Working Overtime: Hoyas down Marquette in OT to win fourth straight

MILWAUKEE- It was a game of inches.

With 0.9 seconds left and the Hoyas up 81-79, Marquette graduate student Matt Carlino’s three-point field goal to give the Golden Eagles an 82-81 lead appeared to put an end to a back-and-forth contest that saw 16 lead changes and 15 different occasions where the score was tied.

But after review indicated that Carlino’s left foot straddled the three-point line, the made basket was changed from a three-pointer to a two, breathing new life into Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III’s squad.

The Hoyas (14-5, 6-2 Big East) took advantage, as they outscored Marquette (10-9, 2-5 Big East) 14-4 in the extra period en route a 95-85 win in front of 15,713 hostile fans at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

With a depleted roster due to in-game injuries suffered by senior guard Jabril Trawick (knee, day-to-day) and freshman forward L.J. Peak (ankle sprain, day-to-day), the Hoyas’ bench was forced to step up.

And they did. Career games from freshman forward Isaac Copeland, 17 points, six rebounds, and four assists, and freshman guard Tre Campbell, 14 points, complemented junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, 19 points and five assists, and senior center Joshua Smith, 18 points and career-high 15 rebounds, to win the Blue and Gray’s fourth consecutive game.

“We have the depth and we have the personnel that if one or two or three people go down, someone’s capable to step up and confident enough to step up and their teammates have enough confidence in them to step up and perform,” Thompson said following the win. “Was the second half, in particular what we expected? No. But did we have people like this young man right here (points to Tre Campbell) that stepped up and did his job? Absolutely.”

Campbell came up clutch in overtime, especially as his three-pointer with 56 seconds left extended the Hoyas’ lead to 89-85, effectively putting the game out of reach.

“It’s a drill that me and Coach do before practice every day,” Campbell said regarding the shot. I just had confidence.”

During the post-game press conference, Campbell wouldn’t allow anyone to shower too much praise on him due to his perceived inexperience as a freshman.

“Coach doesn’t call us freshmen. He just calls us basketball players. We just have confidence in ourselves.”

Thompson echoed that sentiment. “Tre’s a very good ballplayer. Tre has played in a lot of tough situations coming up,” Thompson said. “He stepped up when he’s called upon. He’s confident. We’re confident in him and he played well. But he’s supposed to play well.”

While Campbell and the rest of the bench’s play was a welcome emergence for Thompson, his team’s three-point shooting defense left a lot to be desired. Marquette’s Carlino and freshman forward Duane Wilson erupted for 26 points apiece, with both of them combining to convert an astronomical 11-of-16 three-point attempts. Overall, the Golden Eagles shot 52 percent from three-point range, something Thompson was not pleased with.

“Ooh boy! We had a couple of games where we were very good at three-point defense. Tonight’s game looked like us back in the first part of the season,” Thompson said. “…We have to do a better job. We gave up key shots that if we don’t let them get it off and if we contest it, we go home in regulation.”

Thompson, however, was pleased that despite all the late setbacks, his team was able to grind out the close road victory.

“Every Big East contest is going to be like that. Everyone has been. Everyone will be,” Thompson said. “It’s going to be a possession by possession game. So did I expect that? Absolutely. Fortunately, we were able to hold on in overtime and pull away.”

The Hoyas will look to extend their four-game winning streak when they return home to Verizon Center Tuesday night to face Xavier (13-7, 4-4 Big East). Tip-off is slated for 7:00p.m. The Blue and Gray, who most likely will be ranked in the national Top 25 polls come this Monday, will look to avenge their earlier season loss at the Musketeers, who defeated them on New Year’s Eve 70-53.

Photo: Georgetown University

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