Georgetown and UConn have had their fair share of classic bouts against each other in the past. The greats have been along for the ride: Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Allen Iverson, Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor, Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green, Greg Monroe amongst a slew of others. It was, perhaps, one of the best modern BIG EAST rivalries and a stir would always seem to erupt in Storrs, Hartford or Washington D.C. whenever the two teams squared off.
Another chapter was written in the previously dormant rivalry between the Hoyas and Huskies on Saturday afternoon. The XL Center played host to a back-and-forth tussle between two teams that were looking to boost their nonconference resumes as opposed to delivering haymakers in conference play like we were used to. Despite that, it all felt right, didn't it? Georgetown and UConn playing in Hartford on an early Saturday afternoon in January.
Despite an abysmal second half by UConn, it would not wind up being their downfall. Georgetown did capitalize on the Huskies' poor shooting performance for a spurt, but could not close it out, and the Huskies skated out of Hartford with a 68-62 victory.
Four players, including Sterling Gibbs (16), Shonn Miller (15), Rodney Purvis (17) and Daniel Hamilton (11) notched double figure performances en route to the victory Saturday afternoon as the Hoyas fall to 12-8 despite three players getting into double figures.
Here's what we learned from this matchup:
1. Georgetown took a lot of ill-advised 3-pointers
31 of them, to be exact. Georgetown hit on exactly nine of those 31 3-point attempts and it burned them badly. Down the stretch, the Hoyas had open looks, but couldn't convert and at times, they did not even need to take 3-point field goal attempts. UConn didn't shoot much better - 33.3 percent - but took just 15 3-point attempts on the day. Not to say it saved them, but it certainly did not hurt them as much as it hurt Georgetown who could have benefited with a few more high-percentage shots.
2. The Hoyas are still skating on thin ice
UConn might be somewhat of a high-seeded NCAA tournament team at this point in time with their record and nonconference resume. But, a win on the road against this Huskies team would have at least helped Georgetown out a bit in terms of strengthening their resume. Unfortunately, that's not how things would play themselves out as the Hoyas fell to UConn on Saturday afternoon to put them at 12-8 on the season. With their only opportunities now coming in BIG EAST play and the BIG EAST Tournament, Georgetown will continue to have a paper thin margin for error going forward.
3. A tremendous free throw differential helped UConn out largely
The Hoyas did not attack too much Saturday and it showed in the free throw category. On the afternoon, Georgetown shot just eight free throw attempts. They made the most of them, missing on just one of them to wind up with a FT% of 88 percent. With that said, UConn nearly quintupled their output, getting to the line 36 times. The Huskies shot very crisply from the line as well, making 29 of their 36 free throw attempts. The margin was just six points and UConn could not buy a basket at all in the second half, shooting just 4-for-21. Comparatively, they shot 20-for-25 from the free throw line, providing enough ammunition to put them ahead.