Marquette battled in a back-and-forth grudge match Thursday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and emerged with a 75-73 win over Georgetown. The Golden Eagles swept the season series with the Hoyas and improved to 9-6 in the Big East. Georgetown fell to 7-9.
Davante Gardner led Marquette with a game-high 26 points and seven rebounds and Jake Thomas added a Marquette career-high 22 points with six three-pointers. The backcourt trio of Markel Starks (24), D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (19) and Jabril Trawick (16) combined for all but 13 of Georgetown’s points.
The referees called a tight game, and each team shot at least 30 free throws. All in all, Marquette (25) and Georgetown (26) committed 51 fouls. As a result, Hoya centers Moses Ayegba and Nate Lubick each fouled out in the first ten minutes of the second half.
Jamil Wilson, usually a major factor in Marquette wins, had an off night. In his second-to-last home game, the senior forward scored just three points and shot 1-for-7 from the field. He did have seven rebounds, however.
Georgetown’s halftime lead vanished quickly at the start of the second, as Marquette bolted in front with a 7-0 run. Thomas continued to light it up from deep for the Golden Eagles, but picked up a technical foul for celebrating with the bench after his fifth triple of the night.
The refs returned the favor with a cynical make-up call minutes later, as Trawick was given a T for yelling while playing defense. Thomas appropriately reached his Marquette career-high by cashing in the technical free throws.
The Hoyas stayed within striking distance for the next ten minutes, and free throws from Markel Starks cut Marquette’s lead to two with six minutes remaining. However, Gardner immediately answered at the other end with a three-point play that extended the Golden Eagle lead to 67-62.
Gardner went to the bench after the free throw, but came back in when Buzz Williams called timeout with 4:40 to play. Gardner scored right out of the timeout on a quick post up, and after a Smith-Rivera runner, converted another And-1 to push the Marquette lead to six.
However, Smith-Rivera answered with a three-pointer at the other end and Georgetown forced a turnover on Marquette’s next possession. Two possessions later, Trawick exploded into the lane on a fastbreak and flushed one to cut the score to 72-71.
Not to be denied, Gardner missed a layup, went to the other side of the rim to get his own rebound, and drew a foul with 1:17 to play. The big man made both to extend his team’s lead to three. Two free throws by Starks made the score 74-73 with 1:07 to play.
Gardner missed a layup at the other end, and John Thompson III called timeout with 30.4 seconds remaining, with 27 seconds on the shot clock. Starks attacked the basket, but left his contested, right-handed layup short.
Juan Anderson rebounded, was fouled and made one of two free throws with 10.8 seconds on the clock. Smith-Rivera drove the length of the court, but his double-teamed layup was short from the left side, and Gardner rebounded and dribbled out the clock.
Georgetown started the game hot, quickly leading 15-4. However, Marquette fought back and tied the game at 22 at the 10-minute mark of the opening frame. The game went back-and-forth for the rest of the half, with Georgetown poking its nose in front to lead 40-37 at intermission. Trawick led the Hoyas with 12, while Thomas chipped in 11 on three threes to lead the Golden Eagles.