Xavier Gets Back on Track in Win Over Georgetown
The Xavier Musketeers Men's Basketball team returned to their winning ways on Wednesday night as they defeated Georgetown 89-77 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Freshman forward Naji Marshall led the way for the Musketeers with 21 points and Senior guard J.P. Macura followed close behind with 20. The No. 4 ranked Muskies improved their record to 25-4 in the win over the Hoyas, while unranked Georgetown falls to 15-11.
The game began with heavy scoring from both squads. Georgetown jumped to an early lead following three consecutive three-pointers made by Jamorko Pickett, who led his team in scoring on the night. Naji Marshall scored the Musketeers' first 6 points, mostly resulting from being at the right place at the right time. Georgetown led 9-6 with 16:00 to play in the first half. Following the first media timeout, J.P. Macura scored 10 straight points for Xavier, though Georgetown held onto a 2-point lead.
Kasier Gates, who has struggled lately for the Musketeers, made two transition three-pointers in the first half and appeared to be more comfortable than in previous games. Guard Quentin Goodin was involved in a collision for a loose ball with teammate Paul Scruggs in front of his own bench. Goodin appeared to have twisted or landed on his knee awkwardly and sat out roughly 10 minutes and it seemed as though he would not return. He did, however, return shortly after the injury, contributing a great amount to the Musketeers' road win with 19 points, 3 assists and 4 rebounds.
Xavier struggled early in defending Georgetown's big men and their ability to make elbow and corner jump-shots. The interior defense, consisting of Jones, O'mara and Kanter, did not play very well in the opening half. A Xavier 10-2 run was recorded at the end of the opening half to cut Georgetown's lead to 2 points. The Hoyas shot 60% from the field in the first half and rebounded very well.
Within the first three minutes of the second half, Georgetown had remained in charge with a 47-45 lead. A layup and three-point make from Quentin Goodin gave the Muskies 54-50 lead after a 7-0 run by Xavier. Georgetown struggled to take care of the ball, coughing it up 14 times in the contest. Xavier took full advantage of the Hoyas' carelessness by feeding the ball inside to Kerem Kanter for an easy layup, followed by a three-pointer by J.P. Macura.
Goodin followed the efforts with a huge "and-1" three-point play for the Muskies who then scored back to back three-pointers to seal the deal on the road. The Muskies were able to break Georgetown's late-game full court press and make free-throws down the stretch to secure an 89-77 win over the Hoyas.
The Muskies will be back in action on Wednesday, February 28 when they take on Providence in the last home game of the 2017-2018 season. Senior night tip-off at Cintas is set for 6:30pm.