(19) Georgetown (2-0) at Savannah State (2-1)
Saturday, November 21st, 1:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Frank Haynes, College Basketball Senior Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tiger Arena (6,000) -- Savannah, Georgia. Television: None. Home Record: GU 1-0, SSU 2-0. Away Record: GU 1-0, SSU 0-1. Neutral Record: GU 0-0, SSU 0-0. Conference Record: GU 0-0, SSU 0-0. Series Record: Georgetown leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: In what appears to be a serious mismatch, the 19th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas have made the trek to Georgia to take on the Tigers of Savannah State.
Georgetown is 2-0 on the young season, having beaten both Tulane (74-58) on the road, and Temple (46-45) at home. The victory over the Owls was clearly hard-fought, and games like that will only serve the Hoyas well as they look ahead to a Big East Conference slate that will offer several challenges.
Savannah State opened the season with a pair of victories over the likes of Webber International (65-51) and Central Connecticut State (53-45), but the team is coming off its first loss of the season, that coming in a 57-46 final at North Florida on Wednesday. The Tigers play their basketball as a Division I Independent and are coached by Horace Broadnax, who directed the team to a 15-14 mark last season. SSU was 13-3 at home in 2008-09.
This game marks the third meeting between Georgetown and Savannah State on the hardwood, with the Hoyas laying claim to a 2-0 series advantage. In last year's encounter, GU spanked the Tigers at home, 100-38.
Despite their 2-0 record, the Hoyas are averaging just 60 ppg and hitting their field goals at a 45.3 percent clip. The three-point shot has clearly not been GU's friend, as only 28.6 percent of its tries have found the bottom of the net. The team's effort at the defensive end has been superb, as foes are netting just 51.5 ppg, and Temple managed just 45 points in the most recent outing. As bad as Georgetown has been from long range, opponents have been worse (.171). The Hoyas own a +4.5 rebounding edge through two games, and four players are averaging double digits in scoring led by Greg Monroe with his 14.5 points and 10.0 caroms per contest. Austin Freeman (13.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Chris Wright (13.0 ppg, five steals) and Jason Clark (10.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg) have all been productive, with the first two shooting at least 50 percent from the field, and Clark hitting a team-best 41.7 percent of his three-point attempts. Wright led all scorers in the Temple game with 15 points, but the Hoyas shot just 35.7 percent from the field, hit only 3-of-18 long-range attempts and committed 16 turnovers. Defensively, they limited the Owls to 32.1 percent field goal efficiency, which included a dismal 3-of-23 effort from beyond the arc.
Much like their counterpart today, the Tigers have been rather inept at the offensive end, averaging a mere 54.7 ppg. But also like the Hoyas, the strength of this team is on defense as foes are permitted just 51.0 ppg on 40.3 percent shooting from the floor and only 31.3 percent from downtown. Savannah State is hitting its field goals just 38.1 percent of the time, and has really struggled out on the perimeter, dropping a paltry 7-of-40 (.175) three-point attempts thus far. The team has proven to be an opportunistic bunch, coming up with more than 20 turnovers per game. Tracy Rankins (13.0 ppg) is the only double-digit scorer for SSU, although Louis Arnold is close to cracking that mark with his 9.0 ppg, and he is the team's leading rebounder with 9.7 per game. Rankins converted 6-of-12 field goal attempts to finish with a game-high 17 points in Savannah State's recent loss to North Florida. The team as a whole shot just 34 percent from the field, and was outscored at the foul line, 24-10, while losing the rebounding battle, 35-24.
The Tigers will surely play hard in front of the hometown faithful, but the Hoyas with their superior talent and depth should win this one going away.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgetown 78, Savannah State 59
11/21 10:36:33 ET