Neither Memphis nor Georgetown has defeated a ranked opponent this season. The Tigers and Hoyas get a chance to do Saturday at the Verizon Center in a rematch of last season’s December showdown.
The No. 17 Tigers (5-1) haven’t faced a ranked team yet, although they lost 63-58 to Xavier on Nov. 23 before the Musketeers climbed to their current No. 10 spot. The 19th-ranked Hoyas fell to their only Top 25 opponent, losing 90-78 to then-No. 12 Tennessee on Nov. 28.
Georgetown (6-1) has won three straight since the loss, pounding Savannah State 100-38 on Monday.
Austin Freeman, DaJuan Summers and Jessie Sapp each scored 14 points to lead the Hoyas on Monday, and Greg Monroe added 13. The 62-point win was Georgetown’s largest since a 112-39 victory over the University of the District of Columbia on Dec. 16, 1989.
Georgetown has five players averaging in double figures, led by Summers at 13.7 points per game. Freeman is at 13.1.
“It’s encouraging - regardless of who’s coming in here,” coach John Thompson III said. “For the most part, our guys were extremely focused throughout the game.”
Thompson can only hope the easy win provided enough of a tuneup for his team, which will be looking to avenge an 85-71 loss to then-No. 2 Memphis on Dec. 22. The then-No. 5 Hoyas were the highest-ranked team Memphis defeated during the regular season.
Freeman and Summers scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, to lead Georgetown in that game, but Memphis got a combined 61 points from Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Robert Dozier. Only Dozier remains, and he’s averaging 12.0 points on the season.
This game will feature a matchup of talented freshmen in Georgetown center Greg Monroe and Memphis guard Tyreke Evans. The 6-foot-11, 250-pound Monroe is averaging 13.3 points and a team-high 5.7 rebounds, while Evans is scoring a team-high 16.2 points and adding 5.8 boards per game.
The 6-6 Evans, who has helped ease the loss of big guards Rose and Douglas-Roberts, scored a career-high 24 points as Memphis defeated Marist 100-61 on Dec. 2. Rust could be an issue for the Tigers on Saturday, as they haven’t played since.
Shawn Taggart had 21 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks, while Evans was 10-of-13 from the field and added six rebounds and four assists for Memphis.
“There were a lot of things I saw that I liked,” coach John Calipari said. “However, there are still a lot of things we need to work on.”
Memphis also has five players averaging double figures in scoring, with Dozier, Doneal Mack, Taggart and Antonio Anderson joining Evans. Calipari’s team again boasts a deep roster, as the Tigers have used all 12 players in half their games and gone nine deep in every game.
Georgetown is 4-0 this season at the Verizon Center and has won 25 straight on its home court - 12 in a row against non-conference opponents.
The Hoyas lead the series with the Tigers 6-2.