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Georgetown bids to halt Big East woes vs. Marquette

Jan 4, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Georgetown Hoyas guard Primo Spears (1) is fouled by Villanova Wildcats forward Cam Whitmore (22) during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Georgetown brings the dubious distinction of carrying the Big East’s longest regular-season losing streak into Saturday afternoon’s road game against surging Marquette in Milwaukee.

The Hoyas (5-11, 0-5 Big East) are coming off a 73-57 setback at home against Villanova on Wednesday that extended their conference losing streak to 25 games. The Hoyas, who were 0-19 in the Big East last season and 6-25 overall, have not won a regular-season conference game since posting a 72-66 victory over Xavier on March 2, 2021.

Marquette (12-4, 4-1) has won three in a row since dropping a 103-98 overtime decision at Providence before Christmas, including a 96-85 comeback victory at St. John’s on Tuesday.

Georgetown athletic director Lee Reed issued a statement prior to the Villanova game on the status of the program and coach Patrick Ewing.

“We recognize this is a challenging and frustrating time for the men’s basketball team and our fans,” Reed said. “Coach Ewing understands that it is imperative to get the program back on track and no one is more committed than he is to making that happen.”

Georgetown was tied at intermission against Villanova and played much of the second half without second-leading scorer Brandon Murray and Bryson Mozone. Murray sustained a shoulder injury, while Mozone is nursing a lower-body ailment.

The Hoyas were already without guards Jay Heath and Wayne Bristol Jr. Heath is out following surgery on an injured finger, and Bristol was sidelined with concussion-like symptoms.

Primo Spears leads with 15.5 points per game, followed by Murray (15.0), Heath (13.4) and Qudus Wahab (10.8 points, team-high 7.6 rebounds).

Marquette has come from behind in the second half in each of its last two victories.

The Golden Eagles trailed 48-41 at the half against St. John’s on Tuesday. Olivier-Maxence Prosper, however, scored 25 of his 29 points after the break to lead the comeback.

“That first half, I thought there was a lethargic nature about us, on the court, on the bench,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said. “We scored, I mean we scored 41 points, which is pretty good for a half, but we didn’t defend. They shot 66 percent from the field. So, I said, that’s going to need to change if we want any chance to win the game.”

In the previous game, Marquette trailed at Villanova by nine early in the second half before rallying to win 68-66.

Kam Jones averages 16.1 points to lead Marquette’s balanced attack. Prosper averages 15.0 points and Oso Ighodoro adds 11.3 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game.

–Field Level Media