Taking Care of Business

Villanova needed a 3-pointer in the final minute of its last game to rally and avert a six-game losing streak.

It's Georgetown, though, that has a six-game skid at home against the Wildcats, a streak the sixth-ranked Hoyas hope to end Monday when they host struggling Villanova.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Georgetown –13.5 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 63% of bets for this game have been placed on Villanova +13.5 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

Georgetown (19-3, 9-2 Big East) has never beaten Villanova (14-8, 4-6) at the Verizon Center, an unlikely scenario given the success that Big East teams consistently have at home.

This season, road teams are 30-56 in Big East play - 1-4 for Villanova - and the Hoyas have won 18 straight at home since a 56-52 loss to Villanova on Jan. 8, 2007.

The Wildcats' last road defeat to Georgetown was 78-67 on Jan. 27, 1997, when Georgetown played at US Air Arena. Villanova is 6-0 at the Verizon Center, having held the Hoyas under 70 points each time.

Georgetown boasts a stifling defense this season, but the Hoyas sputtered offensively in the second half at Louisville on Saturday and lost 59-51, meaning they're likely to fall in Monday's new rankings.

They scored just 20 points in the second half against the Cardinals, going without a field goal for a key eight-minute span after the break. Georgetown shot 4-of-22 from 3-point range for the game.

"It's the simple things. It's a simple game," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "They executed and we didn't."

Roy Hibbert and Austin Freeman each scored 14 points, but Georgetown's other three starters - DaJuan Summers, Jonathan Wallace and Jesse Sapp - combined for just 14 on 6-of-24 shooting.

Georgetown was also outrebounded 29-24 by the Cardinals, with the 7-foot-2 Hibbert grabbing only four boards.

"This is a tough one," Hibbert said.

The Hoyas had won six straight and 11 of 12 before Saturday, thanks in large part to them allowing 70 or more points just once this season - to unbeaten and current No. 1 Memphis.

Georgetown, which leads the Big East by a half-game, tops the nation in field-goal percentage defense (35.8) and is fourth in scoring defense (56.8 points per game).

Lack of defense was the biggest problem for Villanova during its recent five-game losing streak. The Wildcats are 14th in the conference with 75.2 points allowed per game in Big East play.

They gave up an average of 80.6 points as opponents shot 50.8 percent during their skid, but held Seton Hall to 28.1 percent shooting in the second half Saturday. That allowed junior Dwayne Anderson's 3-pointer in the final minute to give them a 72-70 win.

"I thought our second-half defense was one of our best efforts of the year," coach Jay Wright said. "That's what we have been trying to do and we're getting there."

Dante Cunningham matched a career high with 21 points for the Wildcats, while Anderson had 13 points and eight rebounds in his first career start.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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