Hoyas to play Colgate Raiders at the Verizon Center

With a dominant 80-45 win over the High Point Panthers on Thursday, the Hoyas (5-2, 0-0 Big East) ride a four-game winning streak into a matchup with the Colgate Raiders (4-2, 0-0 Patriot) on Saturday, December 7.

The Raiders, however, will prove to be much more of a challenge than the Panthers, who were without their second leading scorer and rebounder, Allan Chaney, who retired on Dec. 6 because of his heart condition.

Five of Colgate’s players are averaging double digit points and the entire team is shooting an impressive 51 percent from three point range and 53.8 percent overall. Junior guard Austin Tillotson and junior center Ethan Jacobs have made a combined 33 of 55 this season, so the Hoyas will have to be wary of the stellar three point shooting from both players. Tillotson has also been the focal point for the Colgate offense with his team leading 5.3 assists per game.

The Hoyas will also have to watch out for senior forward Murphy Burnatowski, who is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder at 15.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Burnatowski’s 42.1/39.5 percent shooting, however, has not been at spectacular as that of his teammates.

Defending the three point line will be pivotal for the Hoyas to defeat the Raiders. Colgate’s 51 percent three point shooting is first in the nation. Joshua Smith will also have trouble guarding Jacobs because of Smith’s conditioning problems. Jacobs’ ability to drift to the perimeter and knock down three point shots will tire Smith quickly.

Georgetown, however, has done well in defending the three point line in their previous games by holding its opponents to 24.8 percent shooting beyond the arc. The Hoya backcourt also has no shortage of hot shooters with D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and freshman guard Reggie Cameron respectively averaging 51.3 percent and 41.2 percent shooting from the field. Although Markel Starks has been struggling to find his stroke this season, his shooting against the Panthers 8 of 11 from the field and 2 of 4 from three point-range seems to indicate that he has found his shooting form.

Smith also has another clear size advantage over the opposing frontcourt. Although at 6-11 Jacobs is taller than Smith by one inch, Smith weighs 350 lbs compared to the slim Jacobs who weighs in at 235 lbs. Foul trouble again limited Smith’s minutes against High Point, and Jacobs height advantage and agility will give him a rebounding edge, but Smith should be able to dominate offensively in the post.

The Hoya backcourt will need to contain Colgate’s hot shooting to pull out the win, but if Georgetown continues its excellent defense, Colgate could see both its win streak and shooting streak in danger at the Verizon Center.

Photo: Abigail Greene/Georgetown Voice

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