Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The red-hot Georgetown Hoyas will try to
earn at least a share of the Big East Conference regular season title when
they visit the Villanova Wildcats for a league conflict at the Pavilion.
Georgetown wasn't on the national title radar coming into this season or even
for much of the campaign itself. However the Hoyas have been rolling since the
end of January with wins in 11-straight games as they scaled the Big East
standings and the national rankings. At 13-3 in league action the Hoyas would
have at least a share of the Big East title with a win on Wednesday.
Georgetown has also risen to the fifth spot in the AP Top 25 while earning a
pair of first place votes for its trouble. Georgetown will host long-time
rival Syracuse in a Big East rematch in Saturday's season finale.
Villanova is closing its regular season slate on Wednesday night. The Wildcats
are still a fringe team when it comes to its chances for a NCAA Tournament bid
and a win against the Hoyas would go a long way. The Wildcats have lost two-
straight contests including a 73-64 setback against No. 20 Pittsburgh on
Sunday. The Wildcats are now 18-12 overall while a middling 9-8 in league
action. Villanova will have to await the outcomes of this weekends bouts to
see its seeding for the upcoming Big East Tournament.
This is the first meeting of the season between these long-time Big East
rivals. Georgetown owns a 42-28 edge in the all-time series with wins in eight
of the last nine matchups.
Led by 28 points from Otto Porter, Georgetown held off a feisty Rutgers squad
in its last battle. The Hoyas earned the 64-51 victory by limiting the Scarlet
Knights to just 37 percent shooting while consistently getting to the free-
throw line. The Hoyas had a 30-6 edge from the stripe while attempting nearly
30 more shots.
Just as Georgetown has risen into the national spotlight so has Porter (16.6
ppg, 7.6 rpg). The 6-foot-8 forward was named Big East Player of the Week for
the third straight week on Monday and has fast become the frontrunner for Big
East Player of the Year. Porter has scored at least 20 points in three
straight games including a 33-point outburst in the Carrier Dome against
Syracuse. Markel Starks (12.2 ppg) is the only other active player on the
roster scoring in double figures and has been a steady force in the backcourt
for the Hoyas. Georgetown has been sensational on defense this season ranking
in the top 10 nationally in points allowed (56.3 pg) and opponent field goal
Villanova led for the entire second half against Pittsburgh before James
Robinson forced overtime with a 3-pointer late in the game. The Wildcats
allowed the Panthers to score the first seven games in the extra session and
were never able to reclaim the advantage.
Ryan Arcidiacono (12.2 ppg, 3.4 apg) was the leading scorer in the loss as he
dropped in a game-high 23 points. The freshman guard has certainly shown
promise this season but he has been erratic with his shooting as he nets just
35.8 percent from the floor. JayVaughn Pinkston (12.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg) is a
matchup nightmare for opponents with the size to battle down low and the speed
to make plays on the perimeter and in the mid-range. Darrun Hilliard (11.4
ppg) suffers from a lack of shooting consistency like Arcidiacono as he also
connects on less than 40 percent from the field. Poor shooting is a problem
for everyone on the team as the Wildcats own the third worst field goal
percentage in the conference (.415).
The Sports Network