W. Carolina-Georgetown Preview

The Associated Press

While the questions concerning its future in the Big East remain, Georgetown is likely more focused on putting its scoring woes at home further into the past.

The 15th-ranked Hoyas will try to build on a superb performance Saturday when they face Western Carolina for the first time.

Georgetown is among a group of seven non-FBS football schools that are planning to leave the Big East. The Hoyas were among the charter members of the league in 1979.

Although future plans are still unclear, this weekend Georgetown is hoping to duplicate its efforts from Monday's 89-53 win over Longwood. The Hoyas (8-1) shot 53.7 percent in that victory after connecting on only 32.6 percent from the field and averaging 41.5 points over their previous two home games.

Otto Porter led the way with a career-high 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and added seven assists despite taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from a teammate in the second half. The sophomore forward was also hit in the head during a season-opening win against Duquesne on Nov. 11 and sat out a victory over Liberty three days later due to symptoms of a mild concussion.

Markel Starks finished with 17 points Monday after being held to four in each of the previous two home games.

A 37-36 win over Tennessee on Nov. 30 marked Georgetown's lowest point total since the NCAA instituted the shot clock before the 1985-86 season. The Hoyas, who have won five in a row overall and 12 straight at the Verizon Center, shot a season-low 29.2 percent in a 46-40 victory against Towson last Saturday.

"When you look at that (Towson) game, the ball didn't go in, and so you have to fix that. But most of the looks we got were wide open shots," coach John Thompson III said after his team beat Longwood. "It wasn't a question of movement within the offense. Our guys just put the ball in the basket a little bit today."

Western Carolina (4-6) has held three of its past four opponents to 40.0 percent shooting or lower, but it nearly entered this game with three consecutive losses. The Catamounts trailed by 13 early in the second half last Saturday against visiting Southern Conference foe Appalachian State before rallying to win 70-64.

They limited the Mountaineers to 38.2 percent shooting - 5 of 19 from 3-point range - but shot just 41.8 percent at the opposite end.

Junior forward Tom Tankelewicz hit a key 3-pointer in the final minute to finish with a career-high 19 points, and leading scorer Trey Sumler (16.2 points per game) had 13 after being held to single digits in each of his previous two games.

Western Carolina has never beaten a Top 25 team, but it gave then-No. 13 Illinois a difficult time Dec. 4. The Catamounts erased a 12-point deficit in the second half but couldn't take command in a 72-64 loss.

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