Connecticut Huskies at Georgetown Hoyas
When/Where: Saturday, noon ET, Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Spread: Georgetown -9
It’s two former Big East powerhouses meeting on Saturday afternoon in the nation’s capital, but neither Connecticut — now in the American Athletic Conference — nor Georgetown is close to powerhouse status at the moment as both are going to miss the NCAA Tournament barring a run to their conference tournament title.
Huskies Eye First 3-Game Streak
UConn (7-9) is definitely on the short list of the most disappointing teams in the nation considering the Huskies won the AAC Tournament last year and won a game in the Big Dance before falling to Kansas. As usual, UConn is very good defensively in allowing 65.3 points (47th nationally) but it scores just 65.6 (320th). Perhaps things are turning around as the Huskies have followed a four game losing streak with back-to-back easy wins. On Wednesday, the Huskies beat a solid Temple team 73-59. The Huskies jumped out to a 22-9 lead in the opening minutes and that was pretty much it.
Senior Kentan Facey was the star with a career-high 23 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. “Kentan is just playing unbelievable,” coach Kevin Ollie said. “He’s dialed in each and every practice. Every time we’re in the film room, he’s asking questions, he’s looking me dead in my eye, he’s just really locked in on the game plan. He’s very comfortable getting to his spots now, and he’s very confident.” Jalen Adams had 11 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. And Amida Brimah dominated on defense, blocking six shots, to go with 13 points and three rebounds. Freshman Vance Jackson had 10 points and Rodney Purvis had nine points and eight rebounds. Obi Enechionyia, Temple’s top scorer, was 3-for-17, and made only one three-pointer. UConn has yet to win three in a row this year.
These Aren’t Your Father’s Hoyas
Georgetown (9-8) missed the Big Dance last year and hasn’t in back-to-back seasons since 2004 & ’05. The Hoyas do have one really good win, beating then-No. 13 Oregon 65-61 early in the season. Really the only bad loss was to Arkansas State. Georgetown ended a four-game losing streak on Monday with an 83-55 win over visiting St. John’s. Junior guard L.J. Peak scored 16 points, grabbed four rebounds and had two assists to lead four players in double figures for the Hoyas. Freshman guard Jagan Mosely added 13 points and six rebounds, while graduate student guard Rodney Pryor added 13 points and eight rebounds and sophomore forward Marcus Derrickson 11 points.
The Hoyas led 44-37 at the break and held St. John’s to only two points through the first 11:47 of the second half. Georgetown used a 19-2 run to take a 63-39 lead and never looked back. The Hoyas went 27-for-33 (82 percent) overall at the foul line, a huge improvement from the last two games when they shot 23-for-38 (61 percent) combined. They also turned in their best defensive performance in a Big East game this season, limiting St. John’s to 28 percent shooting (16 for 58), including a season-worst 5-for-30 (17 percent) from three-point range. It was the Hoyas’ 12th consecutive victory at Verizon Center over the Johnnies.
- Huskies are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
- Huskies are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 vs. Big East.
- Hoyas are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 home games.
- Hoyas are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 non-conference games.
- Hoyas are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Hoyas are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
This is the second of a home-and-home series between the former conference rivals. Last year, the Huskies won 68-62 at home. Purvis stole the ball from Jessie Govan with 18 seconds left and then made two free-throws at the other end to seal it. UConn won despite shooting 4-for-21 in the second half and 17-for-47 overall. It was the first meeting between the schools since Feb. 27, 2013, when the Hoyas beat UConn 79-78 in double overtime in their final Big East meeting. The Huskies are 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings.