Towson-Georgetown Preview

While it’s still trying to iron out some issues offensively,

Georgetown appears to have its defense in midseason form.

The 15th-ranked Hoyas will try to put it all together Saturday

when they begin a four-game homestand against Towson and former

Hoya Jerrelle Benimon.

Georgetown (6-1) held its third consecutive opponent under 34.0

percent from the field Tuesday night in a 64-41 win over Texas in

the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Texas shot just 14 for 48 (29.2 percent), finishing with its

lowest point total and field-goal percentage in coach Rick Barnes’

15 seasons.

“I thought we were quite attentive to defense,” Hoyas coach

John Thompson III said. “With the exception of giving them some

free throws and some baskets in transition, they had to work for

everything they got and that’s what we wanted to do.”

The Hoyas, whose only loss this season was to No. 1 Indiana in

overtime on Nov. 20, have held opponents to 42.3 points on 32.1

percent shooting in three straight wins.

Georgetown, however, would like to get some consistency out of

its offense after shooting 41 of 105 (39.0 percent) from the field

in the last two games.

Four days after scoring 37 points – the team’s lowest since 1985

– in a one-point win over Tennessee, Georgetown shot 41.0 percent

against Texas and made just 4 of 18 from beyond the arc.

“I don’t think our offense was good,” said Thompson, whose team

is 5 for 25 from 3-point range the last two games. “Too

stagnant.”

Otto Porter, a preseason first team All-Big East pick, had 14

points and eight rebounds to score in double figures for the fourth

time in five games.

“The team trusts me to be aggressive and that’s what I wanted to

pick up coming into this season,” Porter said.

Markel Starks, who had 11 against the Longhorns, has averaged

14.6 points in his last five games despite putting up only four

against the Volunteers.

The junior guard averages a team-best 12.1 points per game for

the Hoyas, who are one of four Division I teams with no seniors on

the roster.

“We are a work in progress,” Thompson said. “I think that we’re

going to be much better than we are right now but with each passing

day, the group is feeling a lot more confident.”

Georgetown should continue to build confidence against the

Tigers (4-4), who are 0-3 all-time against the Hoyas and winless in

eight games versus ranked opponents.

Towson, however, is off to its best start since 2008-09 behind

Benimon, a Georgetown transfer. The junior forward is scoring 16.3

points per game for the Tigers after averaging 1.4 in two seasons

with the Hoyas.

“It’s going to be a great environment for our guys and for

Jerrelle, he’s going back to Georgetown where he came from,” Towson

assistant Luke Murray said.

Benimon finished with a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds on

Wednesday as the Tigers snapped a two-game losing streak with a

68-64 victory at Vermont.

With Benimon leading the way at 9.9 rebounds per game, Towson

ranks 20th in the nation with a plus-9.1 rebounding margin.

Georgetown, traditionally a strong rebounding team, has a

plus-1.6 margin.

Tigers freshman point guard Jerome Hairston faces a tough

challenge against Georgetown, which forced a season-best 22

turnovers Tuesday.

Hairston has 27 turnovers and just 20 assists this season.