Staying Focused

Georgetown knows better than to take South Florida for granted.

The sixth-ranked Hoyas aren't likely to let their focus wane against the visiting Bulls as they try for their sixth straight victory Tuesday night.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Georgetown –19.5 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 52% of bets for this game have been placed on Georgetown –19.5 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

This will be the first meeting between the Big East schools since a 6-22 South Florida squad stunned then-No. 20 Georgetown 63-56 in Tampa in the teams' regular season finale March 4, 2006.

The victory snapped a 17-game losing streak for the Bulls and was their lone win in the Big East that season. Current Georgetown starters Roy Hibbert, Jonathan Wallace and Jessie Sapp combined for 16 points in the defeat, which didn't keep the Hoyas from reaching the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.

That trio likely hasn't forgotten that loss, and another upset of Georgetown (18-2, 8-1) could be tougher to come by for South Florida (10-12, 1-8), which is again struggling with eight losses in a row.

The Bulls will also be facing a much better Georgetown team than the one they opposed two seasons ago. The Hoyas, alone atop the Big East standings, are coming off a 73-61 home win over Seton Hall on Saturday.

Sapp scored 17 points while Hibbert and Patrick Ewing Jr. each had 16 for the Hoyas, who overcame a season-high 21 turnovers and 43.1 percent shooting by holding the Pirates to 35.8 percent from the field.

Though Georgetown wasn't at its best, it still managed to post its second straight double-digit victory.

"I'm happy with all victories," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "They're hard to come by in this league, in any league."

While Hibbert continues to pace the Hoyas, contributions from reserves like Ewing showcase Georgetown's depth.

Eleven of Ewing's career-high 16 points came in the second half. Meanwhile, Sapp, a senior guard who's scoring 10.0 points per game, is averaging 13.4 over his last five contests.

"Georgetown has an elite team, they really do," Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzales said. "They are a very impressive team, they don't have many weaknesses."

The Hoyas have been especially at tough at home, where they look to extend their winning streak to 18 games.

South Florida, 0-1 all-time at Georgetown, is trying to snap its longest skid since losing the final seven games of 2006-07 and the first three this season.

The Bulls lost 72-58 at St. John's on Saturday, as they scored fewer than 60 points for the second consecutive contest and third time in four games.

"We are a struggling basketball team," South Florida coach Stan Heath said. "There are still games to play. I'm certainly not going to lie down and I don't expect my guys to. We just need to regroup and get our confidence back."

Freshman Dominique Jones, who averages 15.8 points, had 24 for the Bulls.

South Florida is 0-2 versus ranked opponents this season.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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