Providence (9-7) at Georgetown (11-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 16, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Verizon Center (18,277) -- Washington, D.C. Television: COX, SNY, MASN, Big East Network. Home Record: PC 7-2, GU 8-1. Away Record: PC 1-3, GU 1-1. Neutral Record: PC 1-2, GU 2-1. Conference Record: PC 1-3, GU 1-2. Series Record: Georgetown leads, 42-19.
GAME NOTES: Big East Conference action takes place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday night, as the Providence Friars challenge the Georgetown Hoyas.
Both teams have struggled here in the early stages of the conference schedule, combining to go just 2-5. Both are coming off victories however, with Providence winning at Seton Hall (67-55) last Sunday, and Georgetown turning the trick at St. John's (67-51) a day prior.
Overall, the Friars check in with a record of 9-7, and their recent win put the brakes on a miserable five-game slide. PC is just 1-3 in true road games this season, which doesn't bode well for the club as it takes on a Georgetown squad that is 8-1 at home.
The Hoyas had been among the nationally-ranked prior to last week's two-game hiccup as they suffered setbacks to both Marquette (49-48) and Pittsburgh (73-45), thus costing them a spot in this week's AP poll.
Georgetown owns a sizable 42-19 advantage in the all-time series with Providence, and the Hoyas have won the last seven meetings.
Despite their rather average performance this season, the Friars boast one of the Big East's best players in junior Bryce Cotton. The talented guard is averaging a league-best 21.6 ppg behind shooting percentages that come in at .474 overall, .431 from 3-point range, and .783 from the foul line. LaDontae Henton (15.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg) and Kadeem Batts (15.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg) are both netting double figures on a consistent basis for Providence, which puts up 68.7 ppg while allowing 62.2 ppg. In Big East games only however, its average yields jumps up to 72.5 ppg. Cotton was his usual self in the recent win over Seton Hall, scoring 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds. The Friars won the game despite shooting just 36.1 percent from the field, by using an 18-9 edge in points from the foul line, along with a 42-35 rebounding advantage and 17 turnovers by the Pirates.
Georgetown's bread and butter this season is its ability to shut down the opposition, something it does to the tune of a 55.4 ppg average yield. Foes are shooting just 38.5 percent from the floor, and they're guilty of nearly 15 turnovers per outing. From an offensive standpoint, the Hoyas score 63.8 ppg and have three double-digit point producers in the form of Otto Porter (13.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg), Greg Whittington (12.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Markel Starks (11.6 ppg), although Whittington was recently suspended for an apparent violation of team rules. Even with Whittington out of action, the Hoyas had very little trouble disposing of St. John's over the weekend, as Porter went off for 19 points and 14 rebounds, Starks tallied 17 points and Nate Lubick pitched in with 11. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera came off the bench to corral 10 caroms, helping GU easily win the battle on the boards, 48-33. The Red Storm was limited to 35.6 percent field goal efficiency, which included a dismal 3-of-16 effort from beyond the arc.
Expect the Hoyas to handle the Friars once again, as they try get back on track and build up a head of steam as they look ahead to a daunting next couple of months in the rough-and-tumble Big East.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgetown 69, Providence 61
01/16 10:35:39 ET