Xavier-Georgetown Preview

While Xavier has been entirely dependent on home games for Big East wins thus far, Georgetown has strung together victories regardless of venue on its way to the top of the conference standings.

The 21st-ranked Hoyas will try to remain there Tuesday night and extend the Musketeers’ longest skid away from home in 28 years by handing them a sixth straight road loss.

"You’re going to have to compete and play at a high level, whether home or away, to win any games and every game in this conference," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said after a 70-53 loss at Xavier on Dec. 31.

More recently, his team has followed that direction.

After Saturday’s 95-85 overtime win at Marquette, Georgetown (14-5, 6-2) has won four straight while shooting 42.4 percent from 3-point range.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera was 5 of 8 from beyond the arc for a team-high 19 points, while Joshua Smith had 18 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Smith-Rivera is averaging 18.8 points with a 54.5-percent mark from 3-point range on the winning streak.

Freshman Isaac Copeland scored 17 off the bench for a second straight game on his way to Big East rookie of the week honors. The forward has reached double figures in each of the last three games after doing so twice in his first 16, and he’s also posted a personal-best six rebounds in three straight. He’s shooting 62.1 percent in the last four contests after posting a 42.3-percent mark through 15.

In three meetings since Xavier joined the Big East, the home team has won each by at least 13 points. The only matchup at Georgetown was a 74-52 Hoyas win on Feb. 22.

In the conference opener last month, Xavier limited Georgetown to 36.2 percent shooting and 2 of 13 (15.4 percent) from 3-point range. Xavier was 6 of 12 from long range and also got interior help from Jalen Reynolds’ career high-matching 17 points.

"They just did a good job," Thompson said. "I’m not sure it was any one thing in particular. I think they did a good job of taking away our first and second options, and I think our guys did a poor job of staying patient."

Xavier (13-7, 4-4) is finding life on the road even more difficult than it did in its inaugural Big East season. The Musketeers were 3-6 in opposing conference gyms a season ago but are 0-4 this season.

Overall, their five-game road losing streak is the program’s longest since an eight-game slide that included seven losses to conclude 1986-87 and another to begin the following season.

"When you drop a game – whether it’s road, whether it’s home – it steals your confidence as a team, in one another," coach Chris Mack said. "Again, when you play in a conference like ours, you have to be resilient. You have to be able to bounce back."

The Musketeers are 4-0 at home in the league after Saturday’s 89-76 win over DePaul, as they rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit. Xavier shot 3 of 17 from 3-point range – it’s 5 of 33 in the last two – but went 28 of 37 (75.7 percent) inside the arc.

Myles Davis, who went 7 of 8 from 2-point territory, had career highs of 25 points and eight rebounds in his second start of the season.

"That’s his best game in a Xavier uniform by far," Mack said of Davis, who’s averaged 16.8 points in his last four games.

Trevon Bluiett added a career-high 21 points off the bench, while Matt Stainbrook had 17 points on 7-of-7 shooting. The center is averaging 16.0 points on 63.5 percent shooting in the last five games.