College Basketball: Marquette at Georgetown – Marquette Favored
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Two teams with different strengths but similar winning records collide at the Verizon Center on Saturday when No. 11 Marquette visits 22nd-ranked Georgetown.
Both the Golden Eagles (21-4, 8-2 Big East) and Hoyas (17-5, 7-2) have lengthy winning streaks entering this contest as the teams chase the Big East leader, No. 7 Pittsburgh. Marquette has won eight consecutive games after an 0-2 start in Big East play, while Georgetown has reeled off six straight victories.
Marquette’s strength lies in its sophomore backcourt of Dominic James, Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews. The trio accounted for 26 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists in Wednesday’s 67-47 romp over Rutgers. James scored only six points but had seven assists without a turnover in 34 minutes, while McNeal, Matthews and freshman guard David Cubillan each had 10 points.
James leads the team with 15.6 points per game but has scored a total of 12 points in his last two games while shooting just 3-for-18 from the floor. He does have 20 assists and six steals with just six turnovers in his last four games, though, and Matthews is confident his teammate will be ready.
"He is still finding ways to help this team win," Matthews said. "He had seven assists and zero turnovers. He is letting the game come to him and always finding a way to contribute."
Marquette also posted a 40-28 edge in rebounds Wednesday, as Ousmane Barro had 11 points and 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double. The 6-foot-10 junior will have to be a big defensive presence Saturday against a Hoyas front line that features 7-2 center Roy Hibbert and 6-9 forward Jeff Green as its top two offensive options.
Hibbert dominated both ends of the floor in Georgetown’s 73-65 win at Louisville on Monday, totaling 20 points and 11 rebounds. He has made 71.2 percent of his shots this season, and has averaged 15.3 points and 7.2 rebounds during the Hoyas’ win streak.
Green added 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists as the Hoyas made 57 percent of their shots and committed just seven turnovers. The junior forward has averaged 19.0 points and shot 29-for-48 (60.4 percent) from the field in his last four games.
"They were outstanding," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said of his two star players. "Coming into the game, we wanted to try and limit their second chances. I felt like we got big rebounds when we needed in both Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert, and on the offensive end, I thought they were very good."
The Hoyas are sixth in the nation in scoring defense at 56.2 points per game, and have allowed 70 or more points just three times. But Matthews noted that playing against Georgetown’s deliberate offense – which is second nationally in shooting at 52.6 percent – also will be difficult.
"It’s going to be tough,” Matthews said. "It’s at their place, it’s on TV. They have a great coach, a great system and they’re at home. We’re going to have to play our game and adjust to another style of play.”
The teams split two meetings last season, with Marquette winning on its home court and Georgetown posting a victory in the Big East tournament quarterfinals. The schools have split four meetings all-time.
by: Marc Young – theSpread.com – Email Us
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