Georgetown coach John Thompson III was so focused on the details of the game that he claimed not to notice a momentum swing when Marquette Golden Eagles counterpart Buzz Williams was called for a technical foul in the 2nd half.
But his point guard felt it.
”Yeah, absolutely,” the Hoyas’ Markel Starks said. ”Absolutely.”
The 18th-ranked Golden Eagles were making a run at No. 15 Georgetown, having closed a 10-point deficit to 3 when Williams got T’d up for arguing an out-of-bounds call along the baseline with 12:13 to play.
The Hoyas replied with an 8-1 run immediately after the call, and Marquette didn’t get closer than 8 points the rest of the way in Georgetown’s 63-55 victory Monday night.
”I was just howling at somebody that would respond,” Williams said. ”We can make a big deal out of it if you want. I got a technical. I’m sorry. I may get a technical again next year – that’s my average – and it’ll likely be on the road.”
Otto Porter scored 11 of his 21 points after the technical, Starks finished with 16 points, and Georgetown scored 24 points off 19 turnovers to move into a tie with the Marquette for 2nd place in the Big East.
The Hoyas (18-4, 8-3 Big East) won their 6th straight and avenged a 49-48 loss at Marquette Golden Eagles on January 5.
Williams indeed has 5 technical fouls in his 5 seasons at Marquette, in the opinion of the school, but this was a case of using up his reservoir of goodwill long before the call that cost him. He pushed the envelope continually in the first half with his now-familiar strolls outside the coach’s box, twice venturing close to the midcourt circle with play under way. Hoyas fans began serenading him with chants of ”Off the court!” in the 2nd half. NFL lines
Williams finally got the technical for disputing a call that would have gone either way. Porter made both free throws and then hit a floater on the ensuing possession to complete a 4-point series that pushed the lead straight to 41-34.
Williams asserted ”any time you get a technical it’s a bad time,” but he also cited the Marquette Golden Eagles’ 12 first-half turnovers and the fact that he did not have a player credited with an offensive rebound in the first 20 minutes as larger factors in the loss.
”I’m not sure you can win in Division I at home or on the road with those type of numbers,” he said.
With both teams playing aggressive defense and the officials calling a tight game, the flow was virtually non-existent. Rather than trading baskets, the Hoyas and Marquette kept swapping some combination of turnovers, steals and offensive fouls.
Georgetown Hoyas went virtually 7 minutes without a field goal to start the 2nd half, but the pace was so laborious that the Golden Eagles were only in a position to outscore the Hoyas 8-2 in that span.
Georgetown went 9 for 24 from the field after the break but compensated by making 11 of 17 free throws.