In what has materialized into another tumultuous season for Georgetown, Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing has pinpointed one of his team’s many deficiencies entering a matchup against visiting DePaul on Tuesday night in Washington, D.C
“Our defense is letting us down right now,” Ewing said following Georgetown’s 95-82 loss at then-No. 8 Xavier on Saturday. “… We have to be able to get stops when we need to get stops.”
The Hoyas (5-15, 0-9 Big East) let the Musketeers shoot 54.9 percent from the field, including 57.1 percent (8 of 14) from 3-point range. Georgetown also surrendered 31 assists, the most allowed in a game this season by a Big East team.
The Hoyas’ feeble defense actually has been a season-long issue and is one of the main contributors to their current 10-game losing streak.
And with their record conference losing streak now at 29 games, Georgetown looks to solve its persistent defensive struggles.
Since their last win on Dec. 7 vs. Siena, Georgetown allowed their opponent to shoot at least 50 percent in five games and has held their opponent to below 40 percent just once, in a 66-51 home loss to Seton Hall on Jan. 10.
The Hoyas’ 78.1 points allowed per game allowed ranks 342nd of 352 teams in the nation, and their 83.9 points allowed per game and 49.7 field-goal percentage allowed in conference play rank last in the league.
After facing the nation’s sixth-best shooting team in Xavier, the Hoyas may be better prepared to take on the Blue Demons (9-11, 3-6) whose 41.8 field goal percentage ranks last in the conference.
Despite their shooting struggles, DePaul has engineered a handful of impressive conference wins, most notably their 73-72 home upset over Xavier on Wednesday.
“This is the reason I came here,” Blue Demons second-year head coach Tony Stubblefield said following the Xavier game. “I’m very appreciative of the win … but this is what my expectation was coming into this year.”
DePaul nearly followed up with another top-25 victory but fumbled a seven-point halftime lead fell at then-No. 22 Providence 75-64 on Saturday.
The Blue Demons already have a win over the Hoyas this season, an 83-76 home triumph on Dec. 29.
In that game, DePaul’s Umoja Gibson dropped 31 points on Georgetown, while Brandon Murray had 29 for the Hoyas.
Gibson (15.4 points per game) Javan Johnson (15.3) and Da’Sean Nelson (10.5) are DePaul’s trio of double-digit scorers, while Eral Penn’s 7.4 rebounds per game ranks seventh in the conference entering play Monday.
Murray has missed three of the Hoyas’ last four games with an injury, leaving most of the scoring duties to Primo Spears, whose 16.6 points per game are tied for third-best in the league.
Spears poured in a career-high 37 points at Xavier on Saturday, the most points scored in a game this season by a Big East player.
–Field Level Media