The Georgetown men’s basketball team (12-6, 2-3 Big East) fell, 74-71, to No. 15 Marquette (15-3, 4-1 Big East) on Tuesday night. Junior guard/forward Sam Hauser finished with a career-high 31 points to carry the Golden Eagles, while the Hoyas were led by 24 points from freshman guard Mac McClung.
“We’re in the Big East, and these are games that you’re not going to get back,” Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing said.
The Golden Eagles jumped out to a 9-5 lead before the first media timeout, but junior guard Markus Howard was forced into tough shots late in the shot clock. That would prove to be his only impact on the game, as Howard departed early in the first half with a back injury and missed the rest of the game. The Hoyas took full advantage of this after the under-16 media timeout with a 9-0 run. McClung started the game hot, scoring 10 of the Hoyas’ first 12 points before getting a breather en route to a 14 point first half, and after graduate student forward Trey Mourning threw down an emphatic dunk to end the run, the Hoyas looked to be taking the game over.
“I just try to be aggressive,” McClung said of his offensive performance. “Teammates were getting me the ball and doing a very good job, and I just tried to stay aggressive.”
However, tight fouls called against Georgetown slowed enough of the momentum and gave Marquette a handhold in the game to make it a back and forth affair, with momentum swinging between the two teams. Both sides had early success from 3-point range, with four falling in quick succession before Marquette started to wrestle control of the game away from Georgetown. However, a personal 8-2 run from senior guard/forward Kaleb Johnson made it a tie game, and another Johnson layup with 34 seconds to go gave the Hoyas a 40-37 lead at halftime.
While the Hoyas rode their 6-for-10 3-point shooting to a halftime lead, a cause of concern was a four-point half from senior center Jessie Govan, who struggled to establish himself in the game after his career day on Saturday.
“Govan is shooting 42 percent from the 3-point line. He plays inside-out, and for centers, and the way we play ball screens, we thought that may give him a little too much space, so we asked our smaller guys to guard him, and our bigger guys to provide help,” Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said.
In the second half, McClung came out hot again, with six quick points, helping Georgetown open up an eight-point lead with 15:29 to go. However, Marquette would answer the Hoyas’ hot start with a 14-0 run that stretched over three minutes, during which Govan and graduate student forward Trey Mourning picked up their third fouls. Sam Hauser began to take the
game over with the last four points of the run, then a 3-pointer with 9:33 to go to make it 60-53. The Hoyas battled back, with Govan starting to impact the game, hitting a three to tie the game at 60, then a tough jumper off the dribble to tie it again at 62 before losing his momentum with a fourth foul.
“He’s good. He’s talented,” Ewing said of Sam Hauser. “He can shoot, he can post up, he can put it on the floor, he showed that he can run the point tonight. He played a great game for them. He played with confidence, and he shot it with confidence.”
Sam Hauser continued to draw fouls and make free throws, but the Hoyas kept the game close and tied it at 70 once more with 2:09 to go. After forcing a travel, freshman guard James Akinjo had his jump shot blocked, and Sam Hauser hit a turnaround jumper with 1:06 remaining to give Marquette the lead. McClung got to the hoop with 46 seconds remaining, but only hit one free throw. Marquette missed the layup, and Akinjo tried to push the ball in transition and saw his attempt blocked out of bounds, giving the Hoyas a chance to draw up a play during the timeout. Akinjo drove to the basket, but his shot was blocked by sophomore forward Theo John. Sam Hauser hit two more free throws to complete a 22-point second half and escape D.C. with a 74-71 win.
The Hoyas return to action on Monday night against Creighton at 8:30 p.m ET. The game will be broadcast on FS1. For more coverage of men’s basketball and the rest of Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.
Image Credits: John Picker/The Georgetown Voice