Pregame Primer: Men’s Basketball Hosts No. 17 Villanova

February 19, 2019

After two straight losses, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (15-10, 5-7 Big East) returns home for a meeting with No. 17 Villanova (20-6, 11-2 Big East) on Wednesday. The Hoyas and Wildcats will tip off at 6:30 p.m. ET with the game being broadcast on Fox Sports 1 and live stats available at

Last Wednesday, the Hoyas could not keep up with Seton Hall (16-9, 7-6 Big East) on the road, trailing by as much as 21 in the second half, en route to a 90-75 defeat in Newark, NJ. Georgetown struggled to contain the Pirates’ star junior guard and Big East second-leading scorer Myles Powell, as he put up 30 points. Georgetown also had trouble in the paint, as senior center Jessie Govan and freshman forward Josh LeBlanc allowed 6-foot-8 senior forward Michael Nzei to grab eight offensive rebounds and score 18 points. In the second half, the Hoyas were able to recover somewhat on the offensive end shooting 51.5 percent from the field. Govan finished with 20 points, while senior guard Greg Malinowski notched 16 points, his highest scoring total since breaking out for 26 against Butler (15-11, 6-7 Big East) on January 2.

After an 11-game win streak, the conference-leading Wildcats have struggled recently, losing two of their last three. In front of a packed house at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, ‘Nova led by as much as 14 in the second half, but St. John’s (19-7, 7-6 Big East) came roaring back as the Wildcat shooters went cold and grabbed a huge Big East victory, 71-65. ‘Nova’s top three scorers on the season, senior guard Phil Booth, senior forward Eric Paschall, and sophomore guard Collin Gillespie shot a combined 5-of-30 from the field, including 2-of-20 from 3-point range. The Wildcats will need to vastly improve their shooting down the stretch of the season in order to hold off No. 11 Marquette (21-4, 10-2 Big East) for the Big East regular season crown.

In their first matchup earlier this month in Philadelphia, Georgetown kept it close until late, before Villanova pulled away for 77-65 victory. Govan had arguably the worst game of his career, fouling out with no points on nine shots in just 13 minutes played. Govan, LeBlanc, and graduate student forward Trey Mourning had trouble slowing down the quicker Paschall inside as he finished with 24 points. Gillespie was also lights out, scoring a career-high 30 points, and converting on 6-of-11 shots from beyond the arc.

When the Wildcats visited DC last season, they crushed the Hoyas 88-56, handing them their worst defeat since 1974. Govan was the only Hoya in double figures that night. He will need to step up on Wednesday and win the battle inside against Paschall for Georgetown to stand a chance in the rivalry matchup.

Follow @GUVoiceSports for live coverage of the game and coverage of all Georgetown sports.

Aaron Wolf
Former Sports Executive and 2020 Georgetown College graduate. Enjoyer of OPS.

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