Rutgers-Georgetown Preview

Rutgers-Georgetown Preview

Published Jan. 19, 2012 8:46 p.m. ET

Georgetown has historically dominated Rutgers, especially at home, but it would be a mistake to look past the current edition of the Scarlet Knights.

The 10th-ranked Hoyas will be going for a third straight win Saturday, but to get it they'll need to overcome a Rutgers team looking to upset a third top-10 opponent in a single season for the first time in school history.

Perennial Big East power Georgetown (15-3, 5-2) is 17-7 versus the Scarlet Knights in regular-season play since Rutgers (11-8, 3-3) joined the conference. The Hoyas are also 17-2 at home against Rutgers all-time, winning nine straight by an average of 13.9 points. The Scarlet Knights haven't beaten Georgetown in the nation's capital since a 68-62 win Dec. 8, 1998.

However, Rutgers has reason to believe this visit might be different. The Scarlet Knights have upset both top-10 teams they've faced in 2011-12, defeating then-No. 10 Florida 85-83 in double overtime Dec. 29 and shocking then-No. 8 Connecticut 67-60 on Jan. 7.


Rutgers, seeking its fourth win in five games after an 0-2 start to Big East play, has held the opposition to 60 points or fewer in each of its last three wins, including 65-58 over Notre Dame on Monday.

Eli Carter had 13 points, Jerome Seagears added 10 and Austin Johnson also had 10 off the bench for the Scarlet Knights, who are off to their best start in conference play since 2003-04 and may be primed to shed their label as Big East also-rans.

"In our locker room, we want to be on the left side," coach Mike Rice said after the win over the Fighting Irish. "That is where the top eight teams are. The bottom eight teams in the conference are on the right side.

"This is a chance for this program to finally matter and become relevant. It is just one game, we are 3-3 in the Big East but there is still a lot of basketball left in the season. It is important to play with toughness and do what is important to win."

Jason Clark did just that for the Hoyas on Tuesday at DePaul after his backcourt mate Markel Starks was scratched due to a stomach ailment. Clark, who averages a team-high 16.2 points, took on an even heavier load and scored a career-high 31 in an 83-75 win.

"I think we have versatile pieces. Obviously a lot of the duty did fall on Jason today. I thought he did, for the most part, a pretty good job but he also had some help," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said after Clark shot 11 of 14 from the field including 5 of 7 from 3-point range.

Senior center Henry Sims added 16 points, while freshman Otto Porter made his first start in Starks' absence and hauled down a career-high 15 rebounds.

Georgetown won last season's meeting between these schools, 74-65 at Rutgers on Jan. 15, 2011, as Clark finished with 13 points. Johnson - then a sophomore - made his first career start for the Scarlet Knights but wasn't much of a factor with two points and one rebound in 17 minutes.