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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Men’s Big East Notebook

For a second straight Saturday, the Georgetown Hoyas proved they belong in the national title discussion. At the beginning of the week, however, the Hoyas looked flat out ordinary.

After the 72-64 loss to South Florida Wednesday night, the Hoyas desperately needed a win to remain within shouting distance of the Big East title contenders.

“We didn’t control the things we can control – being foul shots and some of those turnovers,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said.

After falling victim to the Bulls, Georgetown pounded Villanova 103-90 Saturday afternoon while attracting more than 10,000 fans on a day when a fierce snowstorm blanketed Washington D.C. and much of the East Coast.

Austin Freeman and Jason Clark combined for 49 of the 103 points while forcing the Hoyas into 16 first-half turnovers that ended Villanova’s 11-game winning streak and ruined the Wildcats’ perfect Big East record.

Orange Crush

After trailing by six points with 12 minutes to go Sunday afternoon, Syracuse knew it was time for some shutdown defense.

The Orange nearly pitched a shutout the rest of the way, holding Cincinnati to one field goal over the final 12 minutes, extending the best start in school history with a 71-54 victory, its 10th in a row. The win also put Syracuse on top of the Big East at 10-1.

Syracuse closed the game with a 28-5 run that featured Kris Joseph’s two pivotal 3-pointers and some quality defense. Andy Rautins led the Orange with 20 points, helping Syracuse get through another game when star Wes Johnson wasn’t at his best.

Johnson, who took a hard fall in the Orange’s win over Providence on Tuesday, was back in the starting lineup but played only 23 minutes. The forward only took three shots and had five points.

“Wes is sore,” coach Jim Boeheim said Thursday. “He felt like he could go yesterday (at practice), but he was sore and just didn’t have the mobility. I thought just like in our last game, other guys picked it up and our big guys played great.”

Two games to watch

Georgetown at Providence, Tuesday Feb. 9

The Hoyas continue to confuse fans all over the country, particularly with their performance last week. The Villanova win gave them their sixth over ranked opponents this season, but two of their losses came to South Florida and Old Dominion. The Friars come into Tuesday’s match-up fresh off a loss to Marquette on Saturday and have dropped three straight games since beating Connecticut in January.

West Virginia at Pittsburgh, Friday Feb. 12

The Oakland Zoo is sure to be rocking for this edition of the “Backyard Brawl” Friday night. The Panthers are 13-1 at home this season, but have lost four of their last seven games after starting 5-0 in conference play, including a 70-51 loss to West Virginia Feb. 3. The Mountaineers bring a 6-2 road record to Pittsburgh and had won six straight games before losing 82-75 to Villanova at home Monday night.

Player of the week

Austin Freeman, Georgetown, Jr. G

Freeman has emerged as Georgetown’s best player both with his scoring and overall leadership. After scoring 21 points in the South Florida loss, Freeman exploded for 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting while playing all 40 minutes in the win over Villanova.

Points per game: 16.8

Rebounds per game: 3.6

3-point percentage: 50

Free throw percentage: 83.1

Total assists: 54

Total rebounds: 80

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