WASHINGTON – After getting a second-half technical foul that swung the momentum in No. 18 Marquette's 63-55 loss to No. 15 Georgetown on Monday night, Buzz Williams figured it was time for a history lesson.
"I was trying to get my average up on technicals," the Golden Eagles coach said. "I'm averaging one every 50 games, so I felt like I needed to get one because I haven't had one in two years. That was my fifth technical since I've been here."
Nevertheless, this one happened after Marquette had cut a 10-point deficit to three. When Williams got T'd up for arguing an out-of-bounds call along the baseline with 12:13 to play, the Hoyas responded with an 8-1 run. The Golden Eagles didn't get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
"If you average one technical a year in a BCS league, I think you're probably doing OK," Williams said. "I think we have the best officials in the country. I was just hollering at somebody that would respond.
"We can make a big deal out of it if you want. I got a technical. I'm sorry. I may get a technical again next year — that's my average — and it'll probably be on the road."
Otto Porter scored 11 of his 21 points after the technical, Markel Starks finished with 16 points, and Georgetown scored 24 points off 19 turnovers to move into a tie with the Golden Eagles for second place in the Big East. The Hoyas (18-4, 8-3 Big East) won their sixth straight and avenged a 49-48 loss at Marquette on Jan. 5.
Jamil Wilson scored 13 points to lead the Golden Eagles (17-6, 8-3), who fell out of a first-place tie with Syracuse (8-2). Chris Otule scored eight of Marquette's first 11 points but had only three the rest of the game.
Williams indeed has five technicals in his five seasons at Marquette, according to the school, but this was a case of using up his reservoir of goodwill long before the call that cost him. He pushed the envelope repeatedly in the first half with his now-familiar strolls outside the coach's box, twice venturing close to the midcourt circle with play under way. Georgetown fans began serenading him with chants of "Off the court!" in the second half.
Williams finally got the technical for disputing a call that could have gone either way. Porter made both free throws and then hit a floater on ensuing possession to complete a four-point series that pushed the lead to 41-34.
Williams said "any time you get a technical it's a bad time," but he also cited the Golden Eagles' 12 first-half turnovers and the fact that he didn't have a player credited with an offensive rebound in the first 20 minutes as bigger factors in the loss.
"I'm not sure you can win in Division I at home or on the road with those type of numbers," he said.
With both teams playing aggressive defense and the officials calling a tight game, the flow was practically non-existent throughout. Instead of trading baskets, the Hoyas and Golden Eagles kept swapping some combination of turnovers, steals and offensive fouls.
Georgetown went nearly 7 minutes without a field goal to start the second half, but the pace was so laborious that the Golden Eagles were only able to outscore the Hoyas 8-2 during that span.
Asked if he felt a momentum shift after the technical, Georgetown coach John Thompson III was so focused on the details of the game that he claimed not to remember.
Asked the same question, Thompson's point guard gave an emphatic nod.
"Yeah, absolutely," Starks said. "Absolutely."
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