Saturday Afternoon, 1p.m. CST
Verizon Center – Washington, D.C.
TV: ESPN and ESPN360.com (Mike Patrick and Len Elmore with the call)
When a team shoots 56 percent from the field and hits 10 three-pointers, they are going to win the game, right?
Georgetown put up those numbers in the first meeting between these two teams back on January 31 in Milwaukee, yet the Golden Eagles defeated the Hoyas 92-84 behind Jerel McNeal's 26 points.
In the previous matchup, Marquette was able to get the Hoyas in foul trouble and converted 30 of 38 attempts from the charity stripe. In addition, Marquette was able to match GU's 10 three-point baskets while also forcing 17 turnovers.
Saturday's game should yield no surprises given the recent history between these two teams. Effort, hustle and big plays down the stretch will likely be the key factors.
"They know us and we know them," said Marquette senior guard Wesley Matthews. "We're both in similar situations, where it's a [potential] marquee win for both teams. Georgetown needs this win really bad and we need this win really bad. I don't think it's going to come down to what they run and what we run. It's going to come down to who wants it more."
Georgetown will be heading home after drubbing USF, 65-40, in Tampa – a place where Marquette found itself on the short end of the scoreboard several weeks ago. The Hoyas backed up their high offensive and defensive efficiency ratings, holding USF to 32 percent shooting overall and just 8 percent on three-point attempts while hitting 58 percent of their own attempts.
In that game, freshman forward Greg Monroe collected his fourth double-double of the season. His ability to pass, dribble and shoot the ball well presents a difficult matchup for every opponent.
"I think he's the best freshman post player in the country, and his skill set is perfect for their style of play," said MU head coach Buzz Williams. "We had our hands full with him when we played here, and it will be the same when we play there."
This game could prove to be critical for the Hoya's NCAA chances. They enter the game with just five Big East victories but have a healthy RPI (#39 through Wednesday's results) and a very strong strength of schedule (#4). Their resume contains marquee victories at Connecticut and versus Memphis.
At this point, the Hoya's just need wins to get into the tournament. A sub-.500 conference record is risky, so getting to 9 wins before the Big East Tournament should be the Hoyas' goal. After facing MU, Georgetown has contests against Louisville, at Villanova, and at St. John's before closing out the regular season at home against DePaul.
Although this game is not critical to Marquette's NCAA chances, they are one of four teams vying for the Big East regular season championship.
"These last five stood out as soon as we got the schedule," said Matthews. "I'm excited, and a lot of the guys are excited to be a part of something like this. We're in a situation where we control our own destiny and we play the top half of our conference all in two or three weeks. We've looked at it but it's still one game at a time."
GEORGETOWN PROJECTED STARTERS
G-Chris Wright (6'1", 201 lbs.) --- (12.8 ppg, 3.8 apg, 3.1 rpg)
G-Jessie Sapp (6'3", 212 lbs.) --- (6.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.8 apg, 37% 3pt)
G/F- Austin Freeman (6'4", 230 lbs.) --- (12.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.1 apg)
F- DaJuan Summers (6'8", 236 lbs.) --- (14.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 41% 3pt)
F/C- Greg Monroe (6'11", 250 lbs.) --- (13.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 2.0 spg)
G- Jason Clark (6'2", 176 lbs.) --- (5.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg)
F- Julian Vaughn (6'9", 246 lbs.) --- (1.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg, .5 bpg)
F- Henry Sims (6'10", 225 lbs.) --- (1.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg, .6 bpg)
F- Nikita Mescheriakov (6'8", 208 lbs.) --- (2.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg)
G/F- Omar Wattad (6'5", 225 lbs.) --- (3.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg)
Head Coach: John Thompson (114-46 – 5th Season, 182-88 – 9th overall)