Marquette HoopCap: Golden Eagles Hold Off Hoyas
The start of the Big East season is always a magical one. There are hopes of the Big Dance circling in most teams’ head along with getting off on the right foot. Marquette Golden Eagles did just that with their 76-66 victory over Georgetown Hoyas. Marquette went nearly wire-to-wire with this win and had control of the game for most of the 40 minutes on the court.
Making of a star
It’s hard to believe that Markus Howard is only 17 years old. We talk about it all the time. I tell everyone I’m watching Marquette game that you’re watching a 17 year old at work, but he’s that damn good and talented. Howard had a career-high 23 points making nearly everything from deep. He’s become like a Steve Novak or Travis Diener where you get excited every time he has the ability to shoot it from deep. Howard is going to be one of the good ones here at Marquette.
JaJuan Johnson changed the second half
As I sat in my seats, I told my boys the 12-8 minute mark would be the big moment of the game. Georgetown were hanging around and trying to make a run to make this thing close. They pulled within 10 before JaJuan Johnson brought his Thor hammer out. He had back-to-back breakout dunks (First one was a beautiful outlet pass by Sam Hauser) leading to Golden Eagles pull the lead back to 14. Johnson finished with 20 points in this game providing a great counterpunch to Howard.
Duane Wilson’s injury
Sad to see Wilson pull up limp and find out later he had a groin injury that wouldn’t allow him back in the game. If Wilson misses time, that’s a huge loss for Marquette. They’ve lost two ball-handlers to transfer with Sandy Cohen and Traci Carter and now could be down a third one. I’m not sure what Steve Wojciehowski’s plan will be for their backcourt. Howard and Andrew Rowsey had some foul trouble, and if that happens with Wilson out, it’s big trouble for Marquette.
Not sold on the defense
Marquette played better defensively especially when it came to contesting threes, but I’m not ready to believe that things suddenly changed for this team. They gave up way too many offensive rebounds as Hoyas finished with 12 providing too many second-chance opportunities. I’ll admit it looked better than it has the last time they played a high major team.
Players of the Game
Howard (Marquette), Rodney Pryor (Georgetown) – We already talked at length about Howard. Pryor can fill up the tin. He’s the type of player that Hoyas have been missing for years. He scored 23 points with seven assists. I’m not his biggest fan though as he pushed Johnson at the end of his second breakway dunk. It was hard to see on the broadcast, but the in-game replay showed it. That’s such a shitty play.
This is where gets hard for Marquette. They have to go on the road for a New Year’s Day game against Seton Hall. The Pirates have Marquette’s number blowing them out twice last season. I’m sure Wojo and the players still on the team haven’t forgot about that. Hopefully, they can change that to start 2017.