Georgetown and Texas have experienced embarrassing moments this
season, but they’ve also had their share of positive ones.
The 15th-ranked Hoyas hope they won’t have to survive another
dismal shooting performance when they face the Longhorns’ NCAA-best
field goal percentage defense in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday
night at Madison Square Garden.
Georgetown (5-1) shot 36.4 percent and was held to its lowest
point total in the shot clock era during Friday’s 37-36 win over
Tennessee in the SEC-Big East Challenge.
Greg Whittington, Mikael Hopkins and Otto Porter each had eight
points to lead the Hoyas, who hadn’t scored that few points since
beating SMU by the same score in the second round of the 1985 NCAA
“If you just look at the numbers and the stat sheet and say we
won the game – before the game, I’d say you’re crazy,” coach John
Thompson III said. “I’d think it’s virtually impossible.”
Thompson, though, was pleased with the fact his squad forced 13
turnovers and held Tennessee to only 15 of 46 from the field.
Opponents are shooting 38.7 percent against the Hoyas.
“As frustrating as an offensive day that I can remember being a
part of, we still got stops,” Thompson said. “And that’s not the
worst thing in the world.”
Georgetown played much better in a 78-70 victory over then-No.
11 UCLA on Nov. 19 and while suffering its only defeat the
following night, 82-72 in overtime to No. 1 Indiana.
The Hoyas, though, are also no stranger to winning ugly. They
won each of their three worst shooting performances last season but
may have a more difficult time against a Texas team leading the
country holding opponents to 30.7 percent from the field.
The Longhorns (5-2) haven’t allowed any team to shoot better
than 36.8 percent, when Division II Chaminade dealt them a
surprising 86-73 defeat Nov. 19 at the Maui Invitational.
Texas then fell 59-53 to a mediocre Southern California team the
following day, but it has since won three straight by an average of
16.0 points after beating Texas-Arlington 70-54 on Saturday.
Sophomore Julien Lewis hit 6 of 10 from 3-point range and
finished with a game-high 18 points, while Ioannis Papapetrou added
17 off the bench.
Lewis’ 12.0 points per game are second on the team to the 17.0
average of Sheldon McClellan, who finished with 14 points.
“I thought we played together a lot better as a team,” Lewis
said. “We just need to stay positive, stay focused and continue to
work hard to keep getting better.”
Coach Rick Barnes was pleased with the play of Lewis, who has
scored in double figures in each of the last five games.
“He is getting better,” Barnes said. “As quick as he is, we
think he can score against anybody.”
The Longhorns made 13 of 26 3-pointers, their most since also
hitting 13 in a 95-75 win over Coppin State on Dec. 31, 2010.
“When we move the ball like we did (Saturday), we should be
getting great looks at the 3-point line,” Barnes said.
Tuesday will mark the second meeting between these programs,
with Texas winning the first matchup 78-70 on Jan. 8, 1972.