Hoyas visit Golden Eagles in clash of ranked Big East foesMar 3, 2012 - 4:00 PM Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - The 2011-12 regular season comes to an end for a pair of nationally-ranked Big East Conference foes today, as No. 11 Georgetown pays a visit to No. 8 Marquette.
Georgetown is an impressive 22-6 on the year, and the team has won 12 of its 17 conference bouts thus far. The Hoyas have won two in a row and four of their last five, and will be attempting to knock off their second straight ranked opponent today after defeating No. 20 Notre Dame at home on Monday night, 59-41. It was the second straight game in which GU allowed fewer than 47 points, and the seventh time since the start of conference play in which it has permitted 50 points or less.
Marquette too has enjoyed a stellar campaign, as it sports a 24-6 mark, which includes a 13-4 league ledger. The Golden Eagles recently had a five-game win streak stopped in a 72-61 loss at Cincinnati on Wednesday night, but they are hoping the success they've achieved at home this year (14-1) will help them get past the Hoyas today.
Georgetown has won seven of the 12 previous meetings with Marquette, the most recent of which coming in a 73-70 final in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 4. The Hoyas have actually won the last three meetings, with the Golden Eagles' last triumph coming at home in a 62-59 decision on January 6, 2010.
Georgetown dominated both ends of the floor in its recent win over Notre Dame, hitting 52.3 percent of its field goal attempts, while holding the Fighting Irish to a mere 33.3 percent. The two teams combined for just seven three- pointers and 15 made free throws, but GU claimed a 33-23 edge on the glass and outscored UND in the paint, 28-16, and in bench points, 19-7. Greg Whittington came off the Georgetown bench to score a game-high 15 points, hitting all three of this three-point tries and 5-of-6 shots overall, while Jason Clark and Henry Sims chipped in with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Otto Porter led the team's rebounding effort with 10 caroms. As mentioned previously, the Hoyas have dialed up the defense this year, and they enter this contest with an average yield of only 58.1 ppg, with foes shooting a mere 28.1 percent from beyond the arc and 38.5 percent overall. A +5.7 rebounding differential has certainly helped the cause, and the team currently has three players averaging double digits in the scoring column, with Clark's 14.5 ppg leading the way.
For the first time in four games, someone other than Jae Crowder led the Golden Eagles in scoring as star guard Darius Johnson-Odom tallied 18 points on the strength of his 4-of-8 showing from three-point range, but it wasn't enough as Marquette fell to Cincinnati the last time out. Crowder was certainly a factor in the game, logging a double-double consisting of 17 points and 12 rebounds, but the Golden Eagles made good on just 33.9 percent of their field goal attempts and committed 17 turnovers. The Bearcats had trouble finding their shooting touch as well (.409 overall, .167 from downtown), but they were guilty of only seven miscues and they controlled the paint to the tune of a 42-24 scoring advantage. Johnson-Odom (18.3 ppg) and Crowder (17.4 ppg) have been as potent a scoring duo as any in the conference this season, helping Marquette put up 75.9 ppg in dropping 45.9 percent of its total shots, and the team has forced 113 more turnovers this season than it has committed.
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