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Creighton, Georgetown seek to improve on 0-2 Big East starts

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Tied at the bottom of the Big East standings, Creighton and Georgetown enter their matchup Tuesday in Washington in a similar mindset.

Both are coming off losses at Marquette in which they were done in by the disruptive defense of the Golden Eagles.

On Dec. 22, Georgetown (7-6, 0-2) fell at then-No. 6 Marquette 81-51. The Hoyas committed 19 turnovers that Marquette turned into 28 points.

On Saturday, then-No. 22 Creighton (9-4, 0-2) lost at then-No. 10 Marquette 72-67. The Bluejays lost 18 turnovers that the Golden Eagles turned into 24 points.

With 10 days off, Georgetown has had more time to recover from its defeat, which was the Hoyas’ most decisive this season. Georgetown had an early lead before Marquette went on a 20-2 run.

“We didn’t have pop. We didn’t have resilience and that’s not something that I’m comfortable with,” Georgetown coach Ed Cooley said.

The loss culminated a grueling road trip to the Midwest, with three games over seven days. After a 72-68 overtime win at Notre Dame, Georgetown trailed by double digits most of the way in a 74-64 Big East loss at Butler.

Failing to mount a challenge three days later at Marquette didn’t sit well with the Georgetown coach.

“I’m very disappointed with how my team performed,” Cooley said. “Whether we’ve been on the road for five, six, 20 days, I didn’t feel the fight of my group and that’s on me.”

Jayden Epps (17.8 points per game) and Dontrez Styles (15.2 ppg) give the Hoyas firepower in the backcourt, while Supreme Cook (10.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg) is the top threat inside.

After winning eight of its first nine games and rising to a No. 8 rank, Creighton has lost three of its last four and dropped out of the Top 25.

On Saturday, Baylor Scheierman (23 points) hit his first three attempts from beyond the arc as Creighton took an 11-point lead, but Marquette was the better team in the second half.

“When you’ve gotta play defense for 25 seconds and they tip it out and you’ve gotta play it again, it’s definitely deflating and demoralizing, for sure,” Scheierman said.

While Creighton’s veteran trio of Scheierman (18.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg), Trey Alexander (15.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Ryan Kalkbrenner (15.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg) have put up big numbers, coach Greg McDermott wants to see more reliable ball-handling.

“We came into the game thinking that our ability to take care of the ball was critical for our chances to win, and we didn’t do that,” he said.

–Field Level Media

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