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Feb 26, 2024 5:23 pm

Villanova hosts Georgetown, chases tourney invitation

villanova basketball

Historic Big East rivals Villanova and Georgetown are set to clash once again Tuesday night at Villanova, Pa.

The Wildcats won the teams’ Feb. 16 meeting, 70-54, in Washington, D.C.

Adding to the excitement of the rivalry showdown, it will also be Villanova’s senior night. The Wildcats (15-12, 8-8 Big East) are looking to bounce back from a 24-point loss Saturday to reigning national champion UConn, which broke their three-game winning streak.

With only four regular-season games left, there is little room for error for Villanova, which hopes to return to the NCAA Tournament after missing out last season.

“This group is built for anything,” Villanova senior T.J. Bamba said. “Going through (the UConn loss), I know we’re going to be hungry and get better. We’re going to watch film, get in the gym, flush it out and be ready to go for Tuesday.”

Despite the lopsided loss to UConn, Villanova has been solid defensively this month, after going 2-6 in January.

The Wildcats are 4-2 in February, while holding opponents to an average of 58.5 points per game.

They have been inconsistent on the scoring end and aim to improve from shooting just 3 of 24 (12.5 percent) from 3-point range in the loss to the Huskies.

As for Georgetown, the Hoyas (9-18, 2-14) hung on for a 77-76 win against DePaul on Saturday, completing the series sweep and breaking an 11-game losing streak.

They’ll try to spoil Villanova’s senior night and build on their latest victory.

“Both programs have struggled this year, let’s call it exactly what it is,” Georgetown coach Ed Cooley said postgame. “It played out to how each team was fighting — came out strong in the first, they came out strong in the second half, took the lead, battled back — I was really proud of our men’s resilience.”

Georgetown’s leading scorer, Jayden Epps (18.4 points per game), regrouped with back-to-back 30-point performances against DePaul and St. John’s after being held to just nine points on 3-of-12 shooting in the Hoyas’ earlier loss against Villanova.

Also keep an eye on freshman Rowan Brumbaugh, who led Georgetown in the Feb. 16 loss to Villanova, by scoring 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting, with five assists off the bench.

He was promoted to the starting five after that game.

– Field Level Media

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