- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The visitors lost their leading scorer early to an injury, and the Georgetown Hoyas nearly seized the upset opportunity in front of them.

Mac McClung led Georgetown with 24 points, the second-highest point total of his college career, but the Hoyas fell short on their last-chance play as No. 15 Marquette escaped Capital One Arena with a 74-71 win Tuesday night.

Georgetown has not defeated a Top 25-ranked opponent since upsetting No. 11 Butler on Jan. 28, 2017.

Georgetown (12-6, 2-3 in the Big East) had possession down by a point with 11 seconds left. Freshman James Akinjo drove the lane but his attempted game-winner was blocked.

Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing was frustrated that Akinjo did not look to pass to one of two open teammates on the play.

“He has to play smarter,” Ewing said. “I know he’s a freshman, but it’s not time to be a freshman anymore. It’s the second half of his freshman year, we’re in the Big East and these are games that we’re not going to get back.”

For most of the game, the Golden Eagles were without Markus Howard, who entered the night averaging 25.8 points per game. He left after a scoreless three minutes with what the team called “lower back tightness” and he never returned to action.

Center Jessie Govan finished with 14 points and nine rebounds and Kaleb Johnson added 12 points for Georgetown. Akinjo finished 1-for-10 from the field but had eight points, eight assists and seven boards.

Sam Hauser led Marquette with 31 points and eight rebounds.

McClung scored 10 of the Hoyas’ first 12 points to control the game early. Trey Mourning, son of NBA great Alonzo Mourning, also saw his first action since Dec. 18 after recovering from a concussion. His first and only points of the night came via a flashy dunk.

Georgetown took a 40-37 lead into halftime with McClung at 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting. The 6-foot-2 freshman kept at it early in the second when he grabbed a steal and made a no-look pass on the breakaway that led to more Georgetown points.

The Hoyas extended their lead to 48-40, but a Marquette 14-0 run early in the half changed the landscape. The Golden Eagles saw Georgetown’s shots fizzle out and ball-handling become more suspect, and they took advantage.

Govan got into foul trouble early in the second half and was used relatively sparingly. But he hit a pair of 3-pointers from the top of the key; the latter of them tied the game at 60.

Sam Hauser scored 22 of his 31 points in the second half and helped Marquette create some separation.

The Hoyas came back from down 70-66 with defensive rebounds that led to two full-court transition plays. With less than a minute, down by two, McClung drove to the basket and drew a foul, but only made one of two shots, ultimately setting up the failed final play.

Georgetown is back in action next Monday at home against Creighton.

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