Longwood (2-6) at (15) Georgetown (7-1)
Monday, December 10, 7 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Verizon Center (18,277) -- Washington, D.C. Television: MASN. Home Record: Longwood 1-2, Georgetown 5-0. Away Record: Longwood 0-3, Georgetown 0-0. Neutral Record: Longwood 1-1, Georgetown 2-1. Conference Record: Longwood 0-0, Georgetown 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Georgetown Hoyas continue their season-long, four-game homestand on Monday night when they entertain the Longwood Lancers.
The schedule has not been kind to Longwood here in the early part of the 2012-13 campaign, as it has lost six of its eight matchups, including all three away from home. The Lancers improved their play at the end of November, winning two of three against Florida A&M (86-83 in OT) and Central Penn College (88-75), but they started off the new month with a 61-53 home loss to Dartmouth on Dec. 1.
Georgetown began the season unranked but it has joined the nation's elite thanks to an impressive 7-1 start, with its only lose coming in overtime to top-ranked Indiana, 82-72. The Hoyas have put together signature wins over UCLA (78-70), Tennessee (37-36) and Texas (64-41), and it most recently squeaked by Towson at home on Saturday, 46-40.
This bout represents the first meeting between these two on the hardwood.
Longwood hasn't been very strong at the offensive end of the court this season, shooting 42.1 percent from the field in averaging 67.2 ppg, but the biggest reason for its woes has been its inability to keep opponents off the scoreboard. Foes are hitting 49.1 percent of their field goal attempts and netting 84.9 ppg as a result. The Lancers stepped up their defensive presence the last time out, holding Dartmouth to 61 points while forcing 18 turnovers. Unfortunately, they shot only 41.1 percent from the floor and committed 22 giveaways. David Robinson was on fire, making 10-of-15 shots for 21 points, but no other player recorded more than seven points. On the season, Tristan Carey averages a team-high 15.0 ppg, and his 20 three-point field goals are more than double any of his teammates. Michael Kessens has been great in the low post, scoring 13.0 ppg on 58 percent shooting, adding 11.4 rpg and 2.1 bpg as well. Nik Brown (10.4 ppg) and Robinson (9.4 ppg) are other important pieces to the Longwood scoring attack.
Georgetown has shot a respectable 45 percent from the floor this season, but after putting up a few sub-50 point efforts in the past few weeks, its scoring offense sits at an unremarkable 62.2 ppg. However, it has found great success thanks to outstanding numbers at the defensive end (.369 field goal percentage, 54.1 ppg). It was a similar story against Towson, as the Hoyas struggled big time from the floor, shooting just 14-of-48 (.292), but were able to hold on for the victory by forcing the Tigers into more turnovers (22) than field goals made (15). Despite the offensive woes, four GU players reached double figures, with Greg Whittington scoring 11 points and Mikael Hopkins, Otto Porter and Nate Lubick netting 10 apiece. It's a close race for Georgetown's top scorer, with Porter (11.7 ppg), Whittington (11.5 ppg) and Markel Starks (11.1 ppg) all within a point of each other. Whittington grabs a team-high 8.0 ppg, and Porter stuffs the stat sheet with 7.3 ppg, 2.9 apg, 2.1 spg and 1.7 bpg.
The Hoyas haven't been prone to big point totals this season, but they won't need to score much to get past Longwood at home. Expect Georgetown's defense to stifle the Lancers' attack and roll to an easy win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgetown 68, Longwood 43
12/10 10:35:11 ET