We Are Georgetown: Final game against American before break

Sanford moves the ball down courtWith all the speculation and questions surrounding Georgetown’s departure from the Big East, one thing does remain constant: the No. 15 Hoyas (9-1, 0-0 Big East) will take on one of their crosstown rivals American University (4-7, 0-0 Patriot League) at noon today at the Verizon Center, in their last game before conference play begins in January.

News of the “Catholic seven” defection from the Big East overshadowed a dominant performance by Georgetown against Western Carolina in an 81-68 win this past Saturday. The Hoyas led by double digits for most of the way against the Catamounts and it was their second straight game scoring 80 or more points. Although the Hoyas have recently broken out offensively against inferior teams like Longwood and Western Carolina, it should be something that pleases head coach John Thompson III with Big East play looming. Georgetown’s offensive struggles early on have been very notable, especially in a 46-40 win against Towson and a 37-36 win against Tennessee.

Sophomore forward Greg Whittington will look to replicate his performance against Western Carolina, where he scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Sophomore forward Otto Porter, sophomore guard Jabril Trawick, and junior guard Markel Starks also scored in double figures for the Hoyas.
Georgetown’s focus now turns to the American University Eagles. Coming into their matchup with the Hoyas, the Eagles have recorded wins in narrow fashion against Quinnipiac, St. Francis (PA), UMBC, and Mount St. Mary’s, a team the Hoyas defeated handily earlier this year. Their notable losses have come at the hands of Minnesota, San Francisco, Saint Joseph’s, and Columbia, losing by double-digit margins in each.

Senior forward Stephen Lumpkins leads the Eagles in both scoring and rebounding. He averages 15.5 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game. Lumpkin, an All-Patriot League Second Team selection from last year, is notable for offensive efficiency, as he led the Patriot League last season in field goal percentage. Otherwise, the Eagles are very balanced in scoring, with senior guard Daniel Munoz, sophomore guard John Schoof, and junior center Tony Wroblicky  each averaging 10.0, 8.5, and 7.5 points per game respectively.

American may have a difficult time scoring and rebounding against Georgetown, known for its height and tough defense. As a team, the Eagles are 338th in the country in scoring and the 329th in rebounding, averaging 55.7 points and 29.4 rebounds respectively. The Hoyas, with their stifling defense, have already held four opponents this year under 50 points.

Following their game against American, the Hoyas will have some off time, as their next game is another two weeks away, on January 5 against Marquette. If all goes for well the Hoyas this Saturday, they will be riding the high into the start of Big East play with a 7-game winning streak.

Photo: Lynn Kirschbaum (Dec. 5, 2009)

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