Loyola, Md.-Georgetown Preview
Georgetown has one final tuneup before a difficult pair of road games to close out the calendar year.
The 15th-ranked Hoyas will play Loyola (Md.) for the first time since 1974 on Saturday at the Verizon Center.
Georgetown (9-1) has won its first four home games by an average of 19.3 points. The Hoyas have not faced fellow Jesuit school Loyola (4-5) since beating the Greyhounds for the 22nd time in the last 23 meetings 36 years ago.
Georgetown will have to try to avoid looking ahead to its final two games of the month - at No. 18 Memphis on Dec. 18 and its Big East opener at No. 23 Notre Dame six days later.
The Hoyas enter after enjoying their largest margin of victory in an 89-60 win over Appalachian State on Sunday. Bouncing back from a 68-65 loss at Temple three days earlier, Georgetown shot 60.0 percent and its 27 assists matched the team's highest total since coach John Thompson III took over before the 2004-05 season.
"In the locker room, I was a little nervous," Thompson said. "Following the Temple game, the last two days we've done literally five minutes of offense - it's just been all defense. I'm sitting there, (thinking), 'Whew, we're probably going to come out a little rusty on offense.'"
Senior Chris Wright matched a career high with 12 assists. Wright has three games with at least 10 assists this season after never having more than eight in any game during his first three seasons.
"I'm not really trying to play flashy," Wright said. "I think I'm just making the right reads."
Wright's passing helped six Hoyas register at least three baskets. Jason Clark had 15 points and leading scorer Austin Freeman chipped in 14.
The Hoyas shot 72 percent (21 for 29) in a 48-point second half.
"Coach put an emphasis at halftime on getting three stops in a row at the beginning of the second half, and that's something we wanted to do," Wright said. "When we get into transition, it's very hard to stop us because we have so many options."
Loyola is 0-21 all-time against AP Top 25 teams. The Greyhounds ended a three-game skid last Saturday with a 65-42 home win over Mount St. Mary's.
Shane Walker had 22 points and 10 rebounds while senior guard Jamal Barney had 10 points to reach 1,000 for his career as the Greyhounds snapped a three-game slide in their series with the Mountaineers.
"It meant a lot to score 1,000 points, especially against a team I never beat since I've been here," said Barney, who began his career in 2006-07 with Providence.
Walker has put together back-to-back double-doubles for the second time in his career, and he's third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with 18 blocks.
"He knows Georgetown is coming," coach Jimmy Patsos said. "I think you play good teams or you play emotional games when guys start to grow up, they play better in big games so it was good to see from Shane."