Preview: Georgetown at Butler
Two teams looking for big bounce-back wins in Big East Conference play meet Saturday when Georgetown makes its first visit to historic Hinkle Fieldhouse to face Butler. It's the second game of a three-game road trip for the Hoyas, who had a three-game win streak snapped on the first stop Wednesday by Providence 70-52. Butler seeks its first victory as a member of the Big East after dropping its third straight league game Thursday to visiting DePaul 99-94 in double overtime.Georgetown, picked to finish second in the Big East preseason poll behind Marquette, trails Creighton, Xavier and Villanova - all 3-0 - in the standings with a Wednesday game at Xavier on deck. A big question for the Hoyas centers around the status of starting center Joshua Smith, who didn't make the trip to Providence while trying to resolve what the school called an academic issue. The hefty transfer from UCLA is the Hoyas' third-leading scorer (11.5) and leads the Big East in field goal percentage (65.5 percent).TIME: 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1ABOUT GEORGETOWN (10-4, 2-1 Big East): With Smith unavailable, the Hoyas scored their fewest points of the season, shot less than 40 percent and committed 15 turnovers in losing to Providence for the first time since 2005. "I think the group that we have in the locker room right there is more than capable of playing better than we did today, whether Josh is here or not," coach John Thompson III told the Washington Post. The game will be a homecoming for Georgetown's top scorer, sophomore guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (17.2), who played his first three years of high school basketball at North Central High in Indianapolis before transferring to Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.ABOUT BUTLER (10-5, 0-3): It hasn't been the smoothest of transitions from the Atlantic 10 to the Big East for the Bulldogs, who were national runner-ups in 2010 and 2011 and coming off a heartbreaking double-overtime loss to DePaul. The Bulldogs blew a 12-point second-half lead and squandered a chance to win it at the end of regulation. Sophomore guard Kellen Dunham (18.7) leads the team in scoring, and recorded 30 points in the loss to the Blue Demons, and is shooting 42.5 percent from 3-point range.TIP-INS1. Butler has not lost back-to-back home games since December 2011.2. Georgetown (28.9) and Butler (31) rank 1-2 in 3-point field goal percentage defense in the Big East.3. Butler forward Kameron Woods (9.7) leads the Big East in rebounding.PREDICTION: Butler 64, Georgetown 62
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