Janesville44°

Marquette plan shot down

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Associated Press
January 5, 2012
— Immediately after his 20th-ranked Marquette allowed a 17-point lead to vanish in a 73-70 loss at No. 9 Georgetown, Golden Eagles coach Buzz Williams wanted to get a look at the tiebreaking 3-pointer by Hollis Thompson that provided the final margin.

“We just watched that last clip on the computer. I thought our guys did exactly what we would want them to do,” Williams said with the hint of a chuckle. “It was a perfect defensive possession in a lot of ways. He made the shot, though.”


That happened quite a bit Wednesday night, particularly over the last 10 minutes.


Marquette (12-3, 1-1 Big East) led 43-29 at halftime and stretched that edge to 56-39 on freshman guard Todd Mayo’s 3-pointer with 13:10 left.


But Georgetown (13-1, 3-0) overcame that for its 11th consecutive victory, thanks in large part to 26 points from Jason Clark, and 18 from Thompson, including eight in the last 3 1-2 minutes.


The Hoyas shot 76 percent in the second half, and 63 percent for the game.


“That’s really hard to overcome,” Williams said.


“We lose by one possession and the opponent shot 63 percent, so defensively we have to get better,” he said. “In some ways, we did some good things defensively, but down the stretch, not enough.”


After Thompson’s big 3-pointer, Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder both got late looks at potential tying 3s for Marquette, but both missed.


Marquette lost for the third time in five games, despite 18 points from Johnson-Odom, 17 from Crowder, and 16 from Mayo.


The Golden Eagles went cold for a significant chunk of the second half, going more than 7½ minutes between field goals.


Now they get set to face No. 1 Syracuse on the road this weekend.


“We’re playing the best team in the country on Saturday, so it’s not going to get easier. It’s going to get more difficult,” Williams said.


The Hoyas, who are on their longest winning streak in five years, got 13 points from Henry Sims, and key contributions from four freshmen who played significant minutes in the second half. They also wouldn’t have had much a chance without Clark, who brought the hosts back by making 6 of 7 shots in the second half, when he scored 18 points.


“I guess we just felt like we were being embarrassed. We were getting embarrassed,” Clark said. “So the second half, we just wanted to turn it up defensively, and our defense turned into our offense.”


With starters Sims and Thompson sitting with three fouls each in the second half, Georgetown went with a lineup of freshmen Jabril Trawick, Otto Porter, Greg Whittington and Mikael Hopkins, along with senior guard Clark. Something clicked, because the Hoyas starting chipping away at that big deficit.


“They come in and contribute so well that you don’t even know there’s four freshmen out there,” Clark said.


He did most of the scoring in the rally, including a 3-pointer and a three-point play. And when Sims went back in and made 1 of 2 free throws, then assisted on Porter’s backdoor cut for a layup, suddenly Marquette’s lead was down to 62-57 with a little more than 7 minutes remaining.


When Thompson swished a 3, the Hoyas were only down 66-64, and his fallaway baseline jumper tied it. After yet another Marquette turnover, Sims’ layup put Georgetown ahead 68-66 with a little more than 2 minutes to go. After the teams traded scores, the game was tied at 70-all when Thompson made his biggest basket of the game.


“I was open,” he said, “so I took the shots.”



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