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Preview: Liberty at Georgetown

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Liberty is 7-1 for the first time since 1991

NCAA Basketball: Campbell at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Game 8: Liberty Flames (7-1) at Georgetown Hoyas (6-1)

When: Monday, 630pm

Where: Capital One Arena

Series: Hoyas lead 1-0, Georgetown won the only meeting 68-59 in the 2012-13 season

TV: FS2 (John Fanta & Sarah Kustok)

Radio: Team 980 (Rich Chvotkin)

KenPom Prediction: Georgetown 74, Liberty 71 (62 percent)

Line: Georgetown -5

Georgetown’s final tune-up before heading to Syracuse could prove to be more challenging than first expected as Liberty comes in hot.

The Flames, who last year won 22 games and reached the semifinals of the CIT, are 7-1 and have reeled off four straight victories after routing Georgia State 78-52 over the weekend. This is Liberty’s best start since 1991.

Liberty is one of the more balanced teams the Hoyas have faced thus far with four players averaging between 12 and 10 points per game. Scottie James, who had a career high 17 rebounds in that Georgia State win, leads the Flames in both scoring (12 ppg) and rebounding (9.8 rpg).

Darius McGhee comes off the bench for coach Ritche McKay and scores 11.5 points per contest while getting up seven 3-pointers a game.

Elijah Cuffee had a career high 19 points against the Panthers as Liberty made 16 of 27 3-pointers on the night. Cuffeee made five three pointers and had a career best five assists.

SIZE MATTERS

Georgetown will have a distinct advantage in height as Liberty’s tallest starting player is James who stands at 6-foot-7. The Hoyas start three players 6-foot-8 or taller in Jamorko Pickett, Trey Mourning, and Jessie Govan. Despite Liberty’s lack of size the Hoyas will have their hands full as the Flames outrebound their opponents on the season including a 41-21 edge against Georgia State that led to 14 second chance points.

DROPPING DIMES

Despite coming off the bench and having missed one game with an injury, Jagan Mosely is second on the team with 17 assists including a career best eight against Richmond in the Hoyas last game. Finding his teammates has clearly been a focus for the junior point guard who has just four turnovers, including none against the Spiders. Mosely’s previous high for assists without a turnover came in his Hoyas debut against USC Upstate in 2016 when he had six assists.

LAST MEETING

Let’s take a quick walk down memory lane.

With Jabril Trawick taking Otto Porter’s spot in the starting line-up, the Hoyas raced out to a 17-4 lead over a much smaller Liberty squad. Porter was held out after suffering a concussion in the season opener against Duquesne. Greg Whittington led four Hoyas in double figures with 18 points. Mikael Hopkins and Nate Lubick each had 13 while freshman D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 11. The Hoyas survived a sluggish second half shooting performance (36 percent) to improve to 2-0 before traveling to Brooklyn for the championships rounds of the Legends Classic where they would go on to defeat No. 11 UCLA before falling in OT to No. 1 Indiana.

Prediction: Georgetown 82, Liberty 78