Georgetown Rally Falls Short as Hoyas Fall to Florida Gulf Coast, 78-68, in NCAAs

Markel Starks led Georgetown with 23 points against Florida Gulf Coast.

March 22, 2013

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Bracket | Highlights | John Thompson III and Markel Starks

Fla. Gulf Coast78
Philadelphia, Pa. | Second Round

Markel Starks led Georgetown with 23 points against Florida Gulf Coast.

Philadelphia, Pa. - The second-seeded Georgetown University men's basketball team rallied from a 19-point deficit midway through the second half to cut the lead to four points, but 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast University, the Atlantic Sun Conference champions, held on and the Hoyas would not get closer, falling to the Eagles, 78-68, at Wells Fargo Center Friday night.

The Hoyas close out the 2012-13 season with a 25-7 overall record, while Florida Gulf Coast improves to 25-10 and advances to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Junior guard Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep) tied a career-high with 23 points and handed out six assists, while junior guard Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends) added 11 points and five rebounds and sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. (Morley, Mo./Scott County Central) recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The Hoyas trailed by two points, 24-22, at the break, and FGCU scored the first five points of the second half to open a 29-22 lead but Georgetown used a 9-2 spurt, capped by a three-pointer from Starks with 17:27 to play in the game and tied the game at 31-all.

The Eagles, however, responded with eight straight points - a pair of three-pointers from Bernard Thompson and a dunk from Eddie Murray - and took the lead for good , 39-31, with 15:56 left in the game. A jumper from Murray and another three-pointer, this one from Sherwood Brown, gave the Eagles a 46-33 lead.

Georgetown went 5:24 without a field goal as the Florida Gulf Coast lead grew to its largest, 52-33, on a dunk from Chase Fieler, with 12:30 left to play. A dunk and a layup from junior guard Aaron Bowen (Jacksonville, Fla./QEA [N.C.]) cut the lead to 15 points, 52-37, but the Eagles hit five of six free throws and pushed the lead back to 17 points, 57-40, on two shots from Brett Comer.

The Hoyas still trailed by 15 points, 64-49, with 3:12 left, but had more fight left in them. A 19-8 run, started by three-pointers from Trawick and Porter Jr. cut the lead to 64-55 with 2:25 left. Bowen hit a pair of free throws to make it 67-60 with 1:48 remaining and a three form Starks, his fourth of the game, narrowed the margin to four points, 72-68, with 53 seconds left. Murray hit 1-of-2 free throws, a Starks three-pointer was off the mark and the Eagles hit 5-of-6 in the waning moments to seal the win.

In the first half, the teams had gone back and forth, with the Eagles holding an 11-10 lead after a Brown three-pointer at the 14:06 mark, but Georgetown used an 8-0 spurt over 3:06 and took an 18-11 lead on a tip-in from junior forward Nate Lubick (Southborough, Mass./St. Marks). The Hoya lead was three points, 20-17, after a pair of free throws from sophomore center Mikael Hopkins (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) but FGCU would out-score Georgetown 7-2 over the final 5:56 of the first half to take a 24-22 lead at the break.

Georgetown shot 37.5 percent from the floor (24-of-64), hit 25.9 percent of its three-pointers (7-of-27) and was 65.0 percent (13-of-20) from the free throw line. Both team had 39 rebounds, the Hoyas handed out 15 assists and committed 14 turnovers.



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