Thursday , Mar , 09 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Hoyas take on Golden Eagles in Big East Tourney quarterfinals

(Sports Network) – The 23rd-ranked Georgetown Hoyas are seeded fifth in the
Big East Tournament, and they will battle the fourth-seeded Marquette Golden
Eagles in the quarterfinal round this afternoon. The winner will move on
to Friday’s semifinals to battle either ninth-seeded Syracuse or top-
seeded UConn. Georgetown showed a great a great deal of toughness by knocking
off Notre Dame by a score of 67-63 in the opening round of the event
yesterday. The program owns six Big East Tournament championships, tied
with UConn for most among active league members. The Hoyas also own a
stellar 40-20 all-time record at this event, but they have not captured the
crown since 1989.

As for Marquette, it has been better than expected in its first season
since switching to the Big East from Conference USA. The Golden Eagles
finished the regular season with four wins in their last five games, and a
January victory over mighty UConn proved that they can play with and beat
the nation’s elite. Marquette recorded a 57-51 decision over Georgetown back
on February 16th to take a 2-1 lead in the brief series between the two teams.

Senior Brandon Bowman came through in a big way for Georgetown in the win over
Notre Dame yesterday, as he poured in 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the
floor. Ashanti Cook pitched in 14 points on 4-of-8 accuracy from three-point
range, and Jeff Green managed 13 points and nine rebounds. Roy Hibbert
contributed only four points from his center position, but his team-high 11
rebounds helped the Hoyas earn a 41-31 rebounding advantage, including an
18-11 edge on the offensive glass. Georgetown finished the contest with 19
assists against only eight giveaways.

Solid defense has been key to the team’s success this season, as it entered
this tournament surrendering only 59.5 ppg. Hibbert is currently averaging
11.6 ppg and 6.5 rpg, while Green leads the squad with 11.8 ppg to go
along with his 6.4 rpg. Bowman checks in with 11.4 ppg, and three more players
are scoring at least 8.4 ppg for the Hoyas.

When speaking about Marquette, two players immediately come to mind. Steve
Novak is a tremendously versatile 6-10 senior forward, while Dominic James won
Big East Rookie of the Year honors for his play at the point guard position.
Novak is averaging 17.4 ppg on the strength of his 45.6 percent shooting from
three-point range, and he is also knocking down a staggering 97.3 percent of
his foul shots. As for James, he adds 15.3 ppg to go along with 5.4 apg. Jerel
McNeal is often overshadowed by his higher profile teammates, but his 11.1 ppg
and 63 steals have meant a great deal to the team.

The Golden Eagles are scoring 75.2 ppg this season while surrendering 68.9
ppg on 40.4 percent shooting from the field. Novak was a unanimous
choice for the All-Big East First Team, and that is a truly prestigious honor
considering the strength of the league this season.