Battle of D.C. pits Eagles against 16th-ranked Hoyas

The 16th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas will conference victory to their impressive record when the American Eagles make the short trip to the Verizon Center this afternoon.

American opened the season with back-to-back losses before ripping off eight consecutive wins. Unfortunately, the impressive streak came to an end last Saturday with a 66-61 loss to St. Francis (PA). The Eagles are members of the Patriot League and will begin conference action on January 7.

As for Georgetown, it has won six consecutive games to move to 8-1 overall, and the lone loss to date came against Kansas on a neutral court. Like the Eagles, the Hoyas were most recently in action last Saturday when they knocked off Howard by a 62-48 final to move to a perfect 5-0 at home. Obviously, Big East Conference play will yield significant challenges, so it is critical that Georgetown takes advantage of every opportunity to stockpile wins.

Georgetown owns a commanding 43-8 series advantage over American, which includes victories in each of the last seven meetings.

The most frustrating thing for fans of American about the five-point loss to St. Francis (PA) last time out is that the Eagles actually led that game by 14 points at intermission. However, after shooting a blistering 56 percent from the floor in the first half, including 9-of-15 from three-point range, the club put forth a dismal 30 percent effort over the final 20 minutes, which included a 1-of-8 mark from behind the arc. A 31-25 rebounding disadvantage and a 17-11 deficit in points from the foul line contributed to the setback. Troy Brewer scored 23 points in defeat, as he was able to drain 7-of-9 attempts from three-point range. Daniel Munoz, Blake Jolivette and Charles Hinkle added 10 points apiece for the Eagles, who are averaging 66.5 ppg. Hinkle has started all 11 games to date, and the senior is pouring in 22.2 ppg while shooting 41.3 percent from behind the arc and 84.8 percent from the foul line. Brewer checks in with 14.1 ppg.

Jason Clark continues to lead Georgetown in scoring with his 16.2 ppg, and he is shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range and 89.5 percent from the foul line. Hollis Thompson checks in with 14.7 ppg, and Henry Sims rounds out a threesome of double-digit scorers with 12.1 ppg. More than just a scorer, Sims has handed out 33 assists against 15 turnovers and has blocked more shots (14) than any player on the roster as well. The Hoyas are posting 77.2 ppg while limiting foes to 57.8 ppg on 38.1 percent field goal efficiency. In the 14- point win over Howard last time out, Otto Porter paced Georgetown with 13 points off the bench, while Thompson and Clark added 12 points apiece. The Hoyas connected on only 32.7 percent of their field goal attempts in the affair, including a 1-of-13 effort from three-point range, and they forced 23 turnovers as well.