- CSNwashington.com - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Recap: In 2014, this truth about the Georgetown men’s basketball is self-evident: the team will rise or fall depending on the offensive provided by guards Markel Starks and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. During the final hours of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the backcourt pair supplied plenty of points during a largely dreamy second half.

Even that wasn’t enough to outlast Marquette.

Starks scored a career-high 28 points and Smith-Rivera had 24 as the Georgetown Hoyas fell 80-72 in overtime to the Golden Eagles on Monday night for their third straight loss and fourth in five games.  

The Hoyas (11-7, 3-4 Big East) led 56-49 with 4:48 remaining and 65-62 when Todd Mayo’s 3-pointer with six seconds left forced overtime. Marquette (11-8, 3-3) opened the extra session with a 7-0 run and made all eight of its free throws in overtime.

Davante Gardner paced five double-figure scorers with 20 points including 10 over the final 5:29. Steve Taylor Jr. scored 14 points

Georgetown trailed 38-37 with 14:53 remaining when Smith-Rivera put the Hoyas ahead with a pair of free throws. That started a stretch where the two guards scored Georgetown’s next 19 points, the last 10 by Starks, whose layup gave the Hoyas the 56-49 lead.

Marquette pulled within two points following a quick 9-4 spurt. Starks scored 18 after halftime and made 3 of 4 free throws over the final 26 seconds of regulation. However, the one miss with 18 seconds kept the game within one possession and Mayo tied the score on Marquette’s next trip. 

Georgetown had not lost three straight regular season games since the conclusion of the 2010-11 season. The Hoyas have blown second half leads in all three losses.

Shooting woes: Georgetown’sstarting frontcourt - Reggie Cameron, Nate Lubick, Mikael Hopkins - went 3 of 17 from the field.

[RELATED: Maryland loses on road to undermanned NC State team]

Big men on campus: Not content to stay beyond the 3-point arc, Smith-Rivera broke out his shot making kit in the second half after going 1 of 4 before halftime. He made his first four attempts in the second half, including a shot-clock beating floater after splitting a double team. Following a Starks steal, Smith-Rivera drove down the left wing of the court only to switch hands under the basket and score from the right side.

Then as if the pair were playing some elaborate game of HORSE within the actual game, Starks drained a 3-pointer followed by a runner that had no business falling except it did. Moments later, he sank an NBA 3-pointer to beat the shot clock.

Starks finished 10 of 21 from the field and made half of his eight 3-point attempts. Smith-Rivera went 7 of 14 overall, 4 of 5 from beyond the arc and made all six of his free throws. 

1st half: Georgetown and Marquette entered the ranking eighth and 10th in scoring among Big East teams. It showed for most of the opening 20 minutes. The two sides combined for more fouls (19) than made field goals (18). The Hoyas briefly led by six at 22-16 only for Marquette to jump ahead with a 7-0 spurt and enter halftime up 28-27. Georgetown shot 28.6 percent (8 of 28) from the field, but outrebounded the Golden Eagles 23-16. Though Starks scored 10, he combined with Smith-Rivera to shoot 5 of 16 from the field.

No iron men: Hoping to avoid another late game offensive drought, Thompson liberally switched the lineup around, especially in the first half. He twice sat either Starks or Smith-Rivera and then swapped out one guard for another. Each sat three minutes before halftime after playing 263 of a possible 270 minutes over the previous three games. Smith-Rivera still logged 40 minutes and Starks 39. 

Subs: From the “try anything to score” category, Thompson had Stephen Domingo, John Caprio and Moses Ayegba on the court together inside the opening six minutes and without anyone hurt or in foul trouble. Domingo only played three minutes overall after receiving one minute in the previous three games.

Smith sits, again: The Hoyas played their fifth straight game without starting center Joshua Smith, whose status remains in limbo due to a lingering academic situation. However, Smith was on Georgetown’s bench this game. He was not in the building on Saturday versus Seton Hall after not traveling with the team for three previous road games. 

History: Marquette evened the all-time series at 8-8. The Hoyas had won three straight at home over the Golden Eagles with their last loss coming during the 2008-09 season.

Odds and ends: Hopkins had11 rebounds after grabbing a career-high 15 versus Seton Hal. …Georgetown was ranked in seven straight matchups against Marquette before Monday’s game. The Hoyas have not been ranked this season. …Marquette played four of its first six Big East games on the road this season.

See you soon: Georgetown plays at Marquette on Feb. 27

On deck: The Hoyas are off until Saturday when they play their first-ever conference game at Creighton.

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