The Hoyas hosted the Golden Eagles with both teams looking to get to .500 in conference play. In a back-and-forth games, Marquette was able to do enough to hold on, defeating Georgetown 84-80.
The game was an exciting offensive showcase from the start. Omer Yurtseven displayed his elite offensive skillset, highlighted by sinking two threes. Markus Howard would get going early, but 2 fouls would force him to the bench at the five minute mark with Marquette only up one. With their star scorer on the bench, Sacar Anim would take the lead, scoring 8 points in two and a half minutes to help give Marquette the halftime lead 42-36.
In a back-and-forth second half, the game was tied 76-76 with 1:34 left. Howard and Koby McEwen would score the teams final 8 points while Georgetown would go 2-4 from the line in the final seconds to give Marquette the win 84-80.
Markus Howard had his seventh career 40-point game. At the beginning of the game, a Georgetown student yelled “Howard is an inefficient offensive player.” While a very wholesome form of trash talk, he turned out to be very wrong. Howard scored 42 points while shooting 14-31 (45.2%) and 6-14 (42.9%) from 3. While handling the ball often, he only finished with two turnovers (with one being one of the worst offensive foul calls I’ve ever seen). Howard was as efficient and effective as he’s ever been.
With Ed Morrow out indefinitely, Marquette is down to two big men. While they’ve operated with just two bigs in the past, foul troubles become increasingly heightened. Theo John and Jayce Johnson both reached 4 fouls with 11:13 left in the game, making every Marquette fan incredibly nervous. They somehow managed to only get called for one more foul (Johnson 2:14). They were both very effective on the floor, but they need to continue to be on the floor as there is no longer depth behind them.
Koby McEwen finished with a 9:1 assist to turnover ratio. Coach Wojo said he believes it is the best ratio a player has had in a game during his time at Marquette. While McEwen’s shooting struggles continue (1-6 from the field, 0-3 from 3), he continues to show value elsewhere with his great defense, ability to create for others, and clutch free throw shooting.
While Marquette has been down to short bench with Elliott injured and Morrow gone, they still have a deeper bench than the shorthanded Hoyas. All five of Georgetown’s starters played 34+ minutes. Mac McClung (24 points, 6 rebounds) and Jagan Mosely (11 points, 5 assists) were fantastic all game, but each missed a free throw short in the final seconds.
Omer Yurtseven was 1-7 from 3 entering this game. He made two in the first half (and missed one in the second), flashing a pure stroke and catching Marquette off guard. Yurtseven has elite offensive skills and three-point shooting appears to be a new skill teams will have to scheme for. Already a projected backend round one pick in the NBA draft, this beautiful three-point stroke can only help his draft stock rise.
Marquette hosts St.John’s on Tuesday. While the Red Storm’s 1-5 conference record has them at the bottom of the Big East, they have been incredibly tough. They’ve only lost one conference game by double digits (19 point loss at Georgetown), with an average loss in those five games being by 5 points. With no easy opponent in the Big East, Marquette will have to work hard to defend home court.
The Hoyas travel to Cincinnati to face Xavier on Wednesday. While being ranked earlier in the season, Xavier has fallen to 1-4 in the conference. While still far from March, both teams project to be on the bubble come tournament time.