Today should have been a good chance for the Georgetown Hoyas to get back on track in the Big East. It looked like this might be a down year for the West Virginia Mountaineers, so a win at home would have been great to give the Hoyas a little momentum heading into next week's important matchup against No. 5 Pittsburgh.
Things didn't go quite as planned though in this early contest at the Verizon Center. The game was back and forth throughout the morning, but the Mountaineers ultimately prevailed 65-59.
Austin Freeman, who went scoreless in the first half, hit back-to-back three-pointers to tie the game at 52 towards the end, but the Hoyas could not seal the deal. It was all West Virginia after that. Casey led all scorers with 28 points, including four three-pointers. Kevin Jones also chipped in with 15 points and eight rebounds for the visitors, who would out-rebound Georgetown 28-19 overall.
The Hoyas' stars struggled throughout the game. Freeman finished with 11 points, and Chris Wright had only nine, with only two of them coming in the first half.
Georgetown entered this game ranked No. 13 in the country, but the team may not even remain in the top 25 after this disappointing home loss. The schedule remains difficult with Pittsburgh coming to the Verizon Center on Wednesday night. A win there would cause us to forget this one pretty quickly. But with the way the Hoyas are playing, that seems somewhat unlikely.
Neither team played particularly well in the first half at the Verizon Center this morning. Maybe the players haven't had their coffee yet either.
Mistakes and missed shots highlighted a good portion of the first half. Georgetown's two biggest stars combined for only two points in the first 20 minutes. Austin Freeman went 0-2 shooting, while Chris Wright was 1-5.
Both teams did start to wake up later in the half though. First the Hoyas went on a 12-2 run to take a lead midway through the period, but then the Mountaineers closed out the half with a 16-6 run to finish with a four point lead.
This is a huge half of basketball coming up for the Hoyas. A loss at home to start 1-3 in the Big East would be devastating for the Hoyas. There's plenty of time left in the season, and the Big East is an excellent conference so a team could quite realistically make the NCAA tournament with a losing record in 2011, but a win at the Verizon Center would be mighty nice.
The Georgetown Hoyas enter today's game ranked No. 13 in the country, but a 1-2 conference record in the Big East and a three-game losing streak are not anything they're thrilled about.
The Hoyas will look to get back on track today against the West Virginia Mountaineers, who are off to an equally disappointing 1-2 start in the conference.
These two teams met in the Big East Conference Final last year, but much has changed since then. De'Sean Butler and Greg Monroe are each in the NBA, and the rest of the Conference seems to have improved around them. Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Villanova, and Connecticut may be the teams to beat this year, and St. John's has a surprising 3-0 record, having defeated both of the teams in today's morning matchup.
They've been pretty good on the road and, no offense, Verizon Center at 11 a.m. probably won't be that intimidating. That said, WVU has a hard, hard time keeping guards out of the paint and that should excite the Hoyas. WVU has also had its issues with rebounding and with keeping both hands on the wheel and those are things Georgetown tests and can probably exploit.
We'll find out soon enough. The game is being broadcast on ESPN2.