Seven days after the sky was falling in a loss to South Florida, the Georgetown Hoyas (14-4, 4-3 Big East) have their swagger back. Behind virtuoso performances from Otto Porter Jr. and Markel Starks, they put away No. 5 Louisville (16-4, 4-3 Big East) 53-51 in a thriller at the Verizon Center this afternoon.
Despite the standout efforts from their usual stars, it was the less-heralded junior Aaron Bowen who saved the game for Georgetown. With 3:38 remaining in the game, Bowen tipped in a missed D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera layup with an acrobatic, behind-the-back finish.
I was almost towards half court, I have never seen anything like it,” Starks said of the play. “I tell him he’s one of the most athletic people on this planet. When the shot went up, he just came out of nowhere, and it was unbelievable.”
“Literally, the dead ball before his basket, he says ‘I’m going to get one [putback] coach, I’m going to get one’ and then he goes out and does it. That’s pretty good,” added Head Coach John Thompson III.
For the Hoyas, it marked the go-ahead basket in a seesaw affair. For Bowen, it marked his only points, although the junior has seen increased playing time since sophomore Greg Whittington was declared academically ineligible.
Porter, who contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds, also came up clutch for Georgetown with three timely rebounds in the final seconds. With the final rebound, he was fouled with two seconds left. After missing the second free throw, Louisville’s Russ Smith threw up a desperation heave at the buzzer – the miss sent the Hoyas to their second straight win, sending the crowd of 17,474 into a frenzy.