We Are Georgetown: Hoyas away at Villanova for possible ‘trap game’

After an unbelievable escape at UConn and a close first half against Rutgers last week, the Hoyas (23-4, 13-3 Big East) have risen to the consensus No. 5 spot in the country. Despite their active 11-game winning streak, however, the Hoyas go into Villanova (18-12, 9-8 Big East) tonight as a 1-point underdog. This game, more than any in the season, epitomizes the phrase “trap game.”

With aspirations of winning the Big East title outright, this game may be overlooked, even though the Wildcats have been giant-killers this year, defeating Syracuse, Louisville, and Marquette.

Sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. has been launched into the national spotlight since his jaw-dropping performance at Syracuse and has not faded since, scoring 22 points, including the game winning layup, at UConn and 28 points against Rutgers. Porter is now the clear favorite for Big East Player of the Year and is in the discussion along with Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and Michigan’s Trey Burke for National Player of the Year.

With this spotlight, Porter is clearly being guarded more closely by opponents, which has led to more foul calls; Porter shot 18 free throws against Rutgers. Freshman guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and junior guard Markel Starks have been the other major offensive producers for the Hoyas, averaging 8.6 and 12.2 points per game, respectively. Since his big defensive performance at the Carrier Dome, junior center Moses Ayegba has been able to keep producing, scoring 4 points and pulling down 7 boards against Rutgers.

For the Wildcats, the key players will be leading scorers, freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono, who is averaging 12.2 points per game and sophomore forward JayVaughn Pinkston, who is averaging 12.7 points per game. Arcidiacono has had the hot hand recently, averaging 17.8 points over the current five game stretch.

Villanova is commonly acknowledged as a bubble team, but will silence any doubts by beating the top-5 ranked Hoyas. Though this team has had its struggles this year, it is clear that they are not phased by highly-ranked opponents. The Hoyas will need to pull out all the stops in order to get their twelfth-straight win and keep their momentum going into the season finale against Syracuse. The Hoyas and the Wildcats will face off at 7 p.m. on ESPN 2.

File Photo: Andres Rengifo/Georgetown Voice (Mar. 2, 2013, vs. Rutgers)

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