Georgetown-Rutgers Preview

Georgetown’s stay in the Top 25 looks like it will come to an
end following this weekend. The Hoyas, however, are more concerned
with just picking up a win.

The 22nd-ranked Hoyas look to avoid another Big East loss
Saturday when they visit a Rutgers team that defeated them in New
Jersey last season.

Georgetown opened conference play with a 69-55 loss at then-No.
15 Notre Dame on Dec. 29 before bouncing back with an 86-75 home
victory over DePaul on New Year’s Day.

The Hoyas, though, haven’t won since.

They fell 61-58 at St. John’s on Jan. 3, 65-59 at home to West
Virginia on Saturday, and 72-57 to No. 5 Pittsburgh in the nation’s
capital Wednesday night. That defeat dropped Georgetown to 12-5
overall and 1-4 in Big East play, its worst conference start since
opening 1-7 in 1998-99.

“It’s not an ideal situation,” guard Chris Wright said. “It’s
not a situation that any of us envisioned that we were going to be
in, but at this point you can’t do nothing about it.

“You’ve got to step up and we’ve got to make plays and win
games. It’s no time for us to be basically acting like punks. We’ve
got to step up.”

Wright and fellow senior Austin Freeman have struggled during
the three-game skid. Freeman leads the Hoyas with 17.5 points per
game but is averaging 9.7 and shooting 32.3 percent over that
stretch, while Wright has shot 32.1 percent and averaged 10.0
points. Wright has missed 20 of his last 23 attempts from 3-point
range.

Georgetown was 5 for 20 from beyond the arc and shot a
season-worst 38.0 percent overall against the Panthers.

“We have to do a better job of getting to our second, third,
fourth options possibly,” coach John Thompson III said. “Getting
back to the mentality of we just want a good shot, whether it’s
after 3 seconds or 33 seconds.”

The Hoyas had won eight straight in this series before visiting
Rutgers on Feb. 14, and the Scarlet Knights beat then-No. 7
Georgetown 71-68 for their first victory over a top 10 team in
seven years.

Jonathan Mitchell, who leads Rutgers (10-6, 1-3) with 12.4
points per game, scored a career-high 24 in the win. Freeman had 17
points and shot 7 of 15, but Wright was held to six while going 2
for 8 from the field.

That victory is the only one for the Scarlet Knights in their
last 20 games against ranked opponents. They’re coming off a 67-53
loss at No. 10 Connecticut on Tuesday.

Rutgers was held without a field goal for the first 5 minutes of
the second half and missed its first nine shots after
intermission.

“You’re going to get punched in the Big East every once in a
while,” coach Mike Rice said. “You’ve got to fight back, and boy we
just took the standing-8 count.”

Mitchell had four points and shot 2 for 12 after the senior
forward scored 21 in an 85-72 home win over Providence on
Saturday.

Rutgers has dropped four of five following a six-game win
streak.

Georgetown hasn’t lost four in a row since a five-game skid Jan.
17-31, 2009.