What has gotten into Georgetown and center Greg Monroe? The eighth-seeded Hoyas have turned into a dominant team, and Monroe looks so good…well, you wish the Knicks could acquire his expiring scholarship in another year.
Marquette has been the tough out on everybody's schedule this season, playing 15 games decided by four points or less and never losing by more than nine points. But a 22-5 second half run by Georgetown (23-9) sent the Hoyas on their way to an 80-57 victory over the Golden Eagels in the semifinals of the Big East tournament tonight at Madison Square Garden.
Monroe had 23 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocked shots, and he punctuated the Hoyas' second-half run with a thunderous dunk followed by a step-back three pointer from the left wing. Not bad for a 6-11, 247-pound center who can run like Patrick Ewing did when he was a 19-year-old kid with good knees. Of course, that three-pointer was the kind of thing ex-Hoya Ewing only dreamed about as he turned into a jump shooter in his later years with the Knicks.
The Hoyas' supporting cast is stepping up, too. Chris Wright had another fine game with 15 points, Jason Clark added 15, and Austin Freeman had 13 points and eight rebounds in his third game in three days since being diagnosed with diabetes a week ago.
Marquette (22-11) simply got overpowered in the second half, and showed the most on the boards, where the Hoyas held a 44-24 advantage. Jimmy Butler topped the Golden Eagles with 17 points, Maurice Acker had 16, and Lazar Hayward had 15. It was a tough ending for Marquette but watch out for the Golden Eagles in the NCAA tournament. They're at least a Sweet 16 team.
As for Georgetown, if Monroe continues to play at this level, there's no telling how far the Hoyas can go. But first things first. They meet the winner of West Virginia-Notre Dame for the Big East tourney title Saturday night at 9.