Georgetown comes into this clash sporting a 19-5 overall record, although four of its losses have come against conference foes. In fact, the team bounced back from one of those setbacks, 64-61 in overtime at first-place Syracuse last week, to top visiting St. John's in a 71-61 final last Sunday. With a 9-4 league ledger, the Hoyas are in the thick of the Big East title race, but need some help to win the championship and earn the top overall seed in next month's conference tournament.
Providence has lost four games in a row, eight of its last nine and 12 of its last 14. The Friars, who fell in an 81-66 final at Cincinnati on Wednesday night, are just 2-12 in conference, but they were able to take care of business during the non-league portion of their schedule and come in with an overall record of 13-14. PC is 10-5 at home this season, but has lost its last two at the Dunkin' Donuts Center -- 87-84 vs. West Virginia, 55-48 vs. USF.
Georgetown owns a commanding 41-19 lead in the all-time series with Providence, and the Hoyas have won the last six meetings, including the first this season in a 49-40 final in Washington, D.C. on New Year's Eve.
The Hoyas were in complete control of their recent outing against St. John's, as they put five players in double figures, played solid defense, and won the battle on the boards. Greg Whittington came off the bench to score a team-high 12 points, while Otto Porter, Jason Clark and Markel Starks added 11 each, and Hollis Thompson contributed 10 points for a Georgetown squad that hit 49.0 percent of its total shots while holding the Red Storm to 40.4 percent. Clark continues to pace the team on the year with his 14.9 ppg, and he is joined by Thompson (13.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Henry Sims (11.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg) as the most consistent performers for coach John Thompson III's club. As a collective unit, the Hoyas are scoring 70.6 ppg while permitting just 58.9 ppg, and they are shooting 46.4 percent from the floor compared to only 38.9 percent by their foes, who have had all kinds of trouble finding their stroke from long range (.280). Add favorable margins in both rebounding (+5.5) and turnovers (+1.3), and it's not difficult to see why GU is having the kind of success it is this year.
Vincent Council and LaDonte Henton combined for 53 of the Friars' 66 points in their recent bout at Cincinnati, but a 21-8 deficit in points from the charity stripe coupled with a crippling 44-26 rebounding disadvantage proved to be too much to overcome as the visitors lost by 15. The Bearcats controlled the paint, outscoring PC 44-28, and UC's bench outscored the Friars' by a resounding 19-0 margin. Council (16.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 7.3 apg) is one of the league's top all-around performers, and he heads a list of four PC players currently averaging double digits in the scoring column. To this point in the campaign, Providence is averaging a healthy 70.0 ppg in hitting 44.4 percent of its total shots, which includes a 36.9 percent effort from three-point range, but opponents are netting 68.8 ppg despite 41.5 percent field goal efficiency and 33.2 percent accuracy from beyond the arc. Clearly any statistical advantages the team has were earned against non-conference foes, because its Big East brethren foam at the mouth at the sight of having the Friars show up next on the schedule.