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Georgetown hosts Coppin State with undefeated season on the line

Patrick Ewing leads his Hoyas against Juan Dixon and the Eagles.

NCAA Basketball: Maine at Georgetown
Jonathan Mulmore dribbles in the team’s victory over Maine on Tuesday night.
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

WHERE: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

TIME: 6:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1 (MASN2 in D.C.)

ONLINE: Fox Sports Go


SERIES HISTORY: Georgetown leads, 1-0.

ODDS: Georgetown -25.5 (-110)

O/U: 138.5

The undefeated Georgetown Hoyas (5-0, Big East) will host the Coppin State Eagles (0-7, MEAC) on Sunday evening in the second game of the BB&T Classic. The Classic, a D.C.-based series of game that raises money for Children’s Charities Funds, will also feature a game between the George Washington Colonials and Temple Owls earlier in the day.

Georgetown enters the game fresh off a string of strong offensive performances, with five Hoyas scoring in double figures in each of the team’s last four games. In their most recent game against the Maine Black Bears, the Blue & Gray were led by juniors Kaleb Johnson, Jessie Govan, and Marcus Derrickson, who combined for 36 points in the win.

The trio are Georgetown’s three highest scorers on the season, averaging a combined 46.6 points per game. Jonathan Mulmore has also looked sharp to start the year, boasting an assist to turnover ratio of just over 3:1.

As a team, Georgetown leads the Big East in rebounds (41.4), assists (19.0), and free throw percentage (78.8 percent), and is second in field goal percentage (51.1 percent).

Despite his team’s undefeated record, head coach Patrick Ewing expressed displeasure with the Georgetown’s defensive effort against Maine.

“I was disappointed in our effort tonight. We took a step backwards... We just didn't do all the things that we are doing well,” he said after Tuesday’s game.

Furthermore, the Hoyas struggled against trapping defensive sets, which the Black Bears utilized in the second half. In recent years, the Hoyas have battled turnover problems when faced with fullcourt, trapping presses. During Saturday’s pregame media availability, Ewing said that he has stressed the importance of handling traps in practice this week.

On the other hand, Coppin State has struggled to start the season. The Eagles are winless in their first seven games. The team managed just 37 points in a 43-point loss to the Ohio Bobcats on Friday night. Dejuan Clayton (10.2 ppg) leads an Eagles team that labors on the offensive end, shooting just 31 percent from the field and 24 percent from 3-point range.

If Coppin State is looking for a game to break out of its intense shooting slump, Sunday’s matchup will prove a difficult one. The Hoyas lead the Big East and rank eighth in the country in 3-point percentage allowed (24.8 percent).

NCAA Basketball: Coppin State at Cincinnati
Juan Dixon reacts from the bench in the team’s loss to Cincinnati on Nov. 16, 2017.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in Ewing’s career, he will match up against a head coach with whom he has connections with from his time in the NBA. He was an assistant with the Washington Wizards when Juan Dixon, head coach of the Eagles, was on the Wizards’ roster.

“We kept in touch for a while, but kinda lost touch,” Ewing said of his relationship with Dixon. “I haven’t thought about it. I’ll say hello to him and maybe talk to him after the game, but I’m focused on my task.”

In the last meeting between these two teams, Georgetown cruised to a 96-44 win behind a 30-point performance from Rodney Pryor. Georgetown holds an all-time record of 57-0 against schools from the MEAC.