We Are Georgetown: Hoyas look for 8th straight win against DePaul

DSC_0461Fresh off their 62-55 win at Cincinnati (19-7, 7-6 Big East) this past Friday, the No. 11 Georgetown men’s basketball team will look to continue their 7-game winning streak this Wednesday night at Verizon Center when they square off against DePaul (11-14, 2-10 Big East) at 7 p.m.

As a result of the win, the Hoyas are now tied atop the Big East standings with Syracuse and Marquette and have ascended to a No. 11 ranking in both major national polls, a feat thought unimaginable almost a month ago when the Hoyas fell in disappointing fashion to conference cellar-dweller South Florida and seemed mired in an interminable slump.

Despite the absence of sophomore forward Greg Whittington, the team’s third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, in their past 10 games due to academics, the Hoyas have won 9 of their last 10 and appear to be playing their best basketball so far this year.  The Hoyas’ defense has been the story as they have stifled opposing offenses in their current winning streak, with 6 of their 7 opponents failing to score 60 points.

Junior guard Markel Starks and sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. continued their strong play for the Hoyas in their most recent win at Cincinnati. Starks and Porter, who have predominantly carried the scoring load for the Hoyas during their streak, led the team with 17 and 16 points, respectively.

Although a highly anticipated matchup this Saturday at the Carrier Dome against dreaded rival Syracuse awaits following Wednesday’s game, the Hoyas cannot overlook the current task at hand and underestimate the Blue Demons. Despite what their measly conference record might suggest, DePaul can be a formidable opponent and are coming off a win in their most recent game against Rutgers. The Blue Demons have also played many close games, with two overtime losses against Notre Dame, an overtime loss against St. John’s, and a close 5-point loss to Cincinnati.

The Hoyas will look to contain the high-octane DePaul offense, ranked third in the Big East in scoring. Junior guard Brandon Young, averaging 16.7 points per game, and junior forward Cleveland Melvin, averaging 16.5 points per game, account for almost half of the DePaul’s scoring. Melvin, is also the team’s leading rebounder, averaging 7.4 rebounds per game.

If the Hoyas can find a way to keep Young and Melvin in check, like they have had to with most of their opponents’ premier players this year, Georgetown should come out with a season-high 8-game winning streak heading into their road matchup this Saturday against Syracuse.

File Photo: Miles Gavin Meng/Georgetown Voice (Feb. 2, 2013, vs. St. John’s)

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