Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday's Shootaround: Georgetown's comeback tops wild day

Temple 78, No. 3 Duke 73: See here

No. 9 Georgetown 73, No. 20 Marquette 70: There are going to be plenty of words written about Georgetown's dramatic, come-from-behind win over Marquette, as there should be. This was one of the best games I've watched all season long (I'm STILL pissed that I decided not to go). After a first half that saw a track meet turn into a 14 point Marquette lead at the break and a 17 point lead early in the second half, Georgetown was led back by their three horses: Henry Sims, Hollis Thompson and Jason Clark. All three will get -- and deserve -- a ton of praise for their performance down the stretch, but I'm going to give the game ball to Greg Whittington. The 6'8" freshman wing played stifling defense on Darius Johnson-Odom down the stretch, completely taking Marquette's go-to guy out of the game.

As for the Golden Eagles, it looks like we are, once again, going to have to reevaluate who and what this team is. After such a sensational start to the season, Marquette has now dropped three of their last five games. This is the second time in as many seasons that they have blown a big lead late in the second half; they lost to Louisville after leading by 18 with six minutes left. What's the matter with them? Well, frankly, I don't know. I think Buzz Williams offense is too simple and based too much on isolations for a team without a wealth of explosive, one-on-one scorers. I think Marquette has it in their head that they cannot hold on to a big lead late. But mostly, I think that the Golden Eagles need one of their senior stars to be able to step up and make a big play when they need it. They couldn't stop the bleeding late against Georgetown, they couldn't wake up early against Vanderbilt and they couldn't find a rhythm against LSU. Can Crowder or DJO be a guy that carries a top 10-15 team?

No. 15 Kansas 67, No. 22 Kansas State 49: The Jayhawks jumped on K-State early, opening up a 23-5 leading on the Wildcats before Frank Martin's club was able to get settled. K-State made it interesting in the second half, cutting the lead to three at one point, but they ran out of gas. I loved the toughness inside we saw out of the Jayhawks today, as they absolutely pounded a very good rebounding team on the glass. Jeff Withey is better than I thought he would be this season, as he complimented the double-doubles of Thomas Robinson and Travis Releford with nine boards and six blocks. Of note: eight more turnovers for Tyshawn Taylor.

I don't think Kansas State is anywhere near as bad as they played tonight. I'm going to go ahead and take the power that no one has given me and say that this game was the result of a relatively knew team playing their first Big 12 game of the season at Phog Allen. Kansas State is the team that made comeback, not the group that was run out of the gym early in the game and again down the stretch.

La Salle 80, Xavier 70; Cincinnati 71, Notre Dame 55: I don't know that I have seen anything like this happen before. Anywhere. In the six games since the fight in Xavier's 76-53 win over the Bearcats, the Musketeers have lost five of six while Cincy is on a six-game winning streak. X looks like they have completely lost their aggressiveness while Cincy is play as well as they have in a long time. Oh, and they got Yancy Gates back tonight. When he entered the game, he got a standing ovation.

Memphis 69, Tennessee 51: This is the Memphis team that we were expecting this season. Joe Jackson was a terror defensively, Tarik Black was active and aggressive and Memphis was going away despite getting 4-13 shooting from Will Barton, who came off the bench after being disciplined by Pastner.

Illinois 57, Northwestern 56: If Northwestern really wants to be taken seriously as a potential at-large contender, they absolutely cannot lose games at home to Illinois. Northwestern was up big in the first half.

St. Joe's 84, Duquesne 82 OT: The Hawks overcame a 16 point second half deficit to force overtime on a jumper from Carl Jones and a game saving block from CJ Aiken. Its a tough loss for Duquesne, who was in complete control of the game. TJ McConnell has 28 points for the Dukes.

Georgia State 55, VCU 53: There were questions about how legitimate GSU's 10 game winning streak was because it came against such poor competition. Winning at VCU is a pretty good way to prove yourself. GSU was up by nine with two minutes left, but missed free throws and threes from the Rams gave VCU a chance to win on the final possession. Troy Daniels missed a game-winning three. Brad Burgess was 1-15.

Dayton 79, St. Louis 72 OT: This is a big win for Dayton at home to kick off Atlantic 10 play. The Billikens were in control for the majority of this game, but Dayton took a late lead before Cod Ellis forced overtime by banking in a three.

The rest of the top 25

No. 1 Syracuse 81, Providence 69: Six players scored in double figures for the Orange as they shot over 60% from the floor and turned the ball over just eight times. Brandon Triche had a team-high sixteen and Scoop Jardine added 10 points and 11 assists.

No. 18 Murray State 76, Eastern Kentucky 67: Murray State doesn't play anyone the rest of the season with an RPI over 205. Oh, and they won this game without Ivan Aska, who has a broken bone in his hand.

Other notable games:

- Florida State 85, Auburn 56
- West Virginia 85, Rutgers 64.
- Drexel 60, Towson 27
- Belmont 75, Jacksonville 63
- Northern Iowa 65, Indiana State 48
- Wichita State 67, Evansville 66
- Illinois Sate 68, Missouri State 60
- Iowa State 77, Texas 71

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