Although they don’t play in the same conference, Maryland and Georgetown’s proximity to each other made for a natural rivalry for many years before the two stopped regularly meeting.
On Sunday, the No. 21 Hoyas face off with the Terrapins for third place in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.
With their campuses separated by only a few miles, Maryland and Georgetown compete for many of the same recruits, and have players on their rosters that played together and against one another at the high school level. Still, the two teams stopped meeting regularly after the 1979-80 season, and have since faced one another only twice with the Terps winning both games - an 84-83 overtime win in 1993 and a 76-66 victory in the regional semifinals of the 2001 NCAA tournament.
Maryland holds a 36-26 lead in the all-time series - which dates back to the 1907-08 season - and has won eight of the last 11 meetings.
“It’s a game that’s ironic we’re playing here,” Maryland coach Gary Williams said. “They’re a very good basketball team.”
Williams’ team is facing its third straight ranked opponent. The Terps (4-1) opened the Old Spice Classic with an 80-62 upset of No. 5 Michigan State on Thursday, but they were unable to shock another Top 10 team Friday, losing 81-59 to No. 9 Gonzaga.
Maryland shot a season-low 37.3 percent from the field, going 1 of 13 from 3-point range after connecting on nine 3-pointers against the Spartans. Greivis Vazquez, who leads the team with 20.0 points per game, was the only player to score in double figures with 16 points.
Maryland’s defense wasn’t much better. After the Terrapins held their first four opponents to 59.3 points per game on 37.6 percent shooting, the Bulldogs shot 52.7 percent and held a 41-30 rebounding edge.
“Obviously, they hurt us on the glass,” Williams said. “When you play a team that good, you have to play better than we did.”
Georgetown (3-1) is also looking for a better defensive effort than it produced in a 90-78 loss to No. 12 Tennessee on Friday. Sophomore guard Chris Wright scored 18 points to lead four players in double figures for the Hoyas, who shot 53.1 percent but appeared to feel the strain of playing on back-to-back nights.
Georgetown, which defeated Wichita State 58-50 on Thursday, committed 20 turnovers against the Volunteers, including 10 in the first 15 minutes. The Hoyas’ starters combined for 16 of the turnovers. Georgetown’s bench, meanwhile, got outscored by Tennessee’s reserves 37-12.
“I don’t think depth had anything to do with it,” coach John Thompson III said.
Center Greg Monroe scored 15 points on Friday, but he attempted only six shots for the second straight game. The 6-foot-11 freshman is averaging a team-high 15.0 points and shooting 67.7 percent from the field.
The Hoyas are trying to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time since falling to Villanova and then-No. 7 Pittsburgh on Jan. 8 and 13, 2007, respectively.