WASHINGTON -- Things did not look so good for Georgetown after back-to-back losses to Marquette and Pittsburgh in early January.
The situation looked even bleaker when Greg Whittington, the team's second-leading scorer, was declared academically ineligible after the ugly loss to Pittsburgh at home on Jan. 8.
But the No. 15 Hoyas' resurgence continued Monday night as Georgetown improved to 8-1 without Whittington with a 63-55 victory over No. 18 Marquette. It was the sixth win in a row for the Hoyas, who won in front of a crowd of 11,821.
"It is time to win. I can't emphasize that enough," Georgetown guard Markel Starks (16 points) said when asked the difference in the team since the first meeting against Marquette. "The crowd was into it. It is time to win."
The Hoyas (18-4, 8-3 ig East) were outrebounded 35-23 in the previous meeting against the Golden Eagles. On Monday night, the Hoyas won the battle of the boards 32-28 and had 13 offensive rebounds. Marquette (17-6, 8-3) had just two offensive boards in the first half as Georgetown built a 33-23 lead before gaining a 15-point lead with 2:55 to play.
"We have learned from our mistakes," said Otto Porter Jr., who had 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Hoyas. "We can't make those mistakes again."
The Hoyas had a 24-9 advantage on points off turnovers even though the Marquette bench outscored the Hoyas 25-7.
"Our post players ... got a rhythm of what they were trying to do. Our guys just did a better job of guarding," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "The Big East is a rough, physical game. Points off turnovers. Those are good. Our defense, we have to tighten up a little bit."
Marquette trailed just 37-34 when coach Buzz Williams was hit with a technical with 12:13 to play.
The Hoyas then went on an 8-1 run to put the game away.
"Yeah, absolutely," Starks said when asked if the technical gave his team momentum.
Williams said, "I was trying to get my average up on technicals. This is my 162nd game in the Big East. That was my fifth technical. I think any time you get a technical it is a bad.
"They scored 50 percent of their points on layups. A lot of those layups in transition were coming off turnovers. So that is a credit to their defense."
Georgetown won despite making just 38.5 percent of its shots from the field. Marquette had 19 turnovers.
"They are really good defensively," Williams said.
Marquette standout Vander Blue was held to seven points. Jamil Wilson had 13 points and Chris Otule added 11 points. Junior Cadougan had five assists for the Golden Eagles.
But the Hoyas prevailed as Porter and Starks combined for 12 field goals and Porter made all seven free throws. Nate Lubick had 10 points for the Hoyas and Mikael Hopkins had a career-high nine boards.
"I trust him and he trusts me. He understands what I want," Thompson III said of Starks.
Marquette entered Monday's game a half-game ahead of Syracuse for first place in the Big East, and Georgetown was in third place.
NOTES: The Hoyas entered Monday with a record of 12-1 at home. That one loss was 73-45 to Pittsburgh on Jan. 8, which came after a loss at Marquette. ... Georgetown was coming off a 69-63 win on Saturday at Rutgers as Porter had 19 points. Marquette won at home Saturday over DePaul. ... Georgetown will play on Friday night at Cincinnati and Marquette will host Pittsburgh on Saturday. ... The Golden Eagles will honor their 2003 Final Four team on Saturday.