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Porter Jr. Scores 21, Georgetown Falls Short at USF, 61-58
Tampa, Fla. - In a game that saw the Georgetown men's basketball team take a double digit lead early and then fall behind by seven points in the second half, the Hoyas had two chances in the final minute-plus but could not convert en route to a 59-58 loss to South Florida on Saturday evening at the Sun Dome.
Georgetown falls to 12-4 overall with the loss and 2-3 in the BIG EAST, while USF improves to 10-7 overall and 1-4 in league play.
Sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. (Morley, Mo./ Scott County Central) scored 21 points and had five rebounds to lead the Hoyas, while freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis, Ind./Oak Hill), scored 12 points, had six rebounds and four assists. Junior forward Nate Lubick (Southborough, Mass. / St. Mark's) added eight points, eight rebounds and three assists and sophomore guard Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends) added eight points, three rebounds and two assists.
Georgetown had led by as many as 11 points early in the second half (34-23) and then fell behind by seven points (50-43) before chipping back into the game. After Porter Jr. collected a rebound with 1:48 left, the Hoyas had a chance to take the lead, but the sophomore missed a jumper and USF grabbed the rebound. After another missed shot from USF, the Hoyas had the ball with 12 seconds left and a chance to win, but turned it over and Anthony Collins hit two free throws to provide the final margin.
The Hoyas led by eight points (31-23) at the half and extended the lead to 11 points (34-23), matching their biggest lead of the game, but the Bulls came out on fire in the second half. After hitting only 1-of-14 attempts in the first half, USF hit 5-of-6 to open the second half and took a 38-36 lead after a 15-2 run over the opening 5:27 of the second half.
A jumper Lubick and a three-pointer from Porter gave the Hoyas a 41-40 lead, but two more three-pointers and back-to-back layups from Javontae Hawkins and Taorlyn Fitzpatrick pushed the USF lead to 50-43 with 9:24 to play in the game. The Hoyas responded with a 6-2 spurt, capped by a three-pointer from Porter Jr, cutting the lead to 52-50 with 7:22 to play.
Lubick's dunk with 6:42 left made it 54-52 and a jumper from Porter Jr. cut the USF lead to 55-54, but free throws from Antony Collins and Jawanza Poland pushed the margin back to five points, 59-54, with 3:40 left to play.
Georgetown opened up an eight-point lead at the break, 31-23, after hitting 60.0 percent of its shots from the field (12-of-20), including 50 percent from three-point land (5-of-10) while holding a 17-12 advantage on the boards.
Three-straight GU turnovers and a jumper from JaVontae Hawkins gave USF an early 8-3 lead, forcing the Hoyas to call a 30 second timeout. Georgetown responded with an 11-2 run over 5:29 and took a 14-10 lead on a dunk from Lubick with 10:33 left in the half.
A layup from USF's Jawanza Poland tied the game at 16-all, but the Hoyas went on a 15-4 run to open a 31-20 lead on a dunk from junior guard Aaron Bowen (Jacksonville, Fla./QEA [N.C.]) has contributed 6.5 points in the last two games. The Hoyas hit three three-pointers during the run, with a shot from junior guard Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep)breaking the tie and with Trawick and Smith-Rivera each connecting. Poland hit three free throws with 7.6 seconds left to close the Georgetown lead to eight points, 31-23.
Georgetown closes out its weekend road trip on Monday, Jan. 21, visiting Notre Dame for a BIG EAST matchup Tipoff at the Joyce Center is slated for 7:30 p.m. The game will be shown live on ESPN, with Joe Tessitore and Sean Farnam calling all of the action, and can be heard locally on ESPN 980 AM.