. Marquette was led once again by junior guard Markus Howard, who scored 26 points along with six rebounds and six assists. Howard is averaging 25.8 points per game this year, which leads the Big East. In addition, redshirt junior guard/forward Sacar Anim and junior guard/forward Sam Hauser scored 14 and 13 points, respectively. Marquette committed 20 turnovers on Saturday, a problem that they will look to limit against Georgetown.

The two players to watch on Tuesday will be the big performer’s from each team’s last game: Govan and Howard, who were both preseason All-Big East First Team selections. Govan, who is averaging 20 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, stands at 6-foot-10 and 255 pounds. Marquette’s primary big men, sophomore forward Theo John and redshirt freshman forward Joey Hauser, register at 6-foot-9 240 pounds and 6-foot-9 230 pounds, respectively. Together, they could give Govan a challenge on both sides of the ball, especially if graduate student forward Trey Mourning remains sidelined with a concussion for the Hoyas.

Howard is a threat to any team, but he could be even more deadly against Georgetown. Since head coach Patrick Ewing began his tenure last season, defending dynamic point guards has been an issue for the Hoyas. In last year’s overtime victory, Howard scored 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, but now that Andrew Rowsey, a senior guard on that Marquette team, has departed the program, Howard will have more opportunities to hurt Georgetown. It will be up to Georgetown’s perimeter players to find a solution.

The game is set to tip off at 8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 with a live stream on Fox Sports Go. Live stats are available at Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for live coverage and coverage of all Georgetown winter sports.

Tristan Lee
Tristan is the Voice's sports executive and a senior in Georgetown College. He mostly covers Georgetown's football, basketball, and baseball teams.

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