Texas begins December gauntlet with trip to Madison Square Garden to face No. 15 Georgetown


Elisabeth Dillon

Sophomore Guard Sheldon McClellan.

Christian Corona

Texas has won three straight games since a pair of disappointing losses in Maui. Extending that winning streak to four games will be tough.

The Longhorns begin a difficult five-game stretch that includes three contests against teams ranked in the Top 20 of the AP poll, the first being No. 15 Georgetown. Texas faces the Hoyas in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

“I think it’s just another game,” freshman Ioannis Papapetrou said. “We have to do our job. We’ve got to come out and play our game. I think, if we play good defense and do whatever [head] coach [Rick Barnes] says, we’re going to have a good chance.”

Georgetown is 5-1 on the year, its only loss coming in overtime to top-ranked Indiana. In their last game, the Hoyas took down Tennessee, 37-36. The one-point win marked Georgetown’s lowest-scoring game since 1985. The Volunteers’ football team averaged more points per game this year (36.2) than their men’s basketball squad scored in that loss.

“They were in a high-scoring game the other night,” Barnes said about his upcoming opponent. “They’re a very disciplined team. I know [Georgetown head] coach [John] Thompson [III], his players believe in his system. They’re a mentally tough team.”

Texas is coming off arguably its best game of the year, a 70-54 win over UT-Arlington. The Longhorns shot 50 percent from the three-point line while sophomore guard Julien Lewis scored 18 points, hitting six three-pointers by himself. Georgetown could be in for another low-scoring affair against Texas, which has held each of its seven opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the floor this year.

“We’ve got a big game coming Tuesday against Georgetown,” Lewis said. “You watch that game against Tennessee and I think we’ll come out and play a lot better on Tuesday because it’s another good team we’ll be playing. We just have to do our jobs.”

Printed on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 as: Horns head to basketball mecca