No. 12 Georgetown Holds Off St. John's, 71-61

Greg Whittington

Feb. 12, 2012

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Georgetown 71, SJU 61 Get Acrobat Reader

WASHINGTON - Senior guard Jason Clark (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) scored 12 points, including seven in the final five minutes, and No. 12 Georgetown put five players in double figures and used a late run to pull away en route to a 71-61 win over St. John's in a BIG EAST Conference men's basketball game in front of 12,825 fans at Verizon Center Sunday afternoon.

It was the third win in the last four games and the sixth in the last eight as No. 12 Georgetown improves to 19-5 overall and 9-4 in the BIG EAST, while St. John's falls to 10-15 overall and 4-9 in league play.

Freshman forward Greg Whittington (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills) scored a career-high12 points to lead the Hoyas and sophomore guard Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep) added 11 points and a career-high four assists. Sophomore forward Nate Lubick (Southborough, Mass./St. Marks) chipped in seven points, eight rebounds, a game-high five assists and a career-high four blocks, while freshman forward Otto Porter (Sikeston, Mo./Scott County Central) chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds and junior forward Hollis Thompson (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) added 10 points and four rebounds.

The Hoyas led by eight points at one point in the first half, but saw the lead shrink to three points, 56-53, after a three-pointer from D'Angelo Harrison with 4:20 left in the game. Clark, however, responded with a three-pointer of his own and then converted a conventional three-point play to push the lead to nine points, 62-53, with 3:14 left in the game.

Another three from Harrison, this one with 2:56 left, was countered by a three from Starks to make it 65-56 with 27 seconds left. Georgetown hit 6-of-10 free throws in the final 1:32 - with Porter hitting 4-of-6 - to seal the 71-61 win.

Georgetown led by as many as eight points (15-7) in the first half and had a five-point advantage (31-26) at the break but a pair of baskets from Lubick and a jumper from Sims pushed the lead up to six points, 37-31, early in the second half. The lead was still six points, 42-36, after a layup from Porter with 14:17 on the clock, but a jumper from Phil Greene and free throws from Moe Harkless narrowed the gap to two points, 42-40, with 11:09 to play.

The Blue & Gray pushed it back to six points, 51-45, on a jumper from Whittington and still led by six, 54-48, when the freshman hit a three-pointer with 5:42 left in the game, but a jumper from Phil Greene and a Harrison three cut it to three points, 56-53, before Clark helped seize control.

The Hoyas took the lead from the start on a three-pointer from Starks on the opening drive of the game and never trailed in the first half. A layup from Clark at 13:07 gave the Hoyas an 11-4 lead and a three-pointer from Whittington made it 14-7 at 12:45.

One of two free throws from Porter with 12:11 to play gave Georgetown its biggest lead, 15-8, but the Hoyas went scoreless for the next 4:56 and SJU pulled to within 15-14 on a three-pointer from D'Angelo Harrison with 7:33 to play. The Blue & Gray responded with a 6-0 spurt over 2:06 and pushed the lead back to seven points, 21-14, on a jumper from Sims with 5:27 left in the half. Georgetown hit 8-of-10 free throws in the first half and used two apiece from Thompson and Porter, and a jumper from Whittington, to take a 31-25 lead at the break.

The Hoyas connected on 49.0 percent of their field goals (24-of-49), hit 30.4 percent of their three-pointers (7-of-23) and were 66.7 percent from the free throw line (16-of-24). GU held a 33-26 advantage in rebounding, including 11 offensive rebounds, and handed out 17 assists while committing only eight turnovers, their lowest since having seven in the BIG EAST opening win at Louisville.

Georgetown is back in action next week, starting a two-game road trip with a swing through Rhode Island for a game at Providence on Saturday, Feb. 18. Tipoff at the Dunkin' Donuts Center is slated for 7 p.m. The game will be shown live on MASN and can be heard locally on ESPN 980 AM.



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