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Marquette vs. Georgetown analysis: The Golden Eagles’ Crossover Examination

Conner Handel gives us the lowdown on MU's tough loss to Georgetown from earlier this week.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Marquette offensive analysis


Luke Fischer

Once again, Luke Fischer performed at a high level for the Golden Eagles. He could not be denied in the paint, scoring all six baskets he took and racked up 13 points. He bumped up his field goal percentage on the season to 81.6 percent, through seven games. When he was not putting up a shot, he was kicking it out for open threes at the wing or drawing fouls. Georgetown respected Fischer's scoring ability, frequently sending double teams his way. Fisher even drew a triple team at one point, where he drew a Joshua Smith foul that sent him to the charity stripe. Unfortunately for Fischer, the weakest part of his game has been the foul line. He converted on just one of his four free throws and now shoots 54.1 percent from the line on the season. Overall, Fischer had another dominant offensive performance by not only proving his own offensive efficiency, but by getting his teammates good looks as well.


Looked away from Fischer in crunch-time

Despite Fischer's offensive prowess, the Golden Eagles failed to give Fischer even one look as they trailed 54-50 in the final 2.5 minutes. It took a miraculous Duane Wilson three that banked in to cut the lead to one. And on the ensuing inbound, Matt Carlino knocked the pass off the leg of D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, giving Marquette possession with 1:59 remaining. Instead of feeding the big man, who has seemingly forgot how to miss, the Golden Eagles passed the ball around the perimeter before Duane Wilson was called for a traveling violation.

Smith-Rivera then extended the lead, 56-53, after hitting a 10-footer as the shot clock dwindled down. With less than a minute remaining, rather than Marquette scoring a quick two, Carlino settled for a step-back 3-point attempt from NBA-range. He was too strong and the miss all but sealed the victory for Georgetown.  Down the stretch, Marquette settled for threes rather than continue what had kept them in the game at that point.  For instance, Marquette trailed 42-31 with 14:49 remaining. They cut the lead to two, 45-43, by attacking the basket, making layups and getting to the line.  They did not make one three during that run. In the second half, Marquette made just one three on ten attempts, for 10 percent shooting. That is 23 percent worse than its season average.

Marquette defensive analysis


Forced tough shots

The Golden Eagles' 2-3 zone was very active versus the Hoyas. When Georgetown was unable to enter the paint, Marquette forced contested jumpers. The Hoyas shot just 40.4 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from three. In the second half, Marquette did not allow a three pointer, forcing Georgetown to go 0-for-7 from beyond the arc and only allowed 12 second half points from the field.  So if Marquette shut down Georgetown's shooting, how did the Hoyas manage to win? Quite simply, free throws.  They only had four foul shots in the first half, but in the second half they had 24. On the day they shot 82.1 percent on 23-of-28 shooting.  Marquette played solid defense, but the Hoyas did an excellent job of drawing fouls and converting from the line


Allowed offensive boards

Georgetown shot just 40.4 percent from the field, but Marquette bailed them out by allowing offensive rebounds. Georgetown posted 14 offensive boards, in large part due to Joshua Smith. He had 7 offensive rebounds himself and single-handedly made Luke Fischer a rebounding non-factor, with just three total boards. Fortunately for Marquette, Georgetown did not turn many of those second chances into points, scoring just 9 total second chance points in the game. But playing minute-long possessions on the defensive end is a good way to get an eight-man roster gassed.  It showed down the stretch as Marquette ultimately settled for jumpers rather than attacked the basket. Marquette gave up a lot of size down low to Georgetown and the Hoyas capitalized on it.