March 1, 2013
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University men's basketball team returns home to host BIG EAST Conference rival Rutgers on Saturday, March 2 for the team's penultimate regular season game at Verizon Center this season.
Tipoff at Verizon Center is slated for 9 p.m. The game will be shown live on ESPNU, with Lou Canellis and Bob Wenzel calling all of the action. Fans locally can tune in to ESPN 980 AM for the radio call of Rich Chvotkin.
Georgetown enters Saturday night's game with a 22-4 overall record and a BIG EAST-best 12-3 record in league play. The Hoyas have won their last 10 games and 12 of the last 13 overall and have moved up to No. 7 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches' poll.
Rutgers enters the game this weekend with a 13-13 overall record and a 4-11 mark in BIG EAST play. The Scarlet Knights have lost their last three games and nine of the last 10 overall.
The meeting with Rutgers will be the second this season, as the Blue & Gray posted a 69-63 win in New Jersey on February 9. Junior guard Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep) scored 20 points in the win, while sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. (Morley, Mo./Scott County Central) had 19 points and 14 rebounds and sophomore center Mikael Hopkins (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) added 14 points.
This will be the 45th meeting all-time between the schools, with the Hoyas leading the head-to-head series, 28-16. The Hoyas have an 18-2 record at home against Rutgers and Georgetown is 9-1 against the Scarlet Knights under Head Coach John Thompson III.
Georgetown is coming off a thrilling 79-78 double overtime win at Connecticut on Wednesday night. The Hoyas led by as many as 12 points in the second half (60-48) and fell behind by seven points (78-71) in the second overtime before using an 8-0 run, capped by a driving layup from Porter Jr. with nine seconds left, to capture the road win.
Porter Jr., who scored 33 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had five steals in a win at Syracuse last week, leads the team in scoring with 16.1 points per game and rebounding with 7.6 boards per game. He ranks ninth in the league in scoring, fourth in rebounding and is among the league leaders in field goal percentage (seventh), free throw percentage (15th), steals (sixth), three-point percentage (first), defensive rebounds (third) and minutes played (10th).
Starks is second on the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game and leads the team with 46 three-point field goals, which ranks 11th in the BIG EAST, and 3.0 assists. Junior forward Nate Lubick (Southborough, Mass./St. Marks) is fifth on the team in scoring with 7.7 points, third with 5.4 rebounds and is tied for the team lead with 2.9 assists. He leads the BIG EAST in field goal percentage, connecting on 59.4 percent of his shots from the field (82-of-138).
Freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis, Ind./Oak Hill) , who had 33 points in a 90-66 win over DePaul last Wednesday, was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week on Monday. He is fourth on the team in scoring overall, with 8.6 points per game, but is averaging 10.7 points and 3.9 rebounds in BIG EAST games.
Sophomore guard Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends), who had five assists in the win at Syracuse, is averaging 5.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, while Hopkins is averaging 6.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game, which ranks 10th in the BIG EAST.
The Hoyas have been led by a stingy defensive effort this season, holding opponents to under 60 points in 17 of its 25 games. GU's opponents are averaging 56.5 points per game, which ranks second in the BIG EAST and No. 10 nationally. The Hoyas have limited opponents to 37.7 percent shooting from the field, which is second in the conference and No. 8 nationally. GU has limited 11 of its last 13 opponents to below 40 percent shooting from the field.