MILWAUKEE (AP) After its Big East title defense got off to a disappointing start, No. 6 Marquette bounced back behind its home-court dominance.

David Joplin scored 20 points and the Golden Eagles beat cold-shooting Georgetown 81-51 on Friday.

Marquette (10-3, 1-1) returned to form three nights after opening its conference schedule with a 72-57 loss at Providence.

“Our theme for the game was ‘collective response,’” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said. “It wasn't even so much that we lost on Tuesday. We just didn't feel like we were ourselves.”

Marquette has won 18 straight home games overall and 19 consecutive Big East home contests.

The Golden Eagles haven’t lost at Fiserv Forum since falling 80-77 in overtime to Wisconsin on Dec. 3, 2022. Marquette’s last Big East home loss was a double-overtime game with Creighton on Jan. 1, 2022.

Tyler Kolek had 13 points, 10 assists and five rebounds for Marquette. Oso Ighodaro also scored 13 points.

“We have high expectations,” Smart said. “So when we don't reach those expectations in a given game, then we're going to address that and come together. Like I told the guys in the locker room tonight, (the Providence game) probably won't be the last time we lose. So the ability to respond is critical. Hopefully we can continue to learn lessons through wins like tonight. And if we do lose a game, internalize that so it doesn't happen as often.”

Jayden Epps scored 14 and Dontrez Styles had 12 for Georgetown (7-6, 0-2). The Hoyas committed 19 turnovers and shot 32.8% (20 of 61) overall, including a 5-for-25 performance from 3-point range.

Despite the shaky offensive performance, Georgetown coach Ed Cooley seemed as if he was more concerned with his team's defensive issues.

“If we're going to come close to winning any game in this league - a half a game in this league - our defense has to be adjusted,” Cooley said. “Because right now our defensive mindset is pathetic.”

Marquette had a lackluster start and didn’t take its first lead until the game was over nine minutes old, but the Golden Eagles stretched the margin to double digits shortly afterward.

Ben Gold hit a trio of 3-pointers during a 17-2 run that turned a 13-10 deficit into a 27-15 advantage. The Golden Eagles extended the lead to 41-24 by halftime.

“Gold came in and made three 3s - that was game-set-match,” Cooley said. “That's something that we spoke about. That's something that we prepared for. Our inability to communicate - our bad coaching - did that. Today was an F-minus performance. I should give my check back to Georgetown. That's how bad I feel. That's exactly how bad I feel.”

An 11-0 run early in the second half helped Marquette build the margin to 25, and the Golden Eagles poured it on from there.

Marquette guard Stevie Mitchell missed a fourth straight game with a hamstring injury.


Georgetown: The Hoyas entered Big East competition having won six of their last eight games, but this last week has shown how much of a task Cooley faces in getting Georgetown back to the upper levels of this conference. After losing 74-64 at Butler in its Big East opener, the Hoyas weren’t competitive against Marquette.

Marquette: After Kolek and Kam Jones combined for 34 of Marquette’s 57 points against Providence, the Golden Eagles had a much more balanced attack Friday. Six players scored at least eight points. Marquette overcame an off night from Jones, who scored eight points while shooting 3 of 14 overall and 1 of 7 on 3-point attempts.


Even after this victory, Marquette figures to drop a few spots based on its loss to Providence.


Georgetown: Hosts No. 12 Creighton on Jan. 2.

Marquette: Hosts Creighton on Dec. 30.


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