The No. 13 Hoyas won their sixth straight game this afternoon against Providence to move to 7-4 in the Big East. Georgetown led by a comfortable margin for most of the game, but the Friars climbed back in the final eight minutes and had a chance to win on the final possession. It has been said many times before, but it bears repeating: every win in the Big East this year is important, even against a bottom-dweller like Providence.
Marshon Brooks is #TOUUUUUUUUUGGHHHH
To say the very least, Brooks was in the zone this afternoon at the Verizon Center. His 43 points were the most by a Big East player this season and were the fifth highest ever in a Big East league game. Brooks, who is the second leading scorer in the Big East this year behind Kemba Walker, totaled 24 points in the first half and then made up for an eight-minute scoring drought by adding all 19 of his second half in the last 11 minutes of the game.
“He single handedly kept us in the game during that stretch and we were able to make sure he got the ball,” Providence head coach Keno Davis said.
If Chris Wright didn’t steal the ball from Brooks at the end of the game, we may have seen him single handedly win the game for the Friars.
The last three games have been similar for the Hoyas down the stretch: Villanova and Louisville both had a chance to tie the game on the final possession, while Providence had a chance to win. Despite letting teams back into the game–0-for-11 three-point shooting in the second half will do that–Georgetown has shown the ability to take care of the ball, find good shots, and play solid defense when it really counts.
“In spite of the final score, in spite of how much we were up, I don’t think this group gets rattled too much,” head coach John Thompson III said. “I think just as long as we settle in and focus on what we need to do and how we need to do it, they usually can figure out what’s necessary.”
Julian Vaughn scored eight of his 14 points with under eight minutes left and grabbed a couple important offensive rebounds. It was all the more impressive after he struggled somewhat earlier in the game, at one point missing five free throws in a row. Austin Freeman also scored eight points toward the end of the game, including a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line and a monstrous dunk.
Phone Booth stuffing
Despite a noon start and a mediocre opponent (by Big East standards), a season high 16,289 fans packed the Verizon Center and provided a great home court advantage.
“I’m glad our fans were here. I think that the energy we feed off them is real and tangible,” Thompson said. “At key points in the game when that gym got loud it was coincidentally when we got a stop, got a rebound, made a good play, so I want to thank our fans because when we needed them to be good, they were good today.”
The Hoyas will travel to Syracuse to face the No. 17 Orange on Wednesday night, the first of two meetings between the vaunted rivals this season. Georgetown is as hot as they’ve been all year, and with Syracuse coming off a win at No. 6 UConn last Wednesday and blowing out South Florida this afternoon, the game should live up to expectations. Georgetown and ‘Cuse are currently tied for fifth in the Big East.