College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Hollis Thompson hit a tie-breaking, game-winning 3-pointer with 24 seconds left and Jason Clark pumped in 18 of his game high 26 points in the second half, as the 9th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas defeated #20 Marquette, 73-70, before more than 11,000 rabid fans at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.
Trailing by as many as 17 points in the second half, Clark and his Hoya teammates stages a furious rally to catch and finally surpass the Golden Eagles, sending them to their third loss against 12 wins. Georgetown improved to 13-1 and 3-0 in the Big East with their 11th straight victory. The Hoyas' only loss was a November 21, 67-63, setback to Kansas.
Sharpshooting Thompson was deadly from the field, hitting 6 of 7 shots, including 4 of 5 from three-point range. He finished with 16 points. Clark was less accurate but more persistent, making nine of 14 shots (2-for-7 on 3-pointers). The Hoyas shot an incredible 63% (27-43) for the game while holding Marquette to 44%.
Thompson, a junior forward, is second on the team in scoring at 13.9 points per game. Clark, a senior guard, leads the squad with a 15.9 points per game average. It was Clark's fourth 20+ point outburst this season, two shy of his season high 28, which he scored against Chaminade in the Aloha Classic.
Off to one of their best starts in school history, the Hoyas hope to continue improving as the Big East season unfolds. Last season, they lost five of their last six Big East games - including an first round loss to UConn in the conference tournament, but still made the NCAA tourney, though they were eliminated in the opening round by VCU, 74-56.
NOTABLE: Khalif Wyatt pumped in 21 points to lead the Temple Owls to a 78-73 win over #5 Duke. It was Temple's first win over the Blue Devils since 1996. The unranked Owls are 10-3. Both Temple and 12-2 Duke have not lost at home this season.
#14 Kansas (11-3) got their Big 12 season started with a convincing, 67-49 home win over 23rd-ranked, 12-2, Kansas State.
Top-ranked Syracuse outscored Providence 51-39 in the second half to extend their winning streak to 16 games to open the season with an 87-73 win. The #1 Orange are one of just three unbeaten college squads. Missouri (14-0) and Murray State (15-0).