Georgetown Hoyas come back from down 17 to beat Marquette
WASHINGTON (AP) — Georgetown's Hollis Thompson is showing a knack for producing drama on a basketball court.
Just don't expect theatrical descriptions of his big plays afterward.
Thompson's tiebreaking 3-pointer with 24 seconds left capped a comeback from a 17-point deficit, and Jason Clark scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half, helping the ninth-ranked Hoyas beat No. 20 Marquette 73-70 on Wednesday night for their 11th consecutive victory.
Asked to describe that last, pivotal shot, Thompson said: "Um, I mean, I was open, and my teammates found me." Then he paused before adding: "Honestly, I don't remember."
Last month, he hit a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds remaining to lift the Hoyas to a victory over then-No. 12 Alabama. On Wednesday, Thompson had eight of his 16 points in the final 3½ minutes, a show of self-belief after sitting on the sideline for a chunk of the second half, time on the bench that he said felt odd.
"We've said this in jest, but it's true: Hollis' confidence is always flowing. And our confidence in him is always going," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III, who's not related to the junior forward. "We run a play to get him a shot, it goes in, and then his teammates were coming down the court, (saying), 'Let's do this, let's do that,' trying to get him shots."
Marquette coach Buzz Williams' take on the winning shot?
"We just watched that last clip on the computer. I thought our guys did exactly what we would want them to do," Williams said with a hint of a chuckle. "It was a perfect defensive possession in a lot of ways. He made the shot, though."
Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder both got late looks at potential tying 3s for Marquette, but both missed.
The Hoyas (13-1, 3-0 Big East), who are on their longest winning streak in five years, got 13 points from Henry Sims, and key contributions from four freshmen who played significant minutes in the second half. They also wouldn't have had much a chance without Clark, who brought the hosts back by making 6 of 7 shots in the second half, when he scored 18 points.
Georgetown shot 76 percent from the field after halftime.
"That's really hard to overcome," said Williams, whose team travels to No. 1 Syracuse on Saturday.
Marquette (12-3, 1-1) lost for the third time in five games, despite 18 points from Johnson-Odom, 17 from Crowder, and 16 from Todd Mayo.
The Golden Eagles led 43-29 at halftime and stretched that to 56-39 on Mayo's 3-pointer with 13:10 left.
"I guess we just felt like we were being embarrassed. We were getting embarrassed," Clark said. "So the second half, we just wanted to turn it up defensively, and our defense turned into our offense."
With starters Sims and Thompson sitting with three fouls each in the second half, Georgetown went with a lineup of freshmen Jabril Trawick, Otto Porter, Greg Whittington and Mikael Hopkins, along with Clark, a senior guard. Something clicked, because the Hoyas starting chipping away at that big deficit.
"They come in and contribute so well that you don't even know there's four freshmen out there," Clark said.
He did most of the scoring in the rally, including a 3-pointer and a three-point play. And when Sims went back in and made 1 of 2 free throws, then assisted on Porter's backdoor cut for a layup, suddenly Marquette's lead was down to 62-57 with a little more than 7 minutes remaining.
It helped that Marquette went cold for a stretch, going more than 7½ minutes between field goals.
When Thompson swished a 3, the Hoyas were only down 66-64, and his fallaway baseline jumper tied it. After yet another Marquette turnover, Sims' layup put Georgetown ahead 68-66 with a little more than 2 minutes to go. After the teams traded scores, the game was tied at 70-all when Thompson made his biggest basket of the game.
"I was open," he said, "so I took the shots."