DePaul (11-14) at (11) Georgetown (19-4)
Wednesday, February 20, 7 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Phil Neuffer, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Verizon Center (18,711) -- Washington, D.C. Television: MASN, Big East Network. Home Record: DePaul 7-7, Georgetown 13-1. Away Record: DePaul 4-5, Georgetown 4-2. Neutral Record: DePaul 0-2, Georgetown 2-1. Conference Record: DePaul 2-10, Georgetown 9-3. Series Record: Georgetown leads, 20-6.
GAME NOTES: The streaking Georgetown Hoyas and Big East Conference Player of the Week Otto Porter will bring in the DePaul Blue Demons for a league matchup at the Verizon Center on Wednesday night.
The Blue Demons had been suffering in a nine-game losing streak before topping Rutgers, 75-69, at home on Saturday. DePaul is still just 11-14 overall and 2-10 in league play which has it just two spots ahead of last place in the Big East standings. In road contests DePaul is 4-5 overall but it has lost its last four games away from Allstate Arena. DePaul begins a two-game homestand against Connecticut next.
With wins in its last seven games, Georgetown has slowly been rising up not only the conference standings but the national rankings. The Hoyas are 19-4 overall and sitting 11th in the most recent top-25. The Hoyas have dropped just one game in 14 tries at the Verizon Center but a showdown with rival Syracuse at the Carrier Dome is next on the schedule.
Georgetown has absolutely dominated this all-time series with 20 wins in 26 total meetings, including victories in the last 11 matchups.
Four players scored in double figures for DePaul in its win over Rutgers, led by Worrel Clahar who dropped in 19 points to go with seven assists. The two squads were knotted at 66-66 with just over two minutes remaining but a 6-0 spurt from the Blue Demons gave them enough separation to hold on for the win.
Scoring isn't normally the problem for the Blue Demons. They rank third in the conference in points (73.3 pg) though they are in the bottom half of the league in field goal percentage (.437). Where the Blue Demons have struggled is the defensive end where they are getting lit up for 73.5 points per game on just under 45 percent shooting. Normally it is Brandon Young (16.7 ppg, 4.5 apg) and Cleveland Melvin (16.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg) leading the charge as one of the more productive one-two scoring combinations in the Big East. Worrel Clahar (7.2 ppg) has picked up his play with increased court time as he has scored in double figures in three of the last four games.
In a grueling battle with Cincinnati last Friday the Hoyas pulled out a 62-55 victory. Georgetown held the Bearcats to just 17 field goals on 31.5 percent shooting in the contest. Markel Starks had a game-high 17 points in the game and Porter scored 16 points and brought in seven rebounds.
Porter had a strong week in leading the Hoyas in important wins over Marquette and Cincinnati. He averaged 18.5 points and seven boards in the two contests and earned Big East Player of the Week honors. Porter (15.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg) is the leading scorer and rebounder on the roster and has scored in double figures in 10 straight games. Starks (12.6 ppg) has also been heating up of late scoring at least 16 points in five of the last six outings. The Hoyas are without another double figure scorer however relying more heavily on their defensive success to pull out victories. Georgetown is ranked 10th in the nation in both points allowed (55.7 pg) and opponent field-goal percentage (.375).
With how well the Hoyas play on the defensive end of the floor they should be able to handle Melvin and Young and keep themselves atop the Big East.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgetown 70, DePaul 60
02/20 11:01:58 ET