Georgetown was unable to slow down a struggling perimeter player in suffering its first loss. Its next task is Sunday against a guard who appears to be at the top of his game.
The ninth-ranked Hoyas look to bounce back from their first defeat when they host Appalachian State and high-scoring guard Donald Sims.Georgetown (8-1) lost 68-65 at Temple on Thursday. The Owls' Ramone Moore scored a career-high 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting after entering the contest averaging 12.3 points on 34.6 percent shooting.Appalachian State (3-3) will be Georgetown's sixth opponent picked to win its conference -- or a division within its conference -- this season. The Mountaineers join Utah State, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, Wofford and Temple.The Hoyas fell behind by as many as 11 points Thursday before rallying to tie the game. Jason Clark scored a team-high 15 points and Austin Freeman and Julian Vaughn each added 14 for Georgetown, which had a chance to take the lead late when Hollis Thompson missed a runner with five seconds left."That was a real tough atmosphere," guard Chris Wright said. "Our league is the same way, so I think a loss like this will help us."The Hoyas will play another Southern Conference co-favorite after winning 74-59 on Nov. 19 over Wofford, picked to win the South Division. Appalachian State was chosen to win the North, largely because of Sims.Sims is among the nation's leaders with a 27.0 scoring average after ranking 24th last season at 20.4. He led all Division I players in 2009-10 with a 95.1 free-throw percentage and he's 45 of 49 this season.The senior guard scored 28 last Saturday as Appalachian State won 78-69 at Samford to even its conference mark at 1-1."Appalachian State is one of the best three teams in the league and Sims is arguably one of the best two players in the league," Samford coach Jimmy Tillette said.The Hoyas have had their share of problems on defense, ranking second-worst in the Big East by allowing opponents to shoot 42.6 percent. The 30 points by Moore were the most by any player against Georgetown.The Mountaineers are shooting 46.1 percent for the second-best mark in its conference, averaging 80.7 points.While the Hoyas will be focused on defending Sims, they also will be hoping Freeman breaks out. Georgetown's leading scorer is averaging 11.5 points on 38.5 percent shooting in his last two games after averaging 31.5 on 65.6 percent shooting over his previous two.The Mountaineers are in their first season under former North Carolina player Jason Capel, the second-youngest coach in Division I at 30 years old.These teams have never met. Appalachian State is 0-6 against Big East teams and has lost 12 straight to ranked foes since beating North Carolina-Charlotte in 1997.