Georgetown is still in search for its first win over a good team, something it hopes it can get in Saturday’s Big East contest at Marquette. The Hoyas blew a 20-point lead in falling in double overtime to Butler, and will need to regroup against the Golden Eagles, who lost a nail-biter of their own to No. 5 Xavier to open conference play.
Patrick Ewing’s team, which played one of the softest non-conference schedules in the country, lost a big lead in falling to Syracuse two weeks ago and it’s fair to wonder if it can grind out wins in the Big East on a consistent basis. “It’s a game we should have won,” Ewing, echoing a sentiment he used after the Syracuse game, told the media. “We can’t keep giving games away. We have to grow with our young guys, but we can’t keep making the same mistakes.” Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson turned in their usual stellar performances, and Jahvon Blair scored 17 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome 21 turnovers. Andrew Rowsey lit it up for 31 points, but missed a game-tying 3-pointer in the final minute-plus for the Golden Eagles, who are last in the Big East in scoring defense (74.8 points per game).
TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
ABOUT GEORGETOWN (10-2, 0-1 Big East): Like Marquette, which can’t be sure who will step up after its top three players Rowsey, Markus Howard and Sam Hauser, the Hoyas have a similar problem after Govan and Derrickson, who combined for 42 points and 24 rebounds against. The other starters - Jamorko Pickett, Kaleb Johnson and Jonathan Mulmore - totaled 19 points and 11 turnovers and the bench didn’t do much aside from Blair. Meanwhile, the 91 points allowed to Butler was only the fourth time the Hoyas have given up 90 or more in the last seven seasons.
ABOUT MARQUETTE (9-4, 0-1): After receiving zero points from starters Matt Heldt and Sacar Anim against Xavier, coach Steve Wojciechowski may have to consider changes to the lineup. Harry Froling, a sophomore who became eligible three games ago, has provided the Golden Eagles with 12 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in the past two games while freshman Jamal Cain produced 16 points, four rebounds and four steals against Xavier after scoring 15 total points in the previous four games for Marquette. “I thought our bench had big games,” Wojciechowski told the media. “Obviously, Jamal was the one that shined the brightest, but I though Harry, Greg (Elliott) and Theo (John) really gave us positive minutes.”
1. Rowsey, who has made 51.5 percent of 3-point attempts over the past four games, and Howard are 1-2 in scoring in the Big East.
2. Georgetown, which won 80-62 in the second meeting last season, has a 12-11 lead in the series, which has seen the teams split the last 12 matchups.
3. Led by Blair, who made 11-of-12 from the line against Butler, the Hoyas converted their free throws at 80 percent or better for the sixth time this season.
PREDICTION: Marquette 82, Georgetown 80