Towson-Georgetown Preview

December 8, 2012

While it's still trying to iron out some issues offensively, Georgetown appears to have its defense in midseason form.

The 15th-ranked Hoyas will try to put it all together Saturday when they begin a four-game homestand against Towson and former Hoya Jerrelle Benimon.

Georgetown (6-1) held its third consecutive opponent under 34.0 percent from the field Tuesday night in a 64-41 win over Texas in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Texas shot just 14 for 48 (29.2 percent), finishing with its lowest point total and field-goal percentage in coach Rick Barnes' 15 seasons.


"I thought we were quite attentive to defense,'' Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "With the exception of giving them some free throws and some baskets in transition, they had to work for everything they got and that's what we wanted to do."

The Hoyas, whose only loss this season was to No. 1 Indiana in overtime on Nov. 20, have held opponents to 42.3 points on 32.1 percent shooting in three straight wins.

Georgetown, however, would like to get some consistency out of its offense after shooting 41 of 105 (39.0 percent) from the field in the last two games.

Four days after scoring 37 points - the team's lowest since 1985 - in a one-point win over Tennessee, Georgetown shot 41.0 percent against Texas and made just 4 of 18 from beyond the arc.

"I don't think our offense was good," said Thompson, whose team is 5 for 25 from 3-point range the last two games. "Too stagnant."

Otto Porter, a preseason first team All-Big East pick, had 14 points and eight rebounds to score in double figures for the fourth time in five games.

"The team trusts me to be aggressive and that's what I wanted to pick up coming into this season,'' Porter said.

Markel Starks, who had 11 against the Longhorns, has averaged 14.6 points in his last five games despite putting up only four against the Volunteers.

The junior guard averages a team-best 12.1 points per game for the Hoyas, who are one of four Division I teams with no seniors on the roster.

"We are a work in progress," Thompson said. "I think that we're going to be much better than we are right now but with each passing day, the group is feeling a lot more confident."

Georgetown should continue to build confidence against the Tigers (4-4), who are 0-3 all-time against the Hoyas and winless in eight games versus ranked opponents.

Towson, however, is off to its best start since 2008-09 behind Benimon, a Georgetown transfer. The junior forward is scoring 16.3 points per game for the Tigers after averaging 1.4 in two seasons with the Hoyas.

"It's going to be a great environment for our guys and for Jerrelle, he's going back to Georgetown where he came from," Towson assistant Luke Murray said.

Benimon finished with a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds on Wednesday as the Tigers snapped a two-game losing streak with a 68-64 victory at Vermont.

With Benimon leading the way at 9.9 rebounds per game, Towson ranks 20th in the nation with a plus-9.1 rebounding margin.

Georgetown, traditionally a strong rebounding team, has a plus-1.6 margin.

Tigers freshman point guard Jerome Hairston faces a tough challenge against Georgetown, which forced a season-best 22 turnovers Tuesday.

Hairston has 27 turnovers and just 20 assists this season.