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Porter Jr. Scores 20 as Georgetown Opens Early Lead to Beat Seton Hall, 74-52
WASHINGTON - After opening up a 16-point lead early in the first half only to see it shrink to seven points, Georgetown Head Men's Basketball Coach John Thompson III turned to junior John Caprio (North Caldwell, N.J./Seton Hall Prep). The walk-on responded with three points, two rebounds, one assist and one block in the final four minutes of the half as the Hoyas opened up a 32-22 lead en route to a 74-52 win over Seton Hall in front of 7,567 fans at Verizon Center Wednesday night.
It was the third-straight win, and the fifth in the last six games, as Georgetown improves to 15-4 overall and 5-3 in the BIG EAST, while Seton Hall falls to 13-8 overall and 2-6 in league play.
Sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. (Morley, Mo./Scott County Central) scored a game-high 20 points, while junior guard Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep) added 16 points and freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis, Ind./Oak Hill) finished with 11 points and tied for a team-high six rebounds. Caprio played a career high 12 minutes, scoring four points, tying for a team-high six boards and handing out two assists.
Junior forward Nate Lubick (Southborough, Mass./St. Marks) added eight points, four rebounds and a team-high five assists as nine different players scored and 13 different players scored for the Hoyas.
Georgetown led by as many as 16 points (20-4) in the first half before settling for a 10-point (32-22) lead at the break. The lead quickly grew to 20 points as a stingy Hoya defense allowed only one field from Seton Hall over the first 6:25 of the second half. The Hoyas, meanwhile, used a 13-3 run over the first six minutes of the final half to take a 45-25 lead on one of two free throws from junior center Moses Ayegba (Kano, Nigeria/Progressive Christian [Md.]).
The Hoyas connected on 50 percent of their second half field goals (13-of-26) and built the lead to as many as 32 points, 67-35, on a three-pointer from Smith-Rivera with 4:31 left to play in the game.
Georgetown forced 25 Seton Hall turnovers and converted those for 28 points.
The Hoyas defense created close to half of the team's offense in the first half, as they scored scored 14 of its 32 points off turnovers. Porter Jr. got them started with five points during a game-opening 7-0 run, which saw GU force three Pirates turnovers.
A pair of Seton Hall baskets did nothing to slow the Hoyas' momentum. Sophomore guard Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends) recorded a steal at the 14-minute mark and hit a pair of free throws that started an 11-0 run. Smith-Rivera contributed four points and three rebounds during the stretch to help Georgetown lead by as many as 16 points, at 20-4, with 11:49 remaining in the first half.
Aaron Cosby helped the Pirates adjust to the Hoyas pressure, scoring six of his 12, while Aaron Geramipoor scored on a tip-in, then made a free-throw on Seton Hall's next possession to bring them within seven points, 23-16, with 4:38 remaining in the first half.
Lubick ended a three-minute scoring drought for Georgetown before Caprio's steal led to a Porter Jr. basket, helping GU extend its lead back to double-digits, at 27-16. Later, Caprio grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a put-back with less than a minute remaining in the half, helping take a 32-22 lead into the locker room.
The Hoyas finished the game shooting 47.1 percent from the floor (24-of-51) and hit 42.1 percent of their three-pointers (8-of-19), but were only 56.3 percent from the free throw line (18-of-32). GU held a 32-31 lead on the boards and handed out 19 assists on 24 field goals with a season-high 15 steals.
Georgetown closes out its three-game homestand on Saturday, Feb. 2, hosting long-time BIG EAST Conference rival St. John's at Verizon Center. Tipoff time is slated for 4 p.m. The game will be shown live on CBS, with Ian Eagle and Clark Kellog calling all of the action. Locally, fans can tune in to Sports Talk AM 570.