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WASHINGTON – Georgetown coach John Thompson III was so focused on the details of the game that he claimed not to notice a momentum swing when Marquette counterpart Buzz Williams was called for a technical foul in the second half.
But his point guard felt it.
"Yeah, absolutely," the Hoyas' Markel Starks said. "Absolutely."
The 18th-ranked Golden Eagles were making a run at No. 15 Georgetown, having closed 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 immediately after the call, and Marquette didn't get closer than eight points the rest of the way in Georgetown's 63-55 victory Monday night.
"I was just hollering at somebody that would respond," Williams said. "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, 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 technical fouls 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 the 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. 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.
Georgetown went 9 for 24 from the field after the break but compensated by making 11 of 17 free throws.
Thompson said "I don't remember" when asked about the post-technical momentum shift. Instead, he cited improved rebounding as a key. Mikael Hopkins had a career-high nine rebounds.
"God bless him. Now that he's got to do it again Saturday, Friday, whenever we play next," Thompson said.
Porter has been doing just about everything in every game lately. He's been the catalyst for Georgetown's improved play since that loss to Marquette more than five weeks ago.
"We've evolved a lot from that first Big East game to now," Porter said. "I think we've made a lot of adjustments, just learning from our mistakes."
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