Old Dominion was impressive despite losing two tough games to national powers over the weekend. Georgetown is well aware of what the Monarchs are capable of.
The fifth-ranked Hoyas (3-0) look to avenge last season’s loss to Old Dominion when they visit Norfolk, Va., on Wednesday night.
Old Dominion (3-3) may have a .500 record, but each of its losses have come against teams that are currently ranked. The Monarchs will be playing a third straight Top 25 team after a very difficult weekend at the Las Vegas Invitational.
They opened the tournament with a 99-82 loss to top-ranked North Carolina on Friday. The next night, the Monarchs stayed close for most of the game but fell 64-53 to then-No. 6 Louisville.
“To play against the quality of this competition, we have to be more consistent,” said Old Dominion coach Blaine Taylor, whose team also lost on the road to current No. 18 Clemson 66-53 on Nov. 18. “Louisville made shots down the stretch, and they blocked more shots. Every time we needed a big basket, it didn’t go in.”
Old Dominion pulled off an early season surprise last Nov. 19, when it traveled to Georgetown’s McDonough Arena and came away with an 75-62 win. Eventual Big East player of the year Jeff Green fouled out with a season-low two points for the Hoyas and the Monarchs shot 58 percent in the second half to pull away.
While Green departed for the NBA, Old Dominion also lost three starters from last season’s squad. The biggest was leading scorer Valdas Vasylius, who scored a team-high 16 points to lead the Monarchs in the upset of Georgetown.
Roy Hibbert is back for the Hoyas, and he scored 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting to go with eight rebounds and four blocks against smaller Old Dominion. The 7-foot-2 Hibbert is averaging 17.0 points on nearly 63 percent shooting this season.
Georgetown was far from dominant in its first road game of the season, winning 57-48 at undermanned Ball State last Wednesday. Hibbert led the way with 16 points, but the Hoyas shot 34.8 percent in the second half and missed nine of 17 foul shots for the game.
“Free throws and turnovers hurt us,” coach John Thompson III said. “We’ve got to take care of that. I don’t think we were flustered, we just didn’t execute the way we were supposed to.”
Hibbert was the biggest culprit at the line, missing five of seven attempts. Georgetown also had trouble getting him the ball, and the center was limited to 10 shots.
“This is the first real game we’ve been in,” said Thompson, whose team won its first two games by an average of 18.5 points.
Old Dominion shot a season-low 33.9 percent in the loss to Louisville after hitting a season-high 55.4 percent of its shots the night before against North Carolina. Leading scorer Gerald Lee had a season-best 20 points Saturday.