Jan. 17, 2014
WASHINGTON - After more than two weeks away from home, the Georgetown University men's basketball team returns to Verizon Center on Saturday, Jan. 18, hosting long-time BIG EAST Conference rival Seton Hall.
Tip-off at the team's downtown home is slated for noon. The game will be shown live on Fox Sports Network, with Chris Carrino and Stu Jackson calling all of the action. The game will be shown locally on WDCA in Washington, D.C. and can also be seen on MSG Plus, Cox Sports Northeast and SportsSouth and an array of Fox Sports affiliates (Arizona, Detroit, Florida, Midwest, Ohio, Oklahoma, Southwest, West and Wisconsin), as well as Root Sports (Northwest, Pittsburgh and Rocky Mountain), as well as WRWR in Chicago. The radio call for Rich Chvotkin can be heard locally on ESPN 980 AM.
The Hoyas are coming off a three-game road trip that culminated on Wednesday with a tough 80-67 loss at Xavier. It was the team's second loss in three games, but only the third in the last 13 games for Georgetown, who enters the game with an 11-5 overall record and a 3-2 mark in the BIG EAST Conference. Seton Hall enters the game with a 10-7 overall mark and a 1-3 record in the BIG EAST.
In the loss at Xavier on Wednesday, the Hoyas opened up a 13-point lead at halftime (42-29) and led by as many as 17 points in the opening minutes of the second half (53-36) before the Musketeers mounted a comeback. Senior guard Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep) scored a game-high 19 points and handed out seven assists to lead GU, while sophomore guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central/Oak Hill) added 18 points and freshman forward Reggie Cameron (Hackensack, N.J./Hudson Catholic) finished with 13 points.
Smith-Rivera, who was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday for the second-straight week, leads the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game. The sophomore, who has been named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll four times this season, also ranks among the league leaders in field goal percentage (12th, 48.9%), assists (tied for 13th, 3.1), free throw percentage (11th, 82.3%), steals (13th, 1.3), three-point field goal percentage (third, 49.2%), three-point field goals made (fifth, 2.4), assist-turnover ratio (12th, 1.5) and minutes played (6th, 34.2).
He is also third on the team with 4.8 rebounds per game, second on the team (11th in the BIG EAST) with 3.2 assists per game and first on the team (12th in the BIG EAST) with 1.3 steals per game.
Starks, who has scored in double figures 13 times this season, is second on the team with 15.6 points, which ranks 10th in the BIG EAST, and leads the team with 4.1 assists per game, which ranks tied for sixth in the league.
GU's backcourt of Smith-Rivera and Starks is averaging 32.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 2.1 steals. They have combined to score 45.0 percent of Georgetown's total points this season (527 of 1,172). Together, they are shooting 44.2 percent from the floor (168-of-380), 39.8 percent from three-point land and (64-of-161) and 83.6 percent from the free throw line (127-of-152).
Junior forward Mikael Hopkins (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) is fifth on the team in scoring with 6.2 points, second on the team with 5.1 rebounds and leads the team with 1.4 blocks, while senior forward Nate Lubick (Southborough, Mass./St. Marks) is averaging 5.7 points, a team-best 5.8 rebounds per game and is third on the team with 1.9 assists.
The Hoyas rank seventh in the BIG EAST in scoring offense (73.2 points per game) and are second in the league in field goal percentage, connecting on 48.5 percent of their shots. GU ranks fourth in the league in scoring defense, allowing 66.1 points per game, but the Hoyas are second in that category in BIG EAST games, allowing only 66.2 points per game. The Blue & Gray rank second in the league in field goal percentage defense (38.9 percent) and first in three-point field goal percentage defense (28.1 percent). Georgetown ranks No. 17 in the country in field goal percentage defense and No. 10 in the country in three-point field goal percentage defense.
Seton Hall enters Saturday's game with a 10-7 overall record and a 1-3 mark in the BIG EAST following a 67-66 loss at Marquette last Saturday. The Pirates have lost three-straight games (Creighton and Villanova) since opening BIG EAST play with an 81-80 overtime win at Providence. Sophomore guard Sterling Gibbs is one of five players scoring in double figures for the Pirates, averaging a team-best 15.6 points per game. He also leads the team with 4.1 assists and is grabbing 3.1 rebounds. Senior forward Brian Oliver, who has hit 56 three-pointers, is second on the team with 12.8 points, while senior forward Fuquan Edwin is averaging 11.8 points. Senior center Eugene Teague is averaging 10.8 points and a team-best 9.4 rebounds, while junior forward Patrick Auda averaging 10.4 points and 4.8 rebounds. The Pirates are third in the BIG EAST in scoring offense (76.8 ppg) and ninth in scoring defense (72.3 ppg).