Men's College Basketball
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             === Big East showdown pits Hoyas against Bearcats ===
 
 Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The 15th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas hit the
 road for a rare Friday night clash, as they take on the Cincinnati Bearcats in
 Big East Conference action at Fifth Third Arena.
 
 The Hoyas have been on fire of late with wins in six straight games, the most
 recent of which being an important 63-55 decision against No. 18 Marquette on
 Monday. With the win, Georgetown is tied with the Golden Eagles and sixth-
 ranked Syracuse atop the tightly contested Big East. The Hoyas boast an 18-4
 overall record, making them one of six teams in the conference with at least
 18 wins. Georgetown returns home to face DePaul in its next matchup.
 
 A two-game slide knocked Cincinnati from its perch in the Top-25 last week,
 but the Bearcats made amends on Tuesday with a convincing 68-50 victory over a
 tough Villanova squad. With the win, the Bearcats are 19-6 overall. However at
 7-5 against league foes, the Bearcats are tied for eighth in the standings. A
 tough two-game road trip awaits UC with tilts against Connecticut and Notre
 Dame.
 
 These teams had never met before becoming conference foes back in 2006. Since
 then, Cincinnati has a 6-5 edge, and the Bearcats have won the last four
 meetings.
 
 Behind 21 points from Otto Porter, the Hoyas were able to overcome a 38.5
 percent shooting effort against Marquette to collect a crucial win. The key
 was ball security as the Hoyas posted a 24-9 edge in points off turnovers,
 while forcing 19 takeaways.
 
 Georgetown isn't the type of team that will blow past anyone with high-flying
 offensive showings. The Hoyas are the second-lowest scoring team in the Big
 East (64.3 ppg). That has been more a symptom of the methodical tempo they
 play though, as they still shoot an efficient 46 percent from the field. That
 grinding offensive style meshes well with the Hoyas' defensive scheme, as they
 allow the ninth-fewest points per game (55.7) in the country, on the nation's
 11th-lowest opponent field goal percentage (.378). Interior scoring is where
 the Hoyas have gotten the bulk of their offensive production, led by Porter
 (15.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg). There is also talent in the backcourt, led by Markel
 Starks (12.4 ppg).
 
 Cincinnati also shot less than 40 percent from the field (.396) in its most
 recent win, but still managed to top Villanova by playing stingy defense and
 shooting well from long range. The Bearcats forced 19 turnovers and made good
 on 12-of-25 attempts from 3-point range in the victory.
 
 Like Georgetown, Cincinnati relies more on its play at the defensive end. The
 Bearcats are letting up just 58.4 points per game on 38 percent shooting this
 season, and both marks are among the 25 best in the country. Controlling the
 boards is key for Cincinnati, which leads the Big East in rebounding (41.1
 rpg), while ranking eighth nationally. The backcourt trio of Sean Kilpatrick
 (18.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg), Cashmere Wright (13.4 ppg, 3.4 apg) and JaQuon Parker
 (10.9 ppg) has been tough for foes to handle. Kilpatrick has been especially
 strong as the Big East's fourth-best scorer. Cheikh Mbodj (5.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg,
 2.4 bpg) is the anchor inside and the second-best shot blocker in the Big
 East.
 
 
 
 02/15 10:32:29 ET

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