Marquette-Georgetown Preview

One reason for Georgetown’s surge over the past month has been

its improved shooting from 3-point range.

Marquette can also shoot with high proficiency, but defending

the perimeter is where it tends to run into trouble.

The 11th-ranked Hoyas look to extend their winning streak to

eight Sunday when they host the Golden Eagles in a matchup of two

of the Big East’s top offenses.

After shooting 25.6 percent from beyond the arc during a 1-4

start to conference play, Georgetown (19-5, 8-4) has connected on

40.3 percent of its 3s during its seven-game winning streak. The

Hoyas, who haven’t lost since falling to first-place Pittsburgh on

Jan. 12, made 9 of 21 3-pointers in Wednesday’s 64-56 victory at

12th-ranked Syracuse.

Three of Georgetown’s last four wins have come against teams

ranked 15th or higher. This is the longest conference winning

streak for the Hoyas since they reeled off 11 in a row in

2006-07.

“Coming off our last win over Syracuse is a great feeling,” said

sophomore forward Hollis Thompson, who is 12 of 19 (63.2) from

3-point range during the winning streak. “A lot of times teams come

off big wins and kick their feet up when they need to be on their

toes. I think we recognize that because we’ve been through that in

the past. I think we’re going to stay focused and stay on top of

that.”

Thompson hit all three of his 3-point attempts and finished with

11 points against the Orange, while senior guard Austin Freeman

scored a game-high 14.

Freeman is averaging 21.0 points during the winning streak after

averaging 9.7 in the three-game losing streak that immediately

preceded it.

The Hoyas, whose 50.3 overall field-goal percentage ranks second

in the nation, are unbeatable when they get hot from long range.

Georgetown is 12-0 when making at least six 3-pointers, and 16-0

when shooting at least 33 percent from beyond the arc.

This doesn’t bode well for Marquette (15-9, 6-5), which has

allowed opponents to make 41.0 percent of their 3-point attempts in

six conference road games.

Marquette does have enough offense to overcome some defensive

struggles. The Golden Eagles lead the Big East in scoring at 78.5

points per game and rank second with a 48.3 field-goal

percentage.

The Golden Eagles couldn’t get much going offensively Wednesday

against South Florida yet still managed to win 59-58. They shot

39.3 percent, finished with a season low in points and missed seven

straight free throws in the final 1:03, leaving coach Buzz Williams

flabbergasted.

“I’m not sure there’s an appropriate way. … I don’t think

there’s words to justify the ebb and flow of that game,” Williams

said. “But for it to play out the way that it did, relative to the

result from our perspective, I don’t know if there’s any

philosophical way to describe it.”

Jae Crowder led the Golden Eagles with 14 points, while Darius

Johnson-Odom, who averages a team-high 16.0 points, scored a

season-low seven.

Johnson-Odom was limited to 11 total points while shooting 4 of

15 as the teams split two meetings last season. Freeman totaled 32

points for Georgetown.

The Hoyas lost by three points at Marquette in January 2010,

then beat the Golden Eagles 80-57 in the Big East tournament

semifinals.