After putting together another season of scoring mediocrity, Georgetown faces a must-win game tomorrow against one of the few teams in the Big East worse at putting the ball in the basket than the Hoyas.

Georgetown’s home bout with Syracuse at 3 p.m. will pit the league’s second-worst offense of the Orange with the third-worst of the Hoyas.

Since ushering in the new year, Georgetown has pulled out just two conference wins in 12 tries. Playing some of the toughest teams in the Big East in its last 11 games, the Hoyas have averaged just 52 points per game.

Earlier in the season, there were glimpses that this year’s team may have overcome last year’s paltry offense. They had four 75-plus-point games before January compared to two all of last year.

Junior forward Kieraah Marlow led the team in scoring, and her performance was critical to Georgetown’s overall success, but the team showed itself capable of winning even when Marlow did not show up.

In its biggest win of the season, Georgetown upset Utah, 60-57, on Dec. 30. In that game, Marlow scored only three points, all on free throws. In foul trouble, Marlow was a non-factor while double-digit scoring from juniors guard Kristin Heidloff and center Aminata Diop complemented 16 points from sophomore forward Katrina Wheeler. As she did throughout most of the out-of-conference schedule, senior wing player Kate Carlin scored 10 points from the bench and was consistent from behind the arc.

The only senior on the team, Carlin started four games before Big East play and averaged nearly 10 points per game as the team’s most consistent three-point shooter. She still leads the team in three-point percentage with a .356 clip and 32 treys. Carlin has been a three-point threat this year but has shot only .374 from inside the arc.

Once the Big East schedule started, though, Carlin’s playing time decreased by nearly five minutes per game and her offensive production suddenly plummeted to less than two points per game. In that time period, Heidloff and freshman forward Meredith Cox have taken up Carlin’s role as a three-point shooter, taking 122 of the team’s 195 long-distance shots during conference play while Carlin is just 6-of-27 in Big East games from behind the arc.

While Georgetown shot .380 from behind the arc in the first half of the season, tough Big East defenses have taken their toll, and in league games, the Hoyas have shot a measly .225 from outside.

Marlow leads the team with 16.2 points per game, and Heidloff follows with 7.9 in conference play. The junior duo shoots a combined .433 from the field. But where Marlow and Heidloff have been able to carry their own, the rest of the squad has struggled, shooting just 38 percent from the floor, second to last in the league.

The numbers do not lie – Georgetown does not shoot well – but the Hoyas are not consistently bad, either. They tend to miss in spurts. Georgetown has gone on inexplicable eight- and nine-minute stretches without scoring in several games this year. In its most recent loss to Marquette, Georgetown missed 18 consecutive field goals over one stretch of 8:45.

The Hoyas started that game 7-of-9 and finished 13-of-34, playing the Golden eagles evenly for 31 of the game’s 40 minutes. Going on that kind of drought this late in the season is a sure ticket for failure.

With only four games remaining in the regular season, Georgetown needs to beat Syracuse tomorrow to stay in the running for a spot in the Big East tournament. With tough games remaining against Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, Georgetown needs to capitalize on the Orange’s miniscule offense with a day free of offensive stagnation or risk continuing its drought of postseason appearances.

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