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Villanova faces a must-win situation against Georgetown on Senior Night at the Finn | Villanova vs. Georgetown Preview

Written by on February 27, 2024

The final four-game stretch of the season for Villanova begins tonight against the 9-18 Georgetown Hoyas. The Wildcats, who are currently in sixth place in the Big East with a 15-12 overall record and 8-8 conference record, must defeat the Hoyas at home to have a chance at a March Madness berth. In a Quad 4 matchup in the final game at the Finn for the season, Villanova should easily beat Georgetown, but the Wildcats are also hoping to improve for their future, which includes three tough Quad 1 games and the Big East Tournament.

On Saturday, the Wildcats suffered their first loss in four games in blowout fashion, 78-54, against #1 UConn in Connecticut. Prior to this loss, Villanova had won four of five games to begin February. Their defense allowed just 55 points to opponents during that stretch; however, the Wildcats did not play a very competitive game on either side of the court against the Huskies. The loss did not necessarily hurt the Wildcats’ March Madness hopes, but they must rebound after a bad performance.

Before battling Providence and Seton Hall on the road, Villanova gets a “tune up” game against Georgetown. The Hoyas, who are under their first year of Ed Cooley as head coach, hold 10th place in the conference with a 2-14 Big East record. Georgetown’s two Big East wins came against last place, 3-24 DePaul. After losing eleven games in a row, Georgetown won their most recent game against DePaul, 77-76, in Chicago on Saturday. The Cats’ have already defeated the Hoyas, 70-54, at Capital One Arena eleven days ago.

In that win on February 16th, Villanova’s defense was fantastic by limiting Georgetown to 54 points and a 34.4% success rate on shots from the field. The Wildcats’ forced 12 turnovers and finished the game with 11 steals. Villanova’s offense scored just 28 points in the first half, but they scored with ease in the second half. Their 42-point second half was led by TJ Bamba, Justin Moore, and Eric Dixon. Bamba accumulated 14 points, three assists, and four steals. Moore scored all 10 points, including two threes, in the second half. Dixon finished the game with 11 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. Brendan Hausen was excellent in the first half but struggled from behind the arc in the final twenty minutes. He scored 12 points and was the main source of offense in the first half.

Villanova vs. Georgetown in the first matchup between these two Big East rivals on February 16th.

All-Time Series Info

Villanova leads the all-time series against Georgetown, 50-45. Coach Neptune is undefeated against Georgetown in his first four games as Villanova’s head coach against the Hoyas. Georgetown’s last victory against Villanova came on March 11th, 2021.

Georgetown Preview + Team Stats

The Hoyas have not been successful in a lot of different team statistics this season. Their defense allows 77.3 points per game, which is one of the worst defenses in the Big East and college basketball. They shoot just 41.7% from the field and 72% from the charity stripe. Georgetown averages 12 turnovers per game and they struggle to force turnovers.

The main strength of Georgetown remains the same from the first matchup. Their three-point shooting will carry their offense and keep them in games at times. The Hoyas’ offense, which averages almost 72 points per game, converts 34.2% of their shots from the behind the arc. Georgetown’s offense was not efficient on February 16th, but their three-point shooting prevented Villanova from pulling away with the game. The Hoyas scored just 19 points in the first half against Villanova, but they scored 35 points in the final twenty minutes. Georgetown definitely found some offensive momentum in the second half, and Villanova should prepare for some more strong three-point shooting from the Hoyas.

Georgetown also rebounds the ball well. They average 34.6 rebounds per game, and they outrebounded Villanova by five rebounds in the first matchup. The Hoyas specifically dominated Villanova in offensive rebounds, 11-4. Supreme Cook had 11 of Georgetown’s 36 rebounds in the first contest.

Georgetown Players to Watch:

G Jayden Epps (Sophomore, Norfolk, VA): 18.4 ppg, scored 64 combined points in his last two games

F Supreme Cook (Senior, East Orange, NJ): 11.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg, scored eight points with 11 rebounds against Villanova in the first matchup

G Jay Heath (Senior, Washington, DC): 8.2 ppg, 34.5 3P%, scored 12 points against the Wildcats on 2/16

Keys to the Game + My Thoughts

The Wildcats’ defense will be key tonight. If they can hold Georgetown to under 65-70 points, the Wildcats should comfortably win this game. However, if the defense has some trouble and cannot contain Jayden Epps or the three-point shooting, this game will be closer and more competitive. I think Villanova’s defense will rebound nicely tonight from Saturday against UConn. Villanova held Epps to just nine total points and kept him scoreless in the first half on February 16th. The Wildcats had a great overall gameplan to limit the top scorers for Georgetown: Epps, Dontrez Styles, and Supreme Cook. Hopefully, they can execute that same plan this evening and also find ways to contain Jay Heath and Rowan Brumbaugh from behind the arc.

In terms of offense, Villanova should get another great effort from Eric Dixon, who just continues to get better. Dixon is averaging 16 points per game this season. Even during games where Villanova is struggling or Dixon gets off to a slow start, he always ends the game with good offensive numbers and stats. In addition to Dixon, TJ Bamba is another player that Villanova should get a good performance from tonight. He was one of the best players on the court against Georgetown in the first game and found some space for successful three-point attempts. He also played tremendous defense with four steals. Brendan Hausen’s second half against Georgetown was quiet, and Villanova needs him to also bounce back tonight after a bad performance against UConn.

Villanova honestly does not have to improve much from their first matchup against Georgetown to beat the Hoyas again tonight at the Finn, especially with a high energy crowd for Senior Night. The Wildcats have more talent and should control the game. However, Ed Cooley will have the Hoyas ready to play with a solid gameplan. And the Wildcats must respond and use this game to work on some things to continue to get better for March. The rebounding battle is a specific category that I will be watching for tonight. Villanova’s rebounding in this game could be the difference between a blowout, dominating victory and a close single-digit win for the Wildcats.

WXVU’s Coverage of Villanova vs. Georgetown

WXVU’s live coverage of Villanova vs. Georgetown begins at 6pm with the pregame show. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30pm.