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First Big East win awaits for DePaul or Georgetown

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Winless in conference play so far and already falling behind in the Big East standings despite no team playing more than four league games, Georgetown and visiting DePaul meet Saturday in Washington, D.C.

Both squads are coming off lopsided losses that highlighted each team’s persistent defensive struggles early in the Big East slate.

Georgetown (7-7, 0-3 Big East) surrendered 49 points in the second half of its 77-60 home loss to Creighton on Tuesday. The Hoyas trailed 28-24 at halftime before allowing the Bluejays to shoot 63.6 percent after the break.

“The word ‘collectivity’ defensively is so important, and right now, Game 14, we should be better than this defensively,” Georgetown coach Ed Cooley said. “It’s an embarrassment the way we’re guarding right now. It’s an absolute embarrassment.”

The Hoyas’ futile defense puts more pressure on the offense to produce without leading scorer Jayden Epps (17.8 points per game), who missed Tuesday’s game with an ankle injury.

Cooley said on Tuesday that Epps is “banged up pretty good” and is day-to-day.

DePaul (3-10, 0-2) experienced its own breakdown early in an 85-56 road loss at No. 4 UConn on Tuesday.

The Blue Demons forced four turnovers and kept the Huskies scoreless throughout the game’s 4:14 before quickly losing contact with the defending national champions.

UConn finished 58.2 percent from the floor (32 of 55) and 46.2 percent from 3-point range (12 of 26) to send DePaul to its 14th straight regular-season Big East loss dating back to last season.

“We took a couple of bad shots that made for transition baskets for them,” Blue Demons coach Tony Stubblefield said. “We turned it over a couple of times, and they really took advantage of that.”

DePaul surrenders 122.6 points per 100 possessions in Big East play, the worst defensive rating in the conference. Georgetown’s 113.5 rating is the second worst.

Chico Carter Jr. paces the Blue Demons in points (12.7) and assists (4.1). Dontrez Styles (14.8 points) is in line to be the Hoyas’ top scoring option if Epps doesn’t play.

–Field Level Media

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