Cincinnati-Georgetown Preview

Cincinnati-Georgetown Preview

Published Jan. 9, 2012 5:54 p.m. ET

Cincinnati bottled up Georgetown's Princeton offense in two victories over the Hoyas last season.

Both teams will be trying to bounce back from poor shooting efforts when they meet Monday night at the Verizon Center, where the No. 11 Hoyas are 9-0.

This could have been a matchup of teams that are unbeaten in Big East play, but Georgetown (13-2, 3-1) and Cincinnati (12-4, 2-1) both lost Saturday. The Hoyas fell 74-62 at West Virginia while the Bearcats lost 57-55 at home to St. John's.

Cincinnati limited Georgetown to 28.7 percent shooting in two wins by an average of 17.0 points in 2010-11. The Bearcats shot 44.4 percent on 3-pointers while the Hoyas hit 22.0 percent.


Monday's game figures to be a low-scoring affair. Both teams are limiting opponents to 39.2 percent shooting overall, with Cincinnati leading the conference by allowing 57.3 points per game and Georgetown third at 59.1.

These are also the Big East's top teams in 3-point defense, with the Hoyas at 29.1 percent and Bearcats at 29.2.

After Saturday's performances, though, both teams should be focusing on their offenses.

Georgetown had its 11-game win streak snapped, shooting 40.4 percent and missing 12 of 14 3-pointers. Top scorer Jason Clark was held to 10 points.

"There's a lot more to what we look for on offense than backdoor cuts," coach John Thompson III said. "We can go to other options. I thought we threw it down in the post to different people today. So there's always a different option to go to, so if a team wants to take away that, we have other things to go to."

Cincinnati averages a Big East-high 22.4 3-point attempts, including 29.0 over its last eight games. The Bearcats had their worst effort in that span Saturday, going 7 of 32 (21.9 percent) on 3s.

Coach Mick Cronin defended the number of 3-pointers his team hoisted up.

"That was not the reason we lost," Cronin said. "The reason we lost, we weren't ready to play. We played as individuals. We played with no focus, no energy."

Yancy Gates has totaled 16 points and 15 rebounds off the bench in two games since returning from a six-game ban for his role in a brawl with Xavier on Dec. 10.

Gates and the Bearcats are known for their toughness, but Cronin felt that was the missing ingredient as his team's seven-game win streak ended.

"Today we played awful and I'm not talking about shooting the basketball," Cronin said. "That's a weak excuse. It's weak and it's soft."

The Bearcats have won their last five Big East road games, including last season's 58-46 victory over the Hoyas.

"We seem to only play hard when our backs are against the wall," Cronin said. "Maybe that's the reason. We'll see."

The Hoyas also struggled defensively against the Mountaineers, allowing an opponent to shoot 50 percent for the first time.

"Our attention to detail, particularly on the defensive end, was not where it was supposed to be," Thompson said.