Marshall helps No. 4 Xavier beat Georgetown 89-77
BOBBY BANCROFT, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite winning four straight games in the nation’s capital, Xavier coach Chris Mack is happy that the Big East has never held its conference tournament in DC.
His leading scorer, Trevon Bluiett, has scored over 2,000 points in his Musketeers career but he’s combined for just three points in his last two visits to Washington.
Naji Marshall led three Musketeers in double figures with a career-high 21 points as No. 4 Xavier beat Georgetown 89-77 on Wednesday as Bluiett failed to reach double-figures for just the second time this season.
Bluiett, who averages 19.8 points per game, scored a season low two points on 1 for 10 shooting in 23 minutes. Going back to last season, Bluiett is a combined 1 for 20, including 0 for 11 on 3-pointers on Georgetown’s home court.
“I hope that the Big East tournament isn’t played here,” Mack said he told Bluiett in jest towards the end of the game.
“I think maybe folks in DC that don’t have a TV and come to the games they may think he’s an average player, a below average player.”
J.P. Macura added 20 points, including four 3-pointers, while Quentin Goodin had 19 points as the Musketeers (25-4, 13-3 Big East) swept the season series with Georgetown for the second straight season.
Jamorko Pickett tied a career high with 21 points to lead Georgetown (15-11, 5-10) while Jessie Govan added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Pickett made a career high six 3-pointers.
Xavier trailed 40-38 at the half but immediately tied things up to start the second half as Bluiett made his only bucket, a jumper in the lane.
Georgetown took its last lead at 50-47 on a Pickett’s fifth 3-pointer but after that Xavier took control. The Musketeers used a used a 12-0 run to take a 59-50 lead with 12 minutes remaining and never looked back. Georgetown closed to 63-58 on a Jahvon Blair 3-pointer but the Hoyas never drew closer.
Blair finished with 12 points for Georgetown while Kaleb Johnson added 11.
Xavier outrebounded Georgetown 38-29 including an 11-6 edged on the offensive glass.
“Bluiett didn’t have as big an impact on the game as he did out there,” said Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing about the team’s earlier meeting. “Like I told the guys, he’s just a part of the team. They have a good team.”
Bluiett had 31 points in Xavier’s 96-91overtime win over Georgetown on Feb 3.
Although Mack was pleased to win on an off night from his star player, he knows he’ll need Bluiett as March nears.
“I’d like him to score a few more than he did tonight as we move forward, I’ll tell you that,” Mack said with a smile.
Xavier: The Musketeers kept pace with Villanova for the top seed in the conference as well as kept alive their shot at being a top seed in the NCAA Tournament with the victory. Xavier improved its record to 8-2 against the Hoyas in regular season conference games since joining the league in the 2013-14 campaign.
Georgetown: The Hoyas fell to 0-4 against Top 25 teams this season and have lost seven straight against ranked opposition going back to last season. The last time the Hoyas failed to defeat at least one ranked team was in the 2003-04 season. Georgetown is now assured of its third straight losing season within Big East play.
Xavier: Musketeers have a week off before hosting Providence on Feb. 28 in their final home game of the season.
Georgetown: Hosts Providence on Saturday and then Marquette on Monday to close out their home slate of games.