Georgetown is coming off a gut-wrenching week of basketball.
Facing third-ranked Pittsburgh on Tuesday at the MCI Center might not make the Hoyas feel any better.
On Wednesday, Georgetown (13-10, 4-8 Big East) gave short-handed St. John’s its first Big East win of the season, falling 65-58. Three days later, the Hoyas lost 57-54 at home to then-No. 24 Syracuse on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Though his players were devastated, Georgetown coach Craig Esherick took some gratification from the latest loss.
“We did a great job of recovering form a very poor showing,” Esherick said. “Clearly the effort was there.”
His team will need an incredible effort to upset the Panthers (24-2, 10-2), who are tied with Saint Joseph’s for the most wins in the nation and hold a one-game lead over Providence and Connecticut for the conference lead.
Pitt has won its last three trips to the MCI Center and four straight meetings overall.
The Panthers enter this matchup having won six of seven, including Saturday’s 67-58 victory at West Virginia.
The win was particularly satisfying for Pitt because the Mountaineers had won six of eight and had a sellout crowd to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its men’s basketball program.
“We overcame a lot of obstacles with the crowd and the 100th anniversary thing,” Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. “I think our guys responded in a tremendous way.”
It was another game of balanced offense and good defense for the Panthers.
The only starter not to score in double figures was Jeron Brown, who had eight points. Chevon Troutman, the only starter not with a double-digit scoring average, tied Julius Page for the team lead with 15 points.
Pitt, which held West Virginia to 35 percent shooting, is ranked in the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 56.9 points per game.
“They are very good at making people miss shots,” Mountaineers coach John Beilein said.
While Pitt has not given up 70 points in nine straight games, the Hoyas are 1-10 this season when held to 70 or less. They’ve averaged just 57.5 points during their current four-game losing streak, and shot just 28 percent from the field in Saturday’s loss.
Gerald Riley and Brandan Bowman are Georgetown’s top scoring threats, averaging 17.9 and 15.9 points, respectively. That duo went 6-of-29 from the field for a combined 20 points against Syracuse.