Washington, D.C. – With the postseason rapidly approaching, a ranked Georgetown Hoyas.
USF comes in at 13-9 on the year, but the Bulls have charged hard through the bulk of its conference slate, logging a solid 6-3 mark thus far. The team has won four of its last five games, including an 81-78 decision at home over Providence last Sunday. That said, the Bulls have been an entirely different team in Tampa (11-1) than they've been on the road (2-6, 2-8 when you add in a pair of neutral-site affairs). They have split their last four road bouts though, so there is some reason for optimism today.
Georgetown has won 17 of its first 21 games this season, and the team is 7-3 against Big East competition. The Hoyas have won four of their last five as well, with their most recent victory coming in a 58-44 defensive battle against visiting Connecticut on Wednesday. Like USF, Georgetown has been dominant at home, sporting an 11-1 mark to this point, and the club has won two straight in D.C. following a 68-64 setback versus Cincinnati on January 9.
Georgetown has won seven of the previous 10 meetings in the all-time series with South Florida, which includes a 61-55 decision in the Sunshine State last season.
USF had five players score in double figures in the recent win over Providence, and the Bulls needed every point they could muster. Anthony Collins and Hugh Robertson scored 15 points apiece to pace the home team, which got 14 points from Ron Anderson, Jr., 13 from Toarlyn Fitzpatrick and 11 from Augustus Gilchrist. As a team, South Florida shot 50.9 percent from the field and hit 6-of-13 three-point attempts along the way. Both teams took exceptional care of the basketball, combining for only 13 turnovers. Gilchrist (10.7 ppg) is the only active player averaging double digits in the scoring column, and he is the only current starter netting more than 8.7 ppg. As a team, the Bulls are putting up just 62.1 ppg on 44.2 percent field goal efficiency and 70.7 percent from the foul line, while at the same time allowing a mere 59.0 ppg on typical shooting outputs of 40.7 percent overall and 30.8 percent from beyond the arc. A +3.2 rebounding margin also helps the cause.
Hollis Thompson scored 18 points as one of three Hoyas to reach double figures in the recent win over UConn, as the home team made just 21 baskets in the game, but permitted the visitors a paltry 18. Thompson added nine rebounds to his solid stat line, while Henry Sims tallied 13 points despite committing seven of GU's 15 turnovers, and Jason Clark chipped in with 11 points and five boards. The Hoyas scored 11 points at the free-throw line compared to just six for the Huskies, who were simply horrific in going 2-of-20 from beyond the arc. Clark (15.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 39 steals), Thompson (14.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Sims (11.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.5 apg, 34 blocks) have been the most consistent performers for Georgetown this season, but guys like Otto Porter (8.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Markel Starks (8.0 ppg) have provided additional support when called upon. Like their counterpart today, and as evidenced in the recent win over UConn, the Hoyas have played exceptional defense this season in allowing just 59.2 ppg behind shooting efforts that come in at 39.4 percent overall and 27.9 percent from downtown. Offensively, the team nets 70.8 ppg in hitting 46.9 percent of its total shots and 36.2 percent of its three-point launches. Add favorable margins in both rebounding (+4.8) and turnovers (+1.4), and it's easy to see why the team is having such a successful season.