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Despite Marshon Brooks’ 43-point Performance, Hoyas Grab Big Win
Georgetown (18-5, 7-4 Big East) came out scoring three straight threes, and though they couldn’t keep that up, they never relinquished their lead in an 83-81 win against Providence Feb. 5 at Verizon Center, giving them a 97-13 record when scoring at least 69 points.
To say Marshon Brooks made a valiant attempt to give his Friars (14-10, 3-8) their first Big East road win would be an understatement. Despite a 43-point, 10-rebound performance, Brooks, and Providence, went home empty handed, well, besides the ping-pong-sized bump Brooks sported in the postgame press conference suffered on the last play in the senior guard’s last ditch attempt to win or tie the game.
Brooks’ 43 points, the fifth-highest point total in Big East history, is the most Georgetown has ever given up under coach John Thompson III, eclipsing J.J. Redick’s 41 points in 2006, also a Hoya win. Only three players have scored more than 40 points against Georgetown since 1995.
“He had 43 and only missed 11 shots. He’s very tough to guard,” senior guard Chris Wright, who guarded Brooks most of the afternoon, said. “He uses his length to his advantage. I tried to cut him off, make it tough for him, but at the end of the day, he’s 6-foot-5, 6-foot-6 with probably about a 7-foot wingspan so it’s hard to contest every shot. He was hitting everything. He’s a very good player. That was probably one of the best performances I’ve seen since my freshman year with (Stephen) Curry.”
The Hoyas’ performance was just plain more effective. Julian Vaughn grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds along with 14 points, 10 of which came in the second half, handing him his third double-double of his career.
“I just try to play hard every day and make the right plays,” Vaughn said. “There are a lot of perimeter threats on this team, so when other coaches decide to guard them close, then I’m one-on-one in the paint, and I just try and make plays for us to help us win.”
Three other players finished the game in double digits; Austin Freeman with the team-high 23 points, scored 14 in the second half. Jason Clark, who ended the game with 18 points, went 5-for-5 in the first half, and 4-for-4 from three-point range.
The Hoyas, overall, scored 8-of-15 threes in the first half, but made none of their 11 attempts in the second. Providence’s more aggressive defense played a factor. Starting the second half down 16, Providence managed to come back to within 2 with five minutes to go and again with 30 seconds left on the clock. With six seconds to go, a free throw by Wright put the Hoyas up by two, and his steal on the next play prevented Brooks from getting a shot off for the Hoya win.
“They have been in every game,” Thompson III said of the Friars’ comeback. “I can’t remember their box scores for every game, but I don’t think there have been too many games this year where they’ve been out of it. They just keep coming. They amped up their defense.”
A couple of key stretches for the Hoyas added up. Up 2 with five minutes to go, Freeman picked up an offensive rebound from a missed Clark jumper for a layup, followed by grabbing an up-court pass from Wright for the dunk. Vaughn followed with a layup despite Providence’s Great Wall of Hall blocking him (7-foot, 285-pound center Ryan Hall).
The No. 13-ranked Hoyas have a four-day breather before facing No. 17-ranked Syracuse, who is currently one spot below Georgetown in the Big East standings with a 19-4, 6-4 record.