Georgetown Hoyas basketball hopes to continue strong play against Colgate


Georgetown Coach John Thompson IIIwill scheme to stop Colgate, which has the best three-point shooting percentage in the nation. (Alex Brandon/AP)
December 6, 2013
Georgetown vs. Colgate

When: noon. Where: Verizon Center TV: Fox Sports 1 Radio: WTEM-980.

Records: Hoyas 5-2; Raiders 4-2.

For the last 20 minutes of Thursday’s 80-45 rout of High Point, Georgetown played terrific at both ends of the court. It was a welcome change from some of the erratic performances the Hoyas staged in the season’s early going, looking listless on defense during stretches and badly misfiring on offense at other times.

But after taking a 12-point lead at halftime, the Hoyas erupted for 52 second-half points while holding High Point’s leading scorer to four points in the period and snuffing out any hope of a rally. The challenge Saturday against Colgate, the Hoyas’ third consecutive low-major opponent in a four-game homestand at Verizon Center, will be sustaining such balanced play for 40 minutes.

Though Georgetown boasts a 7-1 record against Colgate, the Raiders aren’t a team to be taken lightly. Under second-year Coach Matt Langel, Colgate leads the nation in three-point shooting (51 percent) and is well disciplined in showing the patience and selflessness needed to get the ball to the open man.

If that characteristic evokes the approach of Hoyas Coach John Thompson III, it’s no accident. Langel was recruited to play for Thompson at Princeton but enrolled instead at Penn, where he competed under Fran Dunphy and routinely came face-to-face with Thompson’s Tigers squads.

After opening the season with back-to-back losses at Wake Forest and Syracuse, Colgate has reeled off four consecutive victories. The Raiders currently have five players averaging double figures, led by senior forward Murphy Burnatowski (15.2 points per game). As a team, they’re averaging 13.3 three-pointers per game.

The Hoyas’ own three-point shooting took a step forward against High Point, with sophomore D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and freshman Reggie Cameron sinking three apiece while the team connected on 10 of 24 attempts (41.7 percent).

“We have that ability to start and finish games on a high note,” said senior guard Markel Starks, who combined with Smith-Rivera for 35 points. “It’s not like we don’t have the stamina for it. We are a good team. And I think that every game we have to get better and better.”

— Liz Clarke

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