Continuing their variations-on-a-theme start to the 2014-'15 Big East season, YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles gave the fighting Hoyas of Georgetown everything they could handle tonight in Washington D.C., but ultimately were undone by unforced errors and inexperience in dropping a 65-59 decision at the Verizon Center.
Three-pointers from Jabril Trawick and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera in the first 3 minutes of the game gave the Hoyas a quick 8-4 lead, but Matt Carlino's triple knotted the game at 8 and the teams then traded buckets over the next eight minutes, until another Marquette 3-pointer -- this one from Juan Anderson -- forged a tie at 22. Georgetown then went to work inside, getting lay-ins from Trawick, Mikael Hopkins, and Joshua Smith, plus another 3 from Smith-Rivera, to take a 32-27 lead into halftime. Good Matt Carlino was present and voting in the first half; GMC hit two of three attempts from deep and finished the half with 8 points. Luke Fischer was also impressive, managing 7 points (and making all three of his attempts from the field) while not getting swallowed, literally or figuratively, by Smith in the paint.
The second half went in fits and starts: Carlino drew first blood with a jumper that drew Marquette within 3, but Georgetown answered with a 10-2 run, fueled by a couple buckets from L.J. Peak and four points from Smith, to take what appeared to be a commanding 42-31 lead with 15 minutes to play. From that point on, though, the Hoyas went ice-cold from the field: after Peak's jumper at the 16:11 mark of the second half, the Hoyas didn't convert another field goal until Smith hit a lay-up with 4:16 remaining in the game. All Georgetown could manage in that stretch were 12 free throw attempts, although the jerks made 10 of them, and suddenly it was only a 52-48 advantage for the Hoyas after a pretty give-and-go that led to a Juan Anderson layup with 3:40 left to play.
But the same problems that plagued last Wednesday's loss to DePaul and nearly derailed Saturday's win over Providence bubbled to the surface once again in the last 6+ minutes of tonight's game. After Duane Wilson's free throw pulled MU within 1 with 6 minutes left, Marquette went turnover, turnover, turnover on its next three possessions (one each by Anderson, Derrick Wilson, and Sandy Cohen). And then, after Du. Wilson's bank-shot 3 once again trimmed the margin to 1 with 2 minutes left, the Eagles went turnover, ugly Carlino 3-point attempt, missed layup, and that was all she wrote.
Well: mostly all she wrote. Marquette still had a chance to make things interesting when Georgetown, up 5, threw the ball away with 20 seconds left. But Carlino -- who'd apparently tired of chucking 3-balls from the other side of the Potomac (note: the writer of this piece is largely unfamiliar with the geography of Washington D.C., but believes the Potomac is a body of water that is either in, near, or around our nation's capital) -- attempted a quixotic venture amongst the Hoya trees, only to have his shot promptly and predictably rejected, and that was really all she wrote. Georgetown hit seven freebies in the final 30 seconds, and your final from the Verizon Center was 65-59.
Carlino led the way for MU with 16 points and 4 rebounds, although four of those points came on resistance-less layups in the last minute. And after Good Matt Carlino made his first two 3-point attempts, Bad Matt Carlino took the steering wheel for a while, missing his last six 3s while also committing three turnovers. Fischer hit all six of his attempts from the floor to finish with 13 points while battling foul trouble and the gravitational pull of Joshua Smith's tummy, and Juan Anderson finished with 9. On the not-so-good side, Duane Wilson was once again quiet with 6 points and 3 turnovers, and Jajuan Johnson missed all three of his 3-point attempts, to sink his season percentage to an arctic 17.9%.
With the loss, Marquette sits at 9-6 for the year and 1-2 in the Big East, 1.5 games behind conference-leading DePaul. The boys are now off until next Wednesday, when they welcome the Bluejays of Creighton to Milwaukee.
Until tomorrow, then, this is your post-game dejection thread.