WASHINGTON (AP) — Marquette needed to avoid a letdown in between Top 25 Big East matchups.
Coach Shaka Smart’s team delivered with unselfish play from start to finish.
Kam Jones, Oso Ighodaro and Tyler Kolek each scored 14 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and No. 10 Marquette beat Georgetown 89-75 Saturday.
Olivier-Maxence Prosper had 11 points and Chase Ross added 10 as Marquette (20-6, 12-3 Big East) moved into first place in the conference. The Golden Eagles are a half-game ahead of No. 13 Xavier, which lost at Butler on Friday.
Marquette hosts Xavier on Wednesday.
After having their five-game winning streak snapped at No. 21 UConn on Tuesday, the Golden Eagles shared the ball and shared the credit.
“It’s just what we do,” Jones said.
“We had a bunch of assists and a bunch of guys in double-figures,” he said.
Jay Heath scored 18 points to lead last-place Georgetown (6-20, 1-14), which has lost five straight after ending their league record 29-game conference losing streak on Jan. 24.
Bryson Mozone had 11 points and Akok Akok had 10 for Georgetown, which has lost 12 straight games against Top 25 teams since winning the 2021 Big East Tournament.
Marquette took a 45-33 lead into the halftime break on Ighodaro’s layup at the buzzer and stayed comfortably ahead the rest of the way.
Marquette proved to be too much on the offensive end by knocking down 15 of their 31 3-point shots and assisting on 24 of 35 baskets. Kolek led the way with eight assists as the Golden Eagles went up by as many as 25 in the second half.
“Kolek is the head of the snake,” Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing said about Marquette’s star point guard.
“He does everything for them. He makes all the right plays that need to be made,” he said.
Eight different Golden Eagles hit at least one 3-pointer, with Jones going 4 of 9.
“He took nine 3s today and I thought he passed up a couple,” Smart said.
Marquette: Picked to finish ninth out of 11 teams in the Big East preseason coaches’ poll, Smart has the Golden Eagles flying in his second season. With five games remaining Marquette is in prime position to claim at least a share of their first regular-season title since 2013 when it split the crown with Georgetown and former member Louisville.
Georgetown: The Hoyas have lost 11 straight games at home to Top 25 teams. Georgetown’s last win against a ranked opponent came in an 83-80 victory over then-No. 25 Creighton on Jan. 15, 2020.
Smart said his team got a chance to watch the end of Butler’s win over No. 13 Xavier on Friday while it finished up dinner in Washington. At first he was concerned that his players may pay too much attention with Xavier – Marquette’s next opponent – but then Butler gave him a great example to use ahead of facing a struggling Georgetown team.
“I thought that game was a very good example of you get to February in the Big East and you go on the road as ‘one of the top teams’ that ‘should win’ and it’s not guaranteed,” Smart said.
“That was a good message and lesson going into today.”
Georgetown starting center Qudus Wahab (personal reasons) was not with the team. Wahab, who played his first two seasons for Ewing at Georgetown before spending last season at Maryland, had started the first 25 games for the Hoyas, averaging 9.9 points and a team leading 7.1 rebounds. Without Wahab Ewing used his ninth different starting five of the season.
Ewing added later that Wahab is dealing with some ‘family issues’ and that he found out he would be without his center on Friday.
Marquette: Hosts No. 13 Xavier on Wednesday.
Georgetown: Plays at Seton Hall on Tuesday.