Preview: Must-win Hoyas host No. 13 Creighton

Preview: Must-win Hoyas host No. 13 Creighton
March 4, 2014, 12:00 pm
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Matchup: Georgetown (16-12, 7-9 Big East) vs. No. 13 Creighton (23-5, 13-3)

When: Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.

Where: Verizon Center

Broadcast: TV - FS1, Radio - 570 AM.

Streaks: The Hoyas have lost two straight games, including 82-67 at Seton Hall on Thursday. The Bluejays had their four-game winning streak snapped on Saturday, falling at home to Xavier 75-69.

History: Despite holding Doug McDermott to 14 points, the Hoyas fell 76-63 at Creighton on Jan. 25

KenPom: Georgetown 55, Creighton 7

RPI: Georgetown 63, Creighton 8

Coaches: Georgetown - John Thompson III; Creighton - Greg McDermott

Leaders: Hoyas - Scoring (Markel Starks, 17.0), Rebounding (Nate Lubick, 5.9), Assists (Markel Starks, 3.9); Bluejays - Scoring (Doug McDermott, 26.0), Rebounding (Doug McDermott, 7.0), Assists (Austin Chatman, 4.3)

Links: Hoyas' NCAA hopes start with defeating McDermott, Creighton

What's at stake: Now two games under .500 in the conference, the Hoyas may need to win their final two regular season games to remain in the NCAA Tournament at-large mix. Georgetown plays at No. 6 Villanova on Saturday.

Senior day: Tuesday will, in theory, be the final home game for five seniors: Starks, Nate Lubick, Aaron Bowen, Moses Ayegba and John Caprio. 

Starks regained the scoring lead from D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera after scoring 24 points in Thursday's 75-73 loss at Marquette. The 6-foot-2 guard ranks 30th on Georgetown's all-time scoring list (1,151). The never-tiring Starks ranks fourth in the Big East in scoring this season, sixth in free throw shooting (84.6 percent) and eighth in assists. 

Lubick has started 93 games during his four seasons. Early this season the power became the sixth player in program history with at least 500 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists. 

Bowen, who has turned into Georgetown's top reserve and Ayegba could return for a fifth campaign after previously sitting out with a redshirt season. 

Dougie Fresh: McDermott's point totals since scoring 14 against the Hoyas: 39, 32, 25, 26, 39, 25, 29, 27. Yikes. That stretch helped the likely 3-time All-American take over the national scoring race. That stretch included scary accuracy; McDermott shot 61.2 percent (60 of 98) over his last six games including 50 percent from beyond the arc. Before the previous meeting, Thompson called McDermott the nation's top player this season. With those numbers, there is no reason to argue. 

Fire away: Starks and Smith-Rivera combined for 39 points in the first matchup against Creighton. The pair needed 37 field goal attempts to score that many. That's hardly efficient, but Georgetown wants the backcourt pair taking the most attempts. Creighton's coach does not. 

"We have to try and slow Starks and Smith-Rivera as best we can," Greg McDermott said on Monday at the Verizon Center. "We can't give them that many opportunities [Tuesday] night or we're looking for trouble."

 Keys: 1) Georgetown could struggle to keep up with Creighton offensively no matter the scenario. It becomes impossible if the Hoyas have numerous miscues. Over the last seven games, they are averaging a paltry 7.7 turnovers. 2) The Bluejays lead the nation with a 42.1 percent clip from beyond the 3-point arc. Over their last four games, the Hoyas have allowed opponents to shoot 44.4 on 3's. 3) Along with Jabril Trawick, Georgetown has plenty of backcourt production. Up front, not so much; starter Mikael Hopkins can't stay out of foul trouble. Lubick makes shots, but simply doesn't take any. Perhaps sophomore Bradley Hayes moves into the rotation after an interesting performance against Xavier.