Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Hoops: Preview Georgetown v. Pitt

Pittsburgh Looks for Revenge Against Georgetown

When: Saturday, Noon.

Where: MCI Center (20,600)

TV: None

Radio: WWRC (570 AM)

All-Time Series: Georgetown leads, 24-10

Last Meeting: Georgetown won, 72-65, on Feb. 13 at Fitzgerald Field House.

Notes: In these two teams’ last meeting, the Hoyas survived a late charge by the Panthers to win 72-65. Georgetown led by as many as 19 points midway through the second half, but Pittsburgh chipped away at the lead, cutting the deficit to four points with under two minutes remaining. The play of Kevin Braswell and Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje kept the Hoyas afloat, however, leading the team to their second consecutive victory.

Braswell tied his career-high with 29 points, but it was his five free throws in the final minutes of the game that sealed the deal for the Hoyas. Boumtje-Boumtje added 27 points, his second consecutive big scoring night, and pulled down eight rebounds while blocking four shots. The pair combined for more than three-quarters of Georgetown’s scoring on 20 of 31 shooting from the field and 14 of 18 from the line, including 36 of 39 points by the team in the second half. No one else on the Hoyas scored more than six.

The game followed the pattern of numerous Georgetown games this season: solid individual performances, but numerous turnovers and a second-half collapse keeping the Hoyas from putting the game away until the very end. The game should not have been so close, as Pittsburgh was sporting a depleted squad, with only eight players dressing, two of whom sport no experience and saw a combined four minutes of action in the game.

Pittsburgh’s depleted squad comes as a result of numerous problems for the team this season, including academic and legal troubles along with injuries. First-year coach Ben Howland has kept a tight leash on his team, and punished those players who have strayed from the standards he set forth in an attempt to clean up a beleaguered program. The latest victim was senior guard Kellii Taylor, who was booted from the team just prior to last Sunday’s game for failing a drug test.

This leaves the Panthers lacking in both height and depth, something that the vertically-endowed Hoyas should be able to exploit. Georgetown starts three players who are at least as tall as the tallest player left on the thin Pittsburgh squad. Victory will depend upon the Hoyas taking advantage of this, banging inside to take advantage of the hot hand of Boumtje-Boumtje. Solid play from Braswell at the point is also essential, as his ball handling has saved Georgetown from many a rough spot.

Georgetown enters the contest with a 14-10 record, 4-7 in the Big East, needing a minimum of a .500 record to qualify for the NIT. Pittsburgh is mired in the basement of the Big East with a 2-9 conference record, 10-12 overall.

– Seán B. Gormley

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