Marquette cruises over Georgetown snapping two-game losing streak

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Photo by Sarah Kuhns

Redshirt first-year guard Tyler Kolek (22) looks to pass the ball in Marquette men’s basketball’s 77-66 win over Georgetown Feb. 16.

Coming in on a two-game losing streak, Marquette hosted the Georgetown Hoyas at Fiserv Forum Wednesday night and cruised to a 77-66 victory, preventing the reigning BIG EAST Tournament champion Hoyas from picking up their first conference victory this season.

“Nice to be back in the win column,” Marquette head coach Shaka Smart said. “Last week was tough in a lot of ways for our team.”

The star player of the first half for Marquette was first-year guard Kam Jones. In the first half alone, Jones went 6-for-10 from the field including making five 3-pointers. He finished the half with 17 points in addition to a rebound and two assists.

“I love that guy. He gives me a lot of confidence,” Smart said. “He’s capable of doing even more than what he did tonight. Happy for him in the way he attacked.”

This is the sixth game this season that Jones has put up double-digit points. Additionally, it is the fourth game he’s made four or more 3-pointers.

“I know my teammates believe in me,” Jones said. “When I see a few go through I feel like I can just fire.”

As a team the Golden Eagles were shooting well from deep in the first. They went 10-for-21 from beyond the arc in the half and shot 51% from the field. They went into the break leading 48-31.

The Golden Eagles only grew their lead early in the second half. Redshirt first-year forward Justin Lewis quickly scored six points at the start of the half to get himself into double-digit scoring.

Lewis finished the night shooting 5-for-12 from the field scoring 13 points and collecting a team-hight eight rebounds with four assists.

Despite only scoring 29 points in the second half and shooting 2-for-12 from deep, Marquette continued to cruise as they came away with the 11-point victory.

Graduate forward Kur Kuath scored in double figures for Marquette, going a perfect 7-for-7 from the field totaling 15 points. He also had three blocks along with four rebounds and two assists.

“I came out with more energy and violence tonight,” Kuath said.

This is only the second game this season that Kuath finished in double-figures. He didn’t attempt a shot in Marquette’s last game at Butler and did not collect any rebounds.

“He was upset with how he played,” Smart said referring to Kuath’s performance against Butler. “The way he finished tonight, the way he blocked shots and changed shots was a huge domino for us.”

Redshirt first-year guard Tyler Kolek once again showed off his passing abilities, totaling a season-high and game-high 11 assists. He also scored six points on 2-for-5 shooting from the field.

“He’s as good as anybody at passing,” Smart said. “He did a good job driving the ball and creating opportunities.”

Kolek, who leads the BIG EAST averaging 5.8 assists per game coming into tonight, had just six assists combined in the previous two losses for Marquette.

“We’ve had games this year where teams have not helped at all off of him so it’s tougher for him to get big assist numbers,” Smart said. “Him shooting or passing is more predicated on the other team’s defense.”

The Golden Eagles complete the sweep of the Hoyas, winning by an average of 19.5 points in the two games they faced off after the Hoyas defeated Marquette in the first round of the BIG EAST tournament last season.

The win improves Marquette’s record to 17-9 on the season and 9-6 in the BIG EAST. They currently sit in fourth place in the tightly contested BIG EAST conference standings.

Next up for Marquette is a trip to Omaha, Nebraska, on Sunday where they’ll look to get revenge against the Creighton Bluejays.

Creighton defeated Marquette in double-overtime at Fiserv Forum on New Year’s Day thanks to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Alex O’Connell to send it to the second overtime.

This article was written by Matt Yeazel. He can be reached at matthew.yeazel@marquette.edu or on Twitter @MJYeazel.