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.