(20) Georgetown (16-4) at Rutgers (12-9)
Saturday, February 9, 12 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Frank Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: RAC (8,000) -- Piscataway, New Jersey. Television: MASN, BEN, SNY. Home Record: GU 12-1, RU 8-4. Away Record: GU 2-2, RU 3-5. Neutral Record: GU 2-1, RU 1-0. Conference Record: GU 6-3, RU 3-7. Series Record: Georgetown leads, 27-16.
GAME NOTES: The 20th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas go in search of their fifth straight win as they hit the road to challenge the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in Big East Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
Georgetown has been idle since last Saturday's 68-56 win at home over St. John's, a verdict that ran the team's overall record to 16-4 and its league ledger to 6-3. The Hoyas are right in the thick of the Big East title chase, but they'll need to kick it into another gear as they'll play several games against teams that have spent time in the Top-25 down the stretch, starting with Monday's home tilt versus No. 24 Marquette.
Rutgers is at the other end of the spectrum, the team currently mired in a five-game losing streak. The Scarlet Knights were thoroughly beaten by visiting Louisville this week, 68-48, dropping the team to 12-9 overall and a mere 3-7 in conference. Even with the setback to the 11th-ranked Cardinals, RU has won twice as many games as it has lost in front of the hometown faithful this season. This bout marks the third straight the Knights will be facing a ranked opponent, and the seventh this season (2-4).
Georgetown owns a 27-16 lead in the all-time series with Rutgers, and the Hoyas have won 10 of the last 11 meetings.
Georgetown is a rather modest offensive team, averaging 64.2 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of .458 overall, .344 from 3-point range, and .661 from the free-throw line. The club shows three double-digit scorers, although only two are active. Otto Porter (14.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 35 steals) paces the club in scoring, rebounding and steals, and he is draining 46.2 percent of his long-range attempts, and 51.3 percent of his total shots. Georgetown really earns its distinction as one of the Big East's top teams by playing exceptional defense, as foes are scoring just 55.3 ppg in hitting a mere 37.5 percent of their field goal attempts. Nate Lubick scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help propel the Hoyas to a 12-point win over visiting St. John's last weekend. Three others scored in double figures as well, with Markel Starks tallying 12 points and six assists. The team as a whole shot 45.8 percent from the floor, and made nine of its 26 3-point tries, while holding the Red Storm to just 31.7 percent field goal efficiency, which included a dreadful 4-of-18 showing from beyond the arc.
Rutgers is averaging the exact same number of points as it allows (66.9 ppg), but the team has a decided edge in shooting, converting 44.6 percent of its field goal attempts (.343 from long range) compared to 41.3 percent for its opponents (.309 3-point). Eli Carter (15.1 ppg) and Myles Mack (12.9 ppg) are the only players currently averaging double figures in the scoring column, and five others net between 5.1 and 7.3 ppg. The Scarlet Knights stood toe-to-toe with Louisville through the first half of their matchup earlier this week, trailing by just two at the break (28-26). Unfortunately, they went cold and the Cardinals soared in the closing frame, the home team dropping a 20-point decision as a result. Carter scored 13 points and Mack added a dozen of his own, but RU shot just 25 percent from the field in the second half, 32.0 percent for the game, and committed a total of 17 turnovers. Louisville made good on 43.6 percent of its total shots, which included a 7-of-15 effort from 3-point range.
Despite having to beat the snow up the east coast in order to play this game, the Hoyas are simply the better team and they should be able to once again clamp down on defense as they continue their winning ways.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgetown 69, Rutgers 58
02/09 10:53:25 ET