Game 19: Creighton Bluejays (10-8, 1-4) at Georgetown Hoyas (12-6, 2-3)
When: Monday, 830pm
Where: Capital One Arena
Series: Tied at 6-6, Creighton won both games last season
TV: FS1 (Justin Kutcher & Tarik Turner)
Radio: The Team 980 (Rich Chvotkin)
Rankings: Creighton 53, Georgetown 97
Projection: Creighton 84, Georgetown 83 (53 percent)
Line: Georgetown -1, o/u 167
Although it’s still January, tonight’s match-up against Creighton could have far lasting implications for Georgetown.
After already letting a few winnable home conference games slip away against both St. John’s and Marquette, the Hoyas have a chance to end their three game homestand at .500 in the league.
At 3-3, Georgetown would be tied with DePaul, Butler, and Xavier in third place.
At 2-4, the Hoyas would just be a half-game ahead of last place Providence
With three of their next four after tonight coming on the road, a win tonight is vital as the Hoyas try and stay in the large pack behind front runners Villanova and Marquette.
So, yeah, tonight is a big game.
Coach Greg McDermott’s squad comes into Chinatown having lost a season worst four straight games but, as always, the Bluejays can still fill it up. Second in the league in scoring, Creighton is also second in 3-point shooting which was a huge issue for the Hoyas defense last season. The Bluejays hit 16 3-pointers in their first ever win at Capital One Arena last season and followed that up by hitting 40 percent of their shots in the win in Omaha ten days later.
Ty-Shon Alexander leads four in double-figures with 17 ppg while Martin Krampelj, Mitch Ballock and Marcus Zegarowski round out a balanced attack. Alexander takes just over eight 3-pointers a game while Krampelj is the Bluejays top rebounder with 6.2 rpg. Ballock leads a very balanced group with 3.5 apg as three others average at least 2.5 apg.
Former Syracuse guard Kaleb Joseph, who averages four points in 13 minutes off the bench - makes his last appearance at Capital One Arena.
Creighton has won three straight against Georgetown but is just 1-4 in DC against the Hoyas.
WHAT TO WATCH
1 - Can Jessie Govan rebound from last year’s disappointing Creighton performances?
Govan failed to reach double-figures in three games last season. Two of them came against the Bluejays as Govan scored just seven in each of Georgetown’s losses. And it wasn’t just offense as Govan struggled to guard any of the Creighton bigs that were bombing away from long distance last season.
After a great start to BIG EAST play, Govan was limited to just eight shot attempts against Marquette. Although the senior finished with a respectable 14 points and nine rebounds, he needs to be more involved.
2 – How will James Akinjo respond after his questionable end of game decision making against Marquette?
There’s going to be growing pains when you have an all-freshman starting backcourt. Everyone knows and accepts that but you could still hear the frustration from coach Patrick Ewing during his post game remarks after Akinjo failed to make a late pass in the Hoyas loss to Marquette last time out. Akinjo finished with a game-high eight assists but failed to get the ball to Govan late as the Hoyas blew a golden opportunity to get a win over a Markus Howard-less Golden Eagles squad.
LAST HOYAS WIN
Georgetown’s last win over Creighton was a 71-51 drubbing back on Jan 25, 2017 at the Verizon Center. It was the second game in a stretch of three straight against ranked opposition as the 18-2 Bluejays were No. 16 in the country behind a high powered offense.
The Georgetown starters that day were Jonathan Mulmore, Rodney Pryor, LJ Peak, Marcus Derrickson, and Bradley Hayes.
Peak and Pryor combined for 38 while Jessie Govan added 15 off the bench. Three other current Hoyas – Jagan Mosely, Trey Mourning, and Kaleb Johnson – combined to score 1 point in 18 minutes.
Prediction: Georgetown 95, Creighton 90 (OT)