W. Carolina-Georgetown Preview

While the questions concerning its future in the Big East

remain, Georgetown is likely more focused on putting its scoring

woes at home further into the past.

The 15th-ranked Hoyas will try to build on a superb performance

Saturday when they face Western Carolina for the first time.

Georgetown is among a group of seven non-FBS football schools

that are planning to leave the Big East. The Hoyas were among the

charter members of the league in 1979.

Although future plans are still unclear, this weekend Georgetown

is hoping to duplicate its efforts from Monday’s 89-53 win over

Longwood. The Hoyas (8-1) shot 53.7 percent in that victory after

connecting on only 32.6 percent from the field and averaging 41.5

points over their previous two home games.

Otto Porter led the way with a career-high 22 points on 8-of-11

shooting and added seven assists despite taking an inadvertent

elbow to the head from a teammate in the second half. The sophomore

forward was also hit in the head during a season-opening win

against Duquesne on Nov. 11 and sat out a victory over Liberty

three days later due to symptoms of a mild concussion.

Markel Starks finished with 17 points Monday after being held to

four in each of the previous two home games.

A 37-36 win over Tennessee on Nov. 30 marked Georgetown’s lowest

point total since the NCAA instituted the shot clock before the

1985-86 season. The Hoyas, who have won five in a row overall and

12 straight at the Verizon Center, shot a season-low 29.2 percent

in a 46-40 victory against Towson last Saturday.

“When you look at that (Towson) game, the ball didn’t go in, and

so you have to fix that. But most of the looks we got were wide

open shots,” coach John Thompson III said after his team beat

Longwood. “It wasn’t a question of movement within the offense. Our

guys just put the ball in the basket a little bit today.”

Western Carolina (4-6) has held three of its past four opponents

to 40.0 percent shooting or lower, but it nearly entered this game

with three consecutive losses. The Catamounts trailed by 13 early

in the second half last Saturday against visiting Southern

Conference foe Appalachian State before rallying to win 70-64.

They limited the Mountaineers to 38.2 percent shooting – 5 of 19

from 3-point range – but shot just 41.8 percent at the opposite


Junior forward Tom Tankelewicz hit a key 3-pointer in the final

minute to finish with a career-high 19 points, and leading scorer

Trey Sumler (16.2 points per game) had 13 after being held to

single digits in each of his previous two games.

Western Carolina has never beaten a Top 25 team, but it gave

then-No. 13 Illinois a difficult time Dec. 4. The Catamounts erased

a 12-point deficit in the second half but couldn’t take command in

a 72-64 loss.