The night started emotionally with Senior Night sendoffs for four seniors, most notably fan favorite and team leader Markel Starks. The intensity never waned, as Starks shined and Georgetown played perhaps its best game of the year in whipping Creighton 75-63.
This was primarily an offensive win for Georgetown, as those 75 points came on just 61 possessions. The Hoyas uncharacteristically hit five of their first nine three pointers, including two from a resurgent Jabril Trawick (15 points, 4-8 FG, 5-9 FT) which really helped spread Creighton’s defense out and allowed Markel Starks (17 points, 5-10 FG, 5-5 FT, 11 assists, 1 turnover) and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (18 points, 8-14 FG, 12 rebounds) to get to the hoop. The beleaguered Mikael Hopkins also helped tremendously with perhaps his best game of the season (10 points, 4-5 FG, 5 rebounds, 5 blocks)
Georgetown also limited themselves to just seven turnovers, a huge factor in the efficient offensive performance.
Creighton turned to a triangle and two defense in the second half to try to key in on the guard combo. It stymied the Hoyas for a couple of possessions, but
Creighton was effective offensively, but Georgetown managed to hold them well below their best in the nation average. On Creighton’s first possession, three point specialist Ethan Wragge got open for an easy three. After that, nothing came easy. Georgetown tried all sorts of guys guarding Doug McDermott, most notably Mikael Hopkins, who was shockingly effective. McDermott scored 22 points, but it took him 23 shots to do it. Creighton kept bombing from 3, but they hit only 10 of 29 and thus were not able to bury Georgetown as they have other opponents. In particular, Wragge and Jahenns Manigat combined to go 1 for 11.
In addition, the Bluejays committed an uncharacteristic seven turnovers in the first half, which Georgetown converted into transition baskets which helped them to an early lead. The most memorable of these was a fast break alleyoop from Starks to Aaron Bowen.
Georgetown’s success was due in large part to limiting their fouls. While it seems as if the whole team has been in foul trouble all year, the Hoyas committed only eleven fouls in this game.
Obviously, if Georgetown plays like this, they not only will make the tournament but would be a serious threat to make a run. Of course, Georgetown isn’t usually this good which is why they are basically right on the cut line for the NCAA Tournament. They have a huge, but unlikely, chance to play themselves in Saturday at Villanova.