GAME NOTES: The streaking Georgetown Hoyas play a final tune-up before a showdown with No. 13 Kansas, as they take on the Elon Phoenix in non-league play the Verizon Center on Tuesday night.
This is the second leg of a tough two-game road trip for the Phoenix, who were routed, 80-63, by No. 21 Colorado last time out. That loss ended a three-game win streak for Elon, which is now an even 5-5 on the campaign. That mark includes a 1-2 record on the road. Elon hosts Central Pennsylvania next.
For the Hoyas, an uneven opening to the season has been forgotten during the last five games. Each of those contests ended in victory, including a 61-55 triumph over Colgate on Dec. 7. Georgetown, which is 4-0 at home this season, has been off since that matchup. There won't be as much time between games after battling Elon, as the Hoyas meet the Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.
Georgetown won both previous matchups between these two programs, including a 91-70 decision back in 2003.
Elon struggled to find a rhythm on offense against Colorado, as the team connected on only 37.3 percent of its shots from the field. Sebastian Koch did help the Phoenix outscore the Buffaloes, 39-15, from beyond the arc by scoring all 27 of his points from 3-point range.
Normally the Phoenix are able to hit shots at a more consistent rate. Elon is draining 49.2 percent of its field goal attempts and averaging 78.9 points per game. Each of those marks is among the top-65 in the country. Lucas Troutman (16 ppg, 4.9 rpg) is the leading scorer and tied for the top spot in rebounds for the Phoenix. Troutman had a streak of six games in double figures snapped against Colorado, as he finished with a season-low six points. Koch (13.1 ppg, 3.6 apg) is a reliable shooter, and Tanner Samson (12.7 ppg) and Ryley Beaumont (10.2 ppg) provide additional scoring depth.
Defensive pressure and dominance up front allowed Georgetown to nail down the victory over Colgate. The Hoyas held the Raiders to just 32 percent shooting, outscored them 38-20 in the paint, and earned a 42-33 edge on the boards.
There are very few teams in the country that play defense as well as the Hoyas. Georgetown is limiting teams to just 35.1 percent shooting, ranking second in the nation. The Hoyas' success comes largely off their ability to limit ball movement, with foes averaging only 8.9 assists per game. That mark has Georgetown ranked eighth in the country. Though they have some imposing bigs in Nate Lubick (4.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg), Joshua Smith (13.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and Mikael Hopkins (8 ppg, 6.1 rpg), the bulk of the Hoyas' offensive output comes from the backcourt. D'Vauntes Smithe-Rivera (16.6 ppg) and Markel Starks (15 ppg, 4.9 apg) are the team's primary scoring options.
The Hoyas should have no problem keying in on Elon's top scorers, as they put forth another stifling defensive effort. As long as Starks, who hit just 3- of-13 shots against Colgate, and the rest of the Hoyas play to their ability, another win is certain.
Game Date and Time