March 14, 2013
NEW YORK - Top-seeded Georgetown used a big run in the second half to pull away from ninth-seeded Cincinnati for a 61-43 win over the Bearcats in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament on Thursday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
The Hoyas improved to 25-5 with the win and advance to the BIG EAST Tournament semifinals for the 21st time in program history and the fifth in nine years under Head Coach John Thompson III. Georgetown will play either Syracuse or Pittsburgh.
Sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. (Morley, Mo./Scott County Central) scored 18 points and had six rebounds to lead the Hoyas, while junior guard Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep) scored 14 points and had three rebounds and freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis, Ind./Oak Hill) added 13 points, four rebounds and two assists. Sophomore guard Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends) chipped in nine points, three assists, three steals and two rebounds, while junior forward Nate Lubick (Southborough, Mass./St. Marks) scored six points. Junior center Moses Ayegba (Kano, Nigeria/Progressive Christian [Md.]) grabbed a game-high eight rebounds off the bench.
Georgetown led by as many as 16 points in the first half and were up by five points (29-24) at the break, but Cincinnati used a 7-2 spurt to start the second half and tied the game at 31-all on a Cashmere Wright three-pointer and then capped a 9-2 run with a Wright jumper that gave UC a 33-31 lead at 16:23, its first lead since a free throw from Titus Rubles made it 1-0.
A hook shot in the lane from Lubick tied the game at 33-all and was the start of an extended 18-6 run over 10:25 that pushed the lead to a 51-39 on a tip-in from Smith-Rivera with 5:18 to play in the game. Smith-Rivera broke tie with a three-pointer to make it 36-33 and then followed with another jumper. During the run, Porter Jr. hit a jumper, Starks hit a layup and a three-pointer and Lubick added a pair of baskets. Cincinnati never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way and Georgetown hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final 3:29, with Porter Jr. connecting on all eight of his attempts.
The Hoyas had taken control in the opening minutes of the game with a three-point play from Porter Jr. and a three-pointer from Trawick make it 6-4. The lead grew to eight points, 13-5, on a layup from Trawick with 12:44 to play. That was part of a 7-1 run over 5:57 as the GU lead grew to 10 points, 15-5 on a layup from Starks with 10:00 to play.
A jumper from UC's Shaquille Thomas cut the lead to 15-7 and was the Bearcats' first field goal in 9:50. Georgetown however, responded with a 9-1 run over 2:50 and took their largest lead of the game, 24-8, on three-pointers from Porter Jr. and Smith-Rivera. The Bearcats used an 11-2 run to cut the lead to seven points, 26-19, on a jumper from Kilpatrick with 1:39 to play in the half before a Starks three-pointer made it 29-19. The Bearcats scored the final five points of the first half to cut the lead to 29-24 at the break.
The Hoyas shot 43.8 percent from the floor (21-of-48), hit 41.2 percent of their three-pointers (7-of-17) and were 72.2 percent from the free throw line. GU held a 29-26 advantage on the boards and limited UC to 36.8 percent shooting from the floor. This was the 20th time Georgetown has held a team below 60 points this season.
Georgetown plays in the BIG EAST Tournament Semifinals on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m. at Madison Square Garden. The game will be shown live on ESPN.