Any win over a ranked opponent is a big one, but No. 22 Georgetown’s victory over No. 11 Marquette Saturday afternoon was especially sweet.

On the day the Georgetown men’s basketball program celebrated its 100th anniversary, and with dozens of former players in attendance, the Hoyas (18-5, 8-2 Big East) handed the Golden Eagles (21-5, 8-3) their worst loss of the year, an 18-point thumping, 76-58.

“Tonight is a big night for Georgetown basketball,” junior center Roy Hibbert said. “I couldn’t show my head if we had lost this game. We just said from the start we were going to play extremely hard and we are going to celebrate tonight.”

The Hoyas size trumped Marquette’s speed in a matchup billed as one between Georgetown’s big frontcourt and Marquette’s speedy backcourt. The Hoyas’ star frontcourt of Hibbert and junior forward Jeff Green combined for 47 points and 16 rebounds, reminding everyone – including former star center and leading vote-getter for the Hoyas’ all-century team Patrick Ewing (CAS ’85) – why Georgetown is known as Big Man U.

Hibbert, with his third double-double in four games, had 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting, collected 11 rebounds and blocked three shots. After that offensive performance, he now leads the nation in field goal percentage, hitting 70.3 percent of his shots. Green went off for a game-leading 24 points, tying the career high he set last week at St. John’s. He also handed out four assists and blocked one shot.

“Just playing along with Roy makes the game fun because he’s a big target down there,” Green said. “It made it easy getting the ball down to him and that just opened it up for the rest of us on the perimeter. With him playing the way he did makes our whole team much better.”

A close game for most of the afternoon, it was Hibbert and Green who broke the contest wide open in the closing minutes. With 7:31 remaining, Marquette sophomore guard Jerel cNeil nailed a three-pointer to bring the Eagles within one, 53-52, but then Hibbert and Green took off. The two preseason all-Big East players scored all 12 of the Hoyas’ points as Georgetown went on a 12-2 run, opening up a double-digit lead with under four minutes remaining and sealing the win for the Blue and Gray.

“I thought that was a pretty good stretch,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said of the run by Hibbert and Green. “We just went to them and we just got to a stretch where both those guys got going and scored in different ways.”

With the victory – the Hoyas’ seventh in a row – Georgetown now claims sole ownership of second place in the Big East. With only six games remaining, and the top four teams getting a bye in the conference tournament in arch, the Hoyas are in solid position to make a run at their first Big East tournament title since 1989.

“All the wins are gratifying,” Thompson said of winning Big East matches. “We are in a terrific league with terrific players and terrific coaches.”

Georgetown put two other starters in double digits, with junior guard Jonathan Wallace and freshman forward DaJuan Summers each tallying 10 points. The Hoyas’ fifth starter, sophomore guard Jessie Sapp, was one point shy of double digits, notching nine points.

The Golden Eagles were paced by forwards junior Ousmane Barro and freshman Lazar Haywood, who each had 14 points. Barro added 12 rebounds and McNeil contributed 11 points before fouling out.

Marquette’s leading scorer, sophomore guard Dominic James, was held to just six points for the third straight game. In last year’s Big East tournament, the Hoyas held James to 2-of-15 shooting – a feat Thompson said before the game the Hoyas could not repeat – but on Saturday Georgetown did an even better job on the hot-handed guard, holding him to a meager 2-of-17 shooting.

“I think I kind of prevented myself from getting to the basket,” James said. “To be honest, I was being aggressive, but I was probably being aggressive in the wrong way – probably taking poor shots.”

The Hoyas shot below 50 percent for the first time since their loss to Villanova. Georgetown hit 47.3 percent of its shots overall, but played much stronger in the second half than in the first, shooting just 38.7 percent before the break, but a blazing 58.3 percent after.

For the second time this week, the Hoyas also held an opponent to less than 34 percent shooting. Louisville hit only 33.3 percent of its shots on Wednesday, and on Saturday arquette was only slightly better, connecting on 33.9 percent.

“They did a great job with switching the defense and not giving us the same look on a regular basis,” James said.

The win against Marquette was particularly impressive for Georgetown, considering the Hoyas’ struggles against Oregon earlier this season. Like Marquette, the Ducks are primarily guard-oriented and emphasize speed more than anything else. After the loss to the Ducks, former-Head Coach John Thompson Jr. asked Wallace what month it was, thanking Wallace for realizing that the season was still young when he replied November.

Saturday, Thompson played reporter yet again.

“What month is it, Roy? What month is it?” Thompson asked Hibbert.

“It’s our month, coach.”

“Whose month?”


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