Longwood-Georgetown Preview

The Associated Press

Georgetown basketball hasn't exactly been the prettiest thing to watch lately. If the Hoyas keep winning, coach John Thompson III likely won't care.

On the heels of two ugly victories in its last three games, Georgetown seeks a fifth consecutive win Monday night when it hosts Longwood.

The 15th-ranked Hoyas (7-1) combined with Tennessee on a woeful shooting display in a 37-36 victory Nov. 30, and they were even worse from the field in Saturday's 46-40 home win against Towson.

Georgetown shot 36.4 percent against the Volunteers while setting a school record for fewest points in the shot-clock era. After a 64-41 win over Texas on Tuesday, the Hoyas hit only 29.2 percent Saturday.

The first half against Towson was particularly bad, as they missed 22 of their first 24 shots and went into the break shooting 16.7 percent and leading 17-15.

Thompson attributes some of the struggles to his team's youth. He generally rotates seven players, five of whom are sophomores or freshmen, and he doesn't have a senior on the roster.

"It's got to get better," said Thompson, whose team was 2 of 16 on 3-point attempts Saturday. "I told the guys this, at this point we have a lot of growing up to do. We're immature offensively, in that we have a lot of guys that are thinking trying to figure out what to do, what reads to make and it's something we have to work on."

Georgetown seems to be learning the defensive side much more quickly. The Hoyas rank near the top of the country in points-per-game defense (54.1) and are limiting opponents to 36.9 percent shooting.

They have allowed at least 60 points only twice - yielding 70 while beating then-No. 11 UCLA and 82 in an overtime loss to No. 1 Indiana.

They forced 22 Towson turnovers and held the Tigers scoreless for the game's final 4:35. While struggling to make shots from the field, the Hoyas relied on free-throw shooting (16 of 24) to seal the win.

"It was one of those games where we said, 'Let's try to make it as ugly as possible,'" Thompson said. "This group, we can win a lot of different ways. We can win at a fast pace. We can win at a slow pace. We can win what purists may call pretty.

"But we can also win ugly, and I thought that in the second half we had to win ugly today."

Many of Longwood's games have been ugly from the Lancers' perspective, as they've been outscored by an average of 17.6 points while going 2-6.

They've split their last four games but haven't come close against upper-tier competition, losing to Arkansas and Creighton last month by a combined 97 points. The Bluejays dropped Longwood to 0-7 all-time against Top 25 opponents.

David Robinson was the only Lancers player scoring in double digits with 21 points in the team's most recent game, a 61-53 loss to Dartmouth on Dec. 1.

Monday marks the first meeting between Longwood and Georgetown.

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