Austin Freeman and Jason Clark have played well during Georgetown's three-game win streak. That may not bode well for a Villanova team that had trouble stopping the duo last season.
The No. 21 Hoyas will try to hand the eighth-ranked Wildcats their first home loss when these longtime rivals meet at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.
Georgetown (15-5, 4-4) has bounced back from a 1-4 start in Big East play behind Freeman and Clark. Freeman has averaged 22.3 points and 55.3 percent shooting in the last three games while Clark has shot 56.6 percent and chipped in 12.3 points.
The Hoyas rank second in the nation in field-goal percentage at 50.8 percent.
"We've all been working hard putting up extra shots," Clark said. "We just got after it in practice and worked on our shooting."
Villanova (17-3, 5-2) knows how dangerous Freeman and Clark can be. The teams split two meetings last season, with Freeman averaging 23.5 points and 59.3 percent shooting while Clark averaged 20.0 points and shot 59.1 percent.
Backcourt play should be a key factor in this contest, and the Wildcats are hoping their top guards bounce back from a poor effort in an 83-68 loss at Providence on Wednesday. Leading scorers Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes combined for 14 points on 4-of-26 shooting.
"They had an excellent game plan and executed it well," coach Jay Wright said of the Friars. "Their guards were outstanding. They dominated the game."
Providence guards Gerald Coleman and Vincent Council each scored 16 points, with Council adding eight assists and eight rebounds. Those two were also a big factor defensively, helping to hold the Wildcats to a season-low 32.5 percent shooting.
"Almost every shot we took was contested," Wright said. "We got behind and couldn't create any good shots for ourselves."
Saturday's game is the only regular-season meeting between the Wildcats and Hoyas in 2010-11, and Stokes may be playing his final game against Georgetown. The senior guard, averaging a career-high 15.4 points in 2010-11, has averaged 6.8 points and 25.6 percent shooting in five contests versus the Hoyas.
Georgetown does not have a victory over a Big East team that is currently .500 or better in conference play. Its win streak has come against Rutgers, Seton Hall and St. John's, which it defeated 77-52 on Wednesday.
Coach John Thompson III changed his lineup for that game, benching sophomore forward Hollis Thompson for the first time in favor of freshman Nate Lubick. Thompson did fine with the new role, making 5 of 6 shots and scoring 15 points, while Lubick committed four turnovers in the first half and finished with six points and six rebounds.
"I've said it before, it doesn't matter, we have a lot of good players in there," John Thompson said. "Who starts when the score is 0-0 when there is 40 minutes left doesn't matter. Nate was out there and Hollis wasn't for the first time, but I thought they both played pretty well."
The Hoyas have won six of the last seven meetings with the Wildcats, taking two of three on the road. Villanova is 11-0 at home this season, including 3-0 at the Wells Fargo Center.