GEORGETOWN HOYAS (21-4)
at CONNECTICUT HUSKIES (19-7)
Harry A. Gampel Pavilion – Storrs, CT
Tip-off: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. ET
Line: Georgetown -2.5, Total: 123
Connecticut will be the next team to try and cool down steaming-hot No. 7 Georgetown, who has won nine in a row SU and ATS, when the Big East rivals meet Wednesday night in Storrs, CT.
UConn also enters this game playing well, winning four of its past five SU and ATS. In that span, the Huskies are averaging 71.8 PPG on 50.0% shooting. But keeping that up will be tough against the Hoyas, who limit opponents to 55.7 PPG, 10th-fewest in Division-I. During its current win streak, Georgetown has allowed only two teams to reach 60 points and has outscored the nine Big East opponents by 12.0 PPG. The Hoyas are 5-2 SU in the past seven meetings with the Huskies, but they are just 1-6 SU in their past seven trips to Connecticut. This includes an 0-3 record at Gampel Pavilion, UConn's on-campus stadium, where Georgetown lost by 23, 24, and 19 points.
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When these teams met last season, Georgetown cruised to a 58-44 win at home. Georgetown’s two leading scorers from this season—Otto Porter and Markel Starks—combined for just six points (1-of-4 FG) in 50 minutes of action in the game. Porter (15.9 PPG, 7.7 RPG) has emerged as one of the premier big men in the nation this season as a threat from all over the court, hitting 45.3% from deep. He’s coming off an incredible 33-point performance on 12-of-19 shooting in Georgetown’s win against Syracuse, adding eight boards and five steals in the victory. Starks (12.1 PPG, 3.0 APG) does most of the team’s ball-handling, but has struggled to score in his past two games, hitting just 5-of-16 field goals and averaging 6.5 PPG. He was just 1-for-8 from long distance against the Orange, though he has generally been an accurate shooter, hitting 40.4% of his three-point tries. Freshman SG D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (8.4 PPG) was on fire in last Wednesday's win versus DePaul, scoring 33 points on 10-of-12 FG (5-of-6 threes), but the went 1-of-8 from the floor in Saturday's win at Syracuse and finished with just seven points. PF Greg Whittington (12.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG) remains out due to academic violations, but his team is 11-1 without him on the court.
Just as the leading Hoyas struggled in last season's low-scoring affair between the two teams, nobody had a worse game than UConn star PG Shabazz Napier, scoring just one point on 0-for-9 shooting in 31 minutes of play. Napier (17.2 PPG, 4.6 APG, 4.2 RPG) is one of the top scoring threats in the conference, hitting 2.4 threes per game on a 41.1% clip. He is also a deft distributor with a 2.02 Ast/TO ratio and a nasty defender, swiping 2.0 SPG. To give the Huskies a chance, he must stay as hot as he has been in his past two games, where he's tallied 27.5 PPG on 15-of-27 FG (11-of-16 threes). Sophomore SG Ryan Boatright (15.2 PPG, 4.3 APG) joins Napier in the backcourt and is also coming off an impressive game, dropping 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting, while adding six assists in the team’s 81-69 win against DePaul. Last season, he played 19 minutes against the Hoyas and failed to score (0-for-4 FG), but did have four assists. Six-foot-5 freshman swingman Omar Calhoun (11.6 PPG) rounds out the crew of players who log at least 30 MPG, and also went 7-for-11 for 17 points against DePaul, adding five rebounds, four assists and two steals for good measure. Calhoun has scored in double-figures in six straight games, averaging 14.8 PPG during this streak. Sophomore F DeAndre Daniels (10.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG) is the team’s top rebounder, though he may struggle to match the rebounding prowess of Porter. Daniels was outstanding in Thursday's overtime win over Cincinnati with 17 points, five rebounds and four blocks, but was a non-factor against DePaul with a mere four points in 21 minutes.