NCAA BK

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 - 12:00 PM ET
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American U.-Georgetown Preview

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After a sloppy performance against one local opponent, Georgetown is ready to face another.

The 16th-ranked Hoyas return for their first game in a week Saturday when they try to defeat American University for the eighth straight time.

Georgetown (8-1) played its first game as a ranked team last Saturday and got off to a hot start with the first 17 points before seeing its lead cut to two in a 62-48 win over Howard. Coach John Thompson III opted not to call a timeout when the large lead dwindled.

"They've got to figure some things out on their own," Thompson said. "We can call a timeout, but I wanted to see who was going to step up, who was going to talk, who was going to try to make adjustments on their own."

The Hoyas shot 32.7 percent for their worst mark in a non-conference game since a 31.5-percent effort in a 59-53 loss at Temple on Feb. 14, 2004.

Freshman forward Otto Porter had a team-high 13 points with six baskets. No other Hoya had more than two field goals.

Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson each scored 12, and they are the only returning players to get a number of starts last season for the Hoyas' young squad.

"This group needs to figure out at certain points of the game, 'OK, we need to handle this. We need to talk about this. We need to grow up.' Because they know ... what we should do," coach Thompson said.

The poor performance could have been a result of finals week for the Hoyas, who are still fourth in the Big East in shooting percentage a 48.3.

"I feel like we missed 10 layups," coach Thompson said. "Now, they weren't your breakaway, wide-open layups. They were contested layups."

American (8-3) had its eight-game win streak snapped with last Saturday's 66-61 loss at St. Francis (Pa.), ending its longest run since a 13-game streak in 2008-09.

The Eagles made 9 of 15 3-pointers in the first half before making 1 of 8 after the break.

"We prepared our guys coming in that this team played well at home," coach Jeff Jones told American's official website. "The 3 was falling against their 1-3-1 in the first half and I don't think they played a single possession of that in the second."

The Hoyas have employed plenty of 1-2-2 zone while defending the 3-point line well, limiting foes to 27.9 percent for the Big East's second-best mark.

The Eagles are hoping top scorer Charles Hinkle can recover his form after he had a season-low 10 points his last time out. Hinkle averaged 28.0 points over his two previous contests and is among the nation's leaders with a 22.2 average.

These Washington schools did not meet between 1987-2006 before renewing the series in 2007-08. The Hoyas have won the three meetings since by an average of 26.0 points.

This is the final tuneup for Georgetown before it starts a difficult stretch with Thursday's home game against Memphis in front of the Big East opener Dec. 28 at No. 4 Louisville.

Tagged: American University, Georgetown, Hollis Thompson

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