The Hoyas bounced back from a poor-shooting start to claim a
71-59 Big East victory over the Blue Demons on Monday at Allstate
Guard Markel Starks led a balanced attack with 26 points, and guard
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 17 points as the Hoyas (13-9, 4-6) won
their second game in a row and beat DePaul for the 14th straight
time since 1994.
Guard Brandon Young scored 15 points, guard Billy Garrett Jr. had 12
and guard R.J. Curington added 10 as DePaul (10-13, 2-8) dropped its
fifth straight and eighth in 10 games.
Guard Jabril Trawick added 15 points while forward Nate Lubrick had
10 rebounds for the winners.
The Hoyas, who trailed through the first half, caught the Blue
Demons early in the second and claimed their first lead at 35-32 on
forward Aaron Bowen's baseline 3-pointer at 14:43.
The Hoyas then went on to lead by as many as seven points over the
next five minutes and started to pull away when Starks hit a
3-pointer for a 56-44 lead with 6:26 to play.
DePaul never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
"We had about an eight-minute stretch where we just didn't play
well, a lack of defensive focus, some miscues that give them easy
baskets," said Blue Demon coach Oliver Purnell. "At the same time,
we went through a drought of maybe six minutes when we didn't get a
Smith-Rivera, the Hoyas leading scorer with a 16.8-point average,
made up for an off night (3-for-11) from the floor by going a
perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line.
"The last couple of games — including tonight — he makes his fouls
shots, which is big coming down at the end," Georgetown coach John
Thompson III said. "It's good to see him put the ball in the basket,
and we needed him to put the ball in the basket."
The Hoyas shot 30-of-41 (73.2 percent) on free throws to offset a
poor shooting night from the field (18-of-50 for 36 percent).
Young had eight points and Curington added seven as DePaul claimed a
30-27 halftime lead.
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The Blue Demons never trailed in the half, opening an early 11-4
lead while Georgetown hit just one of its first 13 shots (7.6
percent) through the first 7:38.
The Hoyas got on track with back-to-back baskets by Starks plus a
dunk and two free throws from Trawick that cut the Blue Demon lead
to 15-13 with 9:22 showing.
The teams then exchanged 9-2 runs with DePaul up 26-24 with 2:34
showing on the way to a three-point halftime lead.
Starks had a game-high 12 points in the opening half for Georgetown.
The Blue Demons were without forward Cleveland Melvin for the third
straight game. Melvin, the team's leading scorer (17.9 points), is
serving an open-ended suspension for a team rules violation.
The Hoyas beat the Blue Demons 61-54 in the season's first meeting
on Dec. 31. Georgetown held a 22-6 all-time series edge entering
NOTES: DePaul finally had good roster news as guards Billy Garrett
Jr. (unspecified illness) and Charles McKinney (ankle sprain)
dressed after missing the last two games. ... Blue Demon freshman
guard R. J. Curington was named Big East rookie of the week after
scoring a team-high 22 points in last Saturday's 77-72 Big East loss
to Providence. ... Georgetown's 64-60 non-conference victory over
No. 7 Michigan State last Saturday was its second over a Top 10 team
this season. The other was an 84-80 triumph over then-No. 9 Virginia
Commonwealth on Nov 24. ... Senior guard Markel Starks topped the
Hoyas in scoring in the previous four games, averaging 21.3 points,
and landed on this week's Big East honor roll. ... Georgetown holds
a 23-6 all-time series edge. ... The Blue Demons travel to No. 20
Creighton on Friday while Georgetown hosts Butler on Saturday.
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