Maggie aster/The Hoya Kevin Braswell will lead No. 14 GU against West Virginia Saturday. Georgetown’s drought of Big East victories has entered its third week, with the team’s last conference victory coming at Seton Hall on Jan. 15. The Hoyas have since endured three straight conference losses and are looking to rediscover the success of their 16-0 start to the season.

Tomorrow will be Georgetown’s opportunity to start climbing back up the Big East standings, as the Hoyas play the West Virginia Mountaineers in a noon contest at MCI Center. It will be the second matchup of the season between the two teams, the first ending in a 90-66 Georgetown victory in Morgantown, W.Va., on Jan. 3. In the win, the Hoyas exploded after halftime, outscoring the ountaineers 50-26 in the second half.

The Hoyas’ skid has coincided with the struggles of two of the team’s senior leaders, center Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje and guard Anthony Perry, who have shot a combined 5 of 28 from the field in the Hoyas’ last three Big East games. Boumtje-Boumtje has been held scoreless in back-to-back games for the first time in his Georgetown career, while Perry has scored just three points in the same span.

Head Coach Craig Esherick was even contemplating benching Boumtje-Boumtje in the wake of his lackluster performance at Syracuse on Monday, but he decided against such a move a day later.

“I thought that bringing him off the bench might get him going,” Esherick said to The Washington Post on Wednesday. “But he’ll start, definitely. . This is just uncharacteristic of Ruben. But I’m not at the point of giving up on him.”

Although Boumtje-Boumtje’s struggles have been the most noticeable, the slump has really run all the way down the lineup, with the exception of junior point guard Kevin Braswell. Braswell has averaged 17 points and 5.5 assists in Georgetown’s last two games, the only Hoya to score in double figures in both contests.

The Hoyas will get back to the win column by returning to early-season form in which the scoring was spread around and everyone in the rotation was contributing to one extent or another. Georgetown’s victory over West Virginia saw six Hoyas score in double figures, including 15 from Anthony Perry, who shot 3 of 4 from behind the arc.

Although there won’t be changes in the lineup, there will have to be changes at both ends of the court for Georgetown to return to top-10 form.

There is no doubt that the Hoyas are suffering through a midseason slump, but it is exactly that – the middle of the season. Even Georgetown’s national finalist team of 1982 had a three-game losing streak against Syracuse, Connecticut and Providence before going on a tear that brought them just a single basket shy of the national championship. There is more than a month left before the Big East Tournament, and Esherick has confidence the Hoyas will be able to regroup.

“This is not the end of the season,” Esherick said. “We have enough time and enough good players to fix it and finish the season strong.”

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