In a comeback for the ages, junior forward Hollis Thompson resuscitated Georgetown from a 17-point deficit midway through the second half to lead the No. 9 Hoyas (13-1, 3-0 Big East) over No. 20 Marquette (12-3, 1-1), 73-70, Wednesday night.

“That’s a Big East game,” Head Coach John Thompson III said after the game.

With the game tied at 70, senior center Henry Sims dribbled through the lane before dishing to Thompson in the left corner, who nailed a three-pointer with 20 seconds to play. Marquette Head Coach Buzz Williams was irate, as Sims appeared to charge into Marquette senior guard Darius Johnson-Odom just after he passed off to Thompson. The refs let it go, however, and Thompson sent the Verizon Center into chaos.

“We say this in jest, but Hollis’s confidence is always flowing and our confidence in him is always going,” Thompson III said. “We did a good job as a group of going back to him and getting him the ball and, more importantly, he came through.”

Thompson finished 6-of-7 from the floor and 4-of-5 from long-range, totaling 16 points in a game in which Georgetown shot 63 percent as a team. However, it was senior guard and captain Jason Clark that spearheaded most of the comeback for the Blue and Gray.

Clark finished with 26 points, 12 of them coming during the Hoyas’ 34-14 game-ending surge. Clark was able to overcome an uncharacteristically awful night from the free throw line, where the 83 percent shooter made just six of 13 attempts.

“From the very first possession of the second half you saw his focus change,’ Thompson III said. “As he focused in on his defense his shot started to fall. His defense set the tone and his offensefollowed.”

With 13:12 remaining in the game, Marquette freshman guard Todd Mayo buried a three-pointer, giving the Golden Eagles a 56-39 lead and prompting Thompson III to call a timeout. The Hoyasrattled off five quick points before Johnson-Odom, Marquette’s leading scorer, nailed a three-pointer to put the Golden Eagles up by 15 with about 11 minutes left.

Then things started to click for the Blue and Gray. Freshman forward Mikeal Hopkins had two consecutive assists to start the comeback, and from there on out the upperclassmen took over. Clark scored seven consecutive points, Sims had seven points and three assists, and Thompson had eight points, including the game-winner, in the same eight-minute stretch.

“Our poor decisions, be it turnovers or poor shots, led to their baskets,” Thompson III said. “So we stopped turning the ball over and we started getting shots and giving us a chance to play defense, because before they were out and running every time we made a mistake. I think our guys just became more attentive.”

Marquette had two chances to the tie the game in the final seconds, but Johnson-Odom and senior forward Jae Crowder both missed attempts from beyond the arc.

Sims finished with 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and two blocks and freshman forward Otto Porter contributed eight points, five boards and three dimes.

“I thought he was the key to their game,” Williams said about Sims. “I think within how they play he’s their point guard. His ability to have the offense run through him is similar to what it was when everything was going through Greg Monroe.”

Overall, the Hoyas shot 16-of-21 and forced 12 turnovers while committing just five in the second half.

“That’s what is going to win us games in this conference, you have to get stops,” Thompson III said.

It was a complete turnaround from an ugly first 20 minutes that seemed to be a spillover from the Providence game. Georgetown committed 12 turnovers and went just 2-of-10 from beyond the arc. Marquette capitalized on the Hoyas’ poor ballhandling, going on a 20-5 run in the last nine minutes of the half.

“We’re not even going to talk about the first half. I thought that was embarrassing,” Thompson III said.

There were also several scary moments in the game, the first when sophomore guard Markel Starks collided with Marquette forward Jamil Wilson. Both players were on the court for a little while but eventually reentered the game.

Johnson-Odom and Porter also suffered injuries in the physical game. Johnson-Odom hit his head on the floor after Sims blocked his shot, but continued to play and appeared fine. Porter landed on his wrist after being fouled on a steal, but shook it off and was able to continue.

The Blue and Gray have now won 11 consecutive games, the most since their Final Four season in 2006-2007. They will attempt to extend the streak in yet another tough road matchup this Saturday against West Virginia, but for now the players are basking in the win.

“It’s a really big win for us, we were down by a lot and it was a big comeback,” Clark said. “We did it as a group and that shows how good of a team we are.”

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