On Saturday, the Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team will look to build off a strong showing in the 2K Empire Classic with a matchup against UNC-Greensboro at Capital One Arena. Last week at Madison Square Garden, the Hoyas came up with a huge win over then-No. 22 Texas and fell just short against No. 1 Duke. On Sunday, the Spartans opened their SoCon schedule with a 74-63 victory against Virginia Military Institute. Tipoff on Saturday is set for 2:00 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on Fox Sports 2 with a stream on Fox Sports Go.
Going into last weekend, the Hoyas (4-2, Big East) had played uninspiring basketball despite winning three of their four games. On Thursday against the Longhorns, the Blue & Gray finally put together a complete game. Four of the five Georgetown starters scored in double-digits, including 19 points from sophomore guard Mac McClung. Entering the game, Texas’ defense was ranked 15th in the nation in terms of points allowed, but it was no match for Georgetown’s offensive outburst. Furthermore, Georgetown’s defense was ranked 306th in points allowed, but they suffocated the Longhorn offense in the second half en route to a dominant 82-66 victory.
Georgetown had another strong showing in Friday’s championship matchup against the Blue Devils. The Hoyas dominated the first half, holding a 12-point lead at one point, and held Duke to 39.39% shooting from the field. The Blue & Gray were also on fire from deep, shooting at a 57.14% clip in the first half. After the break, however, the Blue Devils pulled away, aided by foul trouble for sophomore guard James Akinjo, McClung, and junior center Omer Yurtseven, en route to an 81-73 victory. Even with limited playing time, Yurtseven poured in 21 points on 9-for-13 from the field and also blocked four shots. Georgetown Head Coach Patrick Ewing was satisfied with his team’s performance despite a disappointing result against Duke.
“Tonight was a tough go,” Ewing said. “Duke is a great team. Overall, in New York, I thought [Georgetown] played with energy, effort, and purpose.”
The Spartans (5-2, 1-0 SoCon) are led in scoring by junior guard Isaiah Miller, who is averaging 15.4 points per game. However, Miller hasn’t been the most efficient player, as he is shooting just 39.6% from the field and leading the team with 20 turnovers already. UNC-Greensboro’s most efficient player has been sophomore guard Kaleb Hunter, who is scoring 13.9 points per game at an impressive 61.4% shooting clip. In Sunday’s win over VMI, Miller contributed 23 points while senior forward Kyrin Galloway had his best game of the year, notching 18 points and six boards.
Yurtseven, who has been a double-double machine thus far, may be able to take advantage of a height disparity against the opposing big men. Galloway and senior forward James Dickey, starting forwards on UNCG, stand at 6-foot-8 and 6-foot-10, respectively, while Yurtseven checks in at 7-foot. Combined, Galloway and Dickey are averaging 12 rebounds per game compared to Yurtseven who grabs 9.8 boards a game alone. However, Yurtseven will need to stay out of foul trouble, a recent issue, in order to control the glass.
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Image Credits: John Picker/The Georgetown Voice