Georgetown, UConn reunite

Georgetown, UConn reunite
February 27, 2013, 11:15 am
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No. 7 Georgetown (21-4, 11-3 Big East) at Connecticut (19-7, 9-5)

What's new: The Hoyas, winners of nine straight games and 11 of 12, just keep on keeping on thanks to their stingy defense and star sophomore Otto Porter. Against Syracuse on Saturday, Porter scored 33 points, the most by a Hoya against their longtime rival, as Georgetown won the final game played inside the Carrier Dome with both schools part of the Big East conference.

The opponent: Despite coach Jim Calhoun's retirement, the loss of several key players and their postseason ineligibility, the Huskies have remained among the top teams in the Big East. New coach Kevin Ollie has directed Connecticut to wins over Syracuse, Notre Dame and Michigan State, not to mention in four of its last five games.

The history: This is the only meeting between the two programs this season. Georgetown leads the all-time series 34-29 with wins in five of the last seven games including last season's 58-44 triumph.

At stake: With a victory, Georgetown remains one game ahead of Marquette in the Big East standings with three games remaining. Currently five teams are separated by 1 1/2 games. The Hoyas are 4-1 against the other contending teams.

Star watch: Porter's performance against Syracuse on top of his efforts over the last 11 games has removed him from the under-the-radar category. UConn guards Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatwright average a combined 32.4 points, 8.9 assists and 3.5 steals. "I think they are still possibly one of the more talented teams in our conference," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "Those guards are terrific and they put so much pressure on you, difficult to help, defense has to be good."

Supporting cast: The Hoyas found no success penetrating Syracuse's 2-3 zone until aggressive sophomore guard Jabril Trawick began attacking the lane after halftime. Trawick led the Hoyas with five assists.

"I thought Jabril was terrific," Thompson said. "He was terrific with his penetration in the air and then finding Otto. I think he did a very good job of putting pressure on their defense."

The conference-only stats: Georgetown tops the Big East in scoring defense (56.4) while Connecticut averages 71.4 points, second in the conference...The Hoyas are shooting a conference-leading 45.9 percent from the field, two slot ahead of the Huskies (44.8)...While rebounding has been a tricky area for the Hoyas at times, Connecticut ranks 13th in the Big East in  rebounding margin, losing the battle on the boards by more than three per game...Porter leads all 3-point shooters at 46.2 percent while Napier ranks second with 2.79 makes per game.

Next up: Georgetown hosts Rutgers on Saturday with the late-night 9 p.m. tip. Next week the Hoyas close the regular season at Villanova on Wednesday and against Syracuse on Saturday at the Verizon Center.