We Are Georgetown: Hoyas facing first place Marquette
After a light week ending with a tight win over Rutgers, the Hoyas go into a rematch with Marquette with the intention of avenging their one-point loss earlier in the season. The Golden Eagles have won the last two meetings, but in the last six matchups between these two squads, the victory has gone to the home team.
Not only does this game have implications for momentum in the closing stretch of conference play, but it is also crucial for the battle for the Big East title. Marquette currently shares the top spot in the conference with Syracuse. The Hoyas are one game out of the Big East lead and control their own destiny with this game and two matchups with the Orange remaining.
In the beginning of the season, the Hoya scoring was very concentrated. In the first meeting with Marquette, sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr., sophomore forward Greg Whittington, and junior guard Markel Starks scored 44 of the Hoyas’ 48 points. Since then, not only have the rest of the starters stepped up, but also the bench players who saw limited time before Whittington’s exit have stepped up to help ease the burden on Porter Jr. and Starks’ backs.
Eyes will be on Porter Jr. and Marquette junior guard Vander Blue, who has averaged 19.5 points in the past four games. The wild cards in this game will be Starks, who has put up solid points over the last four games, but has been shooting sporadically different percentages game-to-game throughout the season and Marquette senior guard Junior Cadougan who has alternated between solid performances and scoring in the low single-digits. Cadougan’s performances have often been correlated with result of the game.
Marquette, recently, has come up short in games where they have been tested. Despite blowing out Providence, South Florida (twice), and DePaul, the Golden Eagles were unable to pull out a win against Cincinnati, and looked lost in a 19-point loss against a sliding Louisville. The Hoyas, on the other hand have won their last five, with two ranked wins as part of the streak. However, last time the Hoyas came up short against Marquette, they were riding a seven game win streak.
While this game by no means puts any team far in front of the Big East pack, it will have a large impact on a race that has three teams fending off a pack of closely following competitors that includes No. 12 Louisville, No. 16 Pittsburgh, and No. 21 Notre Dame. With six Big East teams in the rankings, the battle for the regular season title is sure to come down to the wire, but with a win, the Hoyas will knock one of their main competitors off the top of the table and will get a strong push into the Cincinnati game on Friday and the two Syracuse games looming in the distance.
File Photo: Miles Gavin Meng/Georgetown Voice (Feb. 2, 2013, vs. St. Johns)