Coming off its most decisive loss this season, No. 10 Marquette looks to rebound in more ways than one on Saturday when it visits Georgetown for a Big East game in Washington, D.C.
Facing the cellar-dwelling Hoyas (6-19, 1-13), the Golden Eagles (19-6, 11-3) will be anxious to erase the sting of Tuesday’s 87-72 defeat at No. 21 UConn, where they lost the battle of the boards 48-24.
In the wire-to-wire defeat, Marquette fell behind 32-12 and never got the deficit inside 15 points in the second half. The Golden Eagles had not previously lost a game by more than five points this season.
“We didn’t do enough all-around, offensively, defensively, to stand up and counteract them,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said.
The defeat came as the Golden Eagles were riding a five-game winning streak and a day after they reached the Associated Press Top 10 for the first time since 2019. The loss also knocked Marquette out of first place in the Big East.
On Tuesday, UConn’s rebounding edge paved the way for a 27-8 advantage in second-chance points. The Huskies also shot 50 percent from the floor, hitting 12 of 23 (52.2 percent) attempts from beyond the arc.
There were positives for Marquette as Tyler Kolek scored 17 points and freshman reserves Ben Gold (12 points) and Sean Jones (11) hit a combined 8 of 11 shots, making their case for more playing time.
“I thought Sean’s ability to get in the paint was huge,” Smart said.
Smart said that Marquette had a tough assignment, taking on a team that it had beaten at home, then having to face them on the road. The Golden Eagles have the same task on Saturday, though against a much less daunting foe.
Georgetown lost its fourth straight on Wednesday, 74-62 at No. 20 Providence, and has dropped 33 of its last 34 games against Big East opponents since winning the conference tournament in 2021.
The Hoyas frontcourt has taken a beating this season, but Bradley Ezewiro (19 points, three blocks) shined off the bench against the Friars. The sophomore made 8 of 9 shots, including six dunks in the second half, as he more than tripled his previous career high.
Georgetown had its chances, trailing by single-digit margins on several occasions in the second half. But the Hoyas were doomed by 0-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc after intermission.
Primo Spears (18 points, seven assists) and Brandon Murray (16 points, seven rebounds) made a combined 11 of 30 shots from the floor for the Hoyas.
Afterward, coach Patrick Ewing zeroed in on the difference between his transfer-laden Hoyas and the Friars.
“They have some older guys who have been around and they play together,” Ewing said.
In its first meeting with Marquette, a 95-73 loss on Jan. 7, Georgetown led 36-34 at the half. But the Hoyas couldn’t overcome 20 turnovers and the 54.9 percent shooting of the Golden Eagles.
Kolek, who leads the Big East in assists, had 15 in the game. Marquette had a 26-7 edge on points off turnovers, a 52-28 advantage on points in the paint and its bench outscored Georgetown’s 38-7.
–Field Level Media