After a second half comeback in their season opener, the Georgetown Hoyas (1-0) are looking to have a much better all-around performance against the Central Arkansas Bears (1-1).
The Hoyas overcame a 19-point halftime deficit to defeat Mount St. Mary’s on Wednesday night. After a few days to regroup, they’ll take on the Bears in a Saturday matinee.
They’ll look to avoid any scares from a Central Arkansas team that got blown out in its season opener against Baylor, but bounced back against Division III Hendrix. As the Bears return back to Division I opposition, will they suffer the same fate as their first game of the year?
How To watch, listen, and stream
Game Time: Saturday, November 9, 2019, at 12 p.m. ET
RADIO: The Team 980 (Georgetown)
Live Stream: N/A
This will be the first meeting between Central Arkansas and Georgetown.
What to Watch For
Sure, it doesn’t matter how you start, but how you finish, but that less-than-ideal beginning in the Hoyas’ season-opener is inexcusable. Georgetown was able to gut it out with a strong run at the end to put Mount St. Mary’s away, but that turnover-filled sloppy first half wasn’t an ideal first impression. If you had missed the game, the score alone in the 81-68 season-opening win doesn’t tell the full story. Georgetown trailed by 19 at halftime, but rallied back in the second half and finished with a 20-1 run to end the game.
Now that the first game jitters are out, the Hoyas will look to play a full 40-minute performance in another winnable game. On the bright side, James Akinjo, Mac McClung and newcomer Omer Yurtseven looked solid, as they notched up the intensity and led the Hoyas to victory with a strong second half. Things should correct themselves for the Hoyas on Saturday. It would be shocking to see another rough start.
Georgetown’s defense was crucial in its comeback effort against the Mountaineers. Forcing turnovers and converting those into scoring opportunities helped fuel the Hoyas’ second half turnaround. Central Arkansas has a similar turnover rate to Mount St. Mary’s (20.9 percent), coughing the ball up on 19.0 percent of possessions.
On the other end of the court, Georgetown should be able to do it what it wants offensively. If it can channel a similar three-point shooting performance that it had in the second half, where the Hoyas were an efficient 7-for-11 from beyond the arc, it’ll be trouble for the Bears. Central Arkansas has allowed opponents to shoot 54.5 percent from long range. Its defensive struggles aren’t limited to the three-point line, as the Bears have allowed a 69.0 eFG%. Apart from that, Central Arkansas hasn’t been a great rebounding team so far, so expect another big day on the glass for Yurtseven.
Beyond the Front Line
Central Arkansas has three players standing in at 7-feet tall--Hayden Koval, Jonas Munson, and Brandon Vanover. Koval is a main fixture in the frontcourt, as he goes through his third season as a full-time starter. So far, he’s averaged seven points, six rebounds, and four blocks over the Bears’ first two games of the season. He’s a great rim protector and seems to be the only one of the trio that’s a main contributor.
The rest of the production seems to come from the guards behind them. BYU transfer Rylan Bergersen is proving to be an impact transfer in his first year with the Bears. He’s scored in double figures in both games so far and seemed to be the only one that was able to get it going in the Bears’ lopsided loss to Baylor to start the year. His former high school teammate and fellow guard DeAndre Jones seems to be a contributor on both ends of the court. He takes good care of the ball and looks to set up his teammates before getting his own. Also keep an eye out for Eddy Kayouloud, who’s a versatile player that can play in the backcourt, wing, or frontcourt. Standing 6-foot-7, Kayouloud provides a scoring and rebounding presence and can be a threat if he is able to get into a groove and not turn the ball over.