New York Colleges: Georgetown Hoyas

Pointer: Georgetown 'a bunch of dirty guys'

February, 15, 2014
Feb 15
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NEW YORK -- St. John's was embarrassed by Georgetown six weeks ago, but that's not the only reason swingman Sir'Dominic Pointer is fired up for the rematch Sunday night.

"I really just don’t like Georgetown," Pointer said Saturday. "They’re a bunch of dirty guys -- they’re legal dirty guys, but they’re dirty. And I just really don’t like them, that’s all."

[+] EnlargeD'Angelo Harrison
Chuck Myers/MCT/Getty ImagesA lot has changed since Georgetown embarrassed St. John's on Jan. 4.
"They’re physical," Pointer added, when asked to explain. "They’ve very physical, and they do stuff on the sly that you won’t pick up. You cut through, they hit you -- that type of stuff. I like that stuff, but like I said, I don’t like them at all."

Guard D'Angelo Harrison and forward JaKarr Sampson, the other two players made available to the media Saturday, didn't go quite as far as Pointer. Sampson chose the word "aggressive" to describe Georgetown.

But all three players agreed that the Hoyas will be facing a very different St. John's squad at Madison Square Garden.

"I feel like we’re a completely different team from the first time we played them," Sampson said. "We’ve got a lot of players who grew up a lot."

Sampson is right. St. John's looks nothing like the squad that trailed Georgetown 42-16 at the half at the Verizon Center on Jan. 4, and by 33 points several minutes into the second half.

After an 0-5 start to begin conference play, the Red Storm have risen from the ashes to win seven of their past eight, including a win over No. 18 Creighton last Sunday at the Garden.

Freshman guard Rysheed Jordan and sophomore center Chris Obekpa in particular have grown up. Both were relative non-factors in the first meeting, scoring two points apiece. But Obekpa has cracked double figures in four of the past five games, in addition to being 11th in the country in blocked shots per game (3.2). Jordan has reached double digits in four of the past six games, and now leads the team in assists per game (3.2) with a 1.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

There have been other changes, too. Lavin was still figuring out his rotation in early January, using 13 players in the first half alone against Georgetown. The starting lineup was different seemingly every game, and Pointer admitted Saturday that "we had role issues."

Lavin took things one step further against the Hoyas, starting walk-on Khadim Ndiaye and little-used Felix Balamou in an attempt to shake things up after a disappointing performance at Xavier. But don't expect that to happen again Sunday. Lavin now typically uses the same eight or nine players in more regular combinations, and the chemistry has clearly improved.

Georgetown is a different team, too. Starting center Joshua Smith was declared academically ineligble for the rest of the season following the win over St. John's. The Hoyas lost six of their next seven games.

But they've bounced back to win four in a row, including a very impressive nonconference win versus No. 9 Michigan State at Madison Square Garden two weeks ago.

"Without Smith in some ways they’re tougher to match up with," Lavin said, "because they’re faster, and they’re playing at a quicker tempo. They’re giving more freedom to [Markel] Starks (16.8 ppg) and [D'Vauntes Smith-]Rivera (17.1 ppg) to create."

The importance of this game cannot be overestimated. St. John's (16-9, 6-6 Big East, 60 RPI) and Georgetown (15-9, 6-6 Big East, 57 RPI) have nearly identical résumés. The Hoyas are currently one of the last teams in the projected NCAA tournament field, according to ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, and the Red Storm are one of the first teams knocking at the door -- the second-closest, in fact, as of Saturday night.



St. John's has lost six straight to Georgetown -- no one on the current roster has been part of a win over the Hoyas. The rivalry appeared dead six weeks ago, but it could be resuscitated Sunday night.

"It’s a payback game. They killed us the first game," Pointer said. "This is one of the teams, like I said, in the Big East, I really just don’t like. And I’m gonna keep saying it, 'cause it is what it is. I really don’t."

Rapid Reaction: Cuse 58, G'town 55 (OT)

March, 15, 2013
3/15/13
10:00
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NEW YORK -- A quick look at the Syracuse's 58-55 overtime win over Georgetown in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.

What it means: It doesn't get any better than that.

Georgetown and Syracuse, the two longtime archrivals, met one last time as fellow members of the Big East conference Friday night. And after 45 thrilling minutes, Syracuse had landed the final punch.

In a game that will be talked about for years to come, played in front of a sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden, the Orange defeated the Hoyas to advance to this year's Big East championship game.

No. 19 Syracuse (26-8, 11-7), which had lost four of five games prior to tournament, has now won three games in three days, previously defeating Seton Hall and Pittsburgh. The Orange will be a higher seed in the NCAA tournament as a result. And they've gotten some revenge after losing to the Hoyas twice in the regular season -- both times by double digits.

No. 5 Georgetown (25-6, 14-4), which had won 13 of its past 14 games, will no longer contend for a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance after this loss. But the Hoyas will still get a very high seed and will be a force to be reckoned with.

How it happened: Georgetown drew first blood. Otto Porter Jr. scored the first bucket of the game and the Hoyas went in front by as many as five and maintained the lead for almost the entire first 12 minutes. But a James Southerland 3-pointer pulled Syracuse even, 17 apiece, with 8:04 remaining in the first half. That was the first three points of a 13-0 run, making it 27-17, as Georgetown went nearly eight minutes without scoring a point. Freshman guard Trevor Cooney, who averaged 3.5 points in 11.7 minutes per game, scored 10 first-half points for the Orange, including a pair of 3s. Syracuse led 29-20 at intermission.

Georgetown gradually clawed its way back in the second half. Mikael Hopkins scored the Hoyas' first seven points, and then Markel Starks buried three 3-pointers in short order. Georgetown finally tied the game up, 49 all with 1:48 left in regulation, on a pair of Jabril Trawick free throws. Baye Keita drained both ends of a 1-and-1 to put Syracuse back in front 51-49, but then Porter also made both ends with 7 seconds left to tie the game again. Michael Carter-Williams missed a jumper at the buzzer and we moved on to overtime.

Syracuse's Brandon Triche scored the first two points of OT on a driving layup, and then Starks fouled out with 3:36 remaining -- a big blow to Georgetown. With 18 seconds left and the Orange in front 57-55, Triche was fouled. He made the first, but missed the second, giving the Hoyas another chance to tie. But after a timeout, Porter was smothered defensively and turned the ball over. With four seconds left, Fair went to the foul line, but missed both free throws. Georgetown rebounded, but Trawick's half-court heave at the buzzer was off the mark.

Star watch: Triche, Southerland and Keita each scored 13 points for Syracuse. Triche scored 11 of his 13 after halftime. Southerland drained four 3-pointers, giving him 16 for the tournament -- that ties the tourney record. Keita, who averages just 3.3 points per game and was shooting just 48.6 percent from the foul line, made all seven of his attempts from the charity stripe.

Hopkins had 15 points to lead Georgetown. Starks scored 13 and Porter added 12.

Number crunch: In a box score that reveals a very even game, two things stand out. Syracuse was a little better from beyond the arc, shooting 7-for-18 (38.9 percent); Georgetown was 4-for-18 (22.2 percent). Even more important, Syracuse was 13-for-19 from the foul line (68.4 percent). Georgetown, on the other hand, was just 11-for-20 (55 percent).

What's next: Syracuse, the No. 5 seed, will play No. 2 seed Louisville on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET. Georgetown heads home, licks its wounds and begins preparing for the Big Dance.

Rapid Reaction: Georgetown 62, Cincy 43

March, 14, 2013
3/14/13
2:53
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NEW YORK -- What it means: Georgetown moves on to the Big East semifinals, and remains in play for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Cincinnati is currently projected to receive an at-large berth, but it's no lock.

The Bearcats rallied after falling behind big in the first half (see below), but the Hoyas ultimately cruised to victory in the first of four quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, winning 62-43.

Georgetown (25-5, 14-4), ranked No. 5 in the country, has now won 13 of its past 14 games. Cincinnati (22-11, 9-9) is listed as a No. 11 seed in the latest edition of ESPN.com's Bracketology, but will have to sweat it out until Selection Sunday.

The turning point: Georgetown jumped out to a 16-point lead, 24-8, with 5:37 remaining in the first half, after back-to-back 3-pointers by Big East Player of the Year Otto Porter Jr. and freshman D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Cincinnati went more than seven minutes without scoring a single point. But then the Bearcats got hot from deep, making four treys in the closing minutes -- three by Cashmere Wright -- to draw within five, 29-24, at intermission.

Cincinnati opened the second half on a 9-2 run, taking a two-point lead, 33-31, on another Wright jumper with 16:22 to play. But then Georgetown scored seven points in a row to re-take control of the game -- five by Smith-Rivera. The Bearcats never got closer than five points again. A putback, again by Smith-Rivera, pushed the lead to 12, 51-39, with 5:14 left. The Hoyas put them away from there.

Star watch: It was a true team effort by Georgetown. The Hoyas had three players in double figures -- Porter (18 points, 11-for-11 from foul line), Markel Starks (14) and Smith-Rivera (13). Jabril Trawick chipped in nine points.

Wright led Cincinnati with 14 points, and JaQuon Parker added 12. Sean Kilpatrick -- the fourth-leading scorer in the Big East this season (17.3 ppg) -- scored just four points, shooting 2-for-12 from the field and 0-for-8 from beyond the arc. It was a day to forget for the Yonkers, N.Y., native, playing very close to home.

Number crunch: The shooting percentages of the two teams were strikingly similar, until the final few minutes, when Cincinnati was hoisting up quick shots and Georgetown was cleaning up at the foul line. The difference? Georgetown had 10 more attempts from the field, thanks to an 11-7 advantage on the offensive glass, and 15 turnovers by the Bearcats. The Hoyas gave the ball away just nine times.

What's next: Georgetown, the No. 1 seed, will play the winner of No. 4 Pittsburgh versus No. 5 Syracuse, on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

Cincinnati returns home to await its postseason fate.

Rapid React: Georgetown 68, St. John's 56

February, 2, 2013
2/02/13
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A quick take on St. John's 68-56 loss to Georgetown on Saturday at the Verizon Center:

What it means: St. John's lost a game, and perhaps a key player as well.

The Red Storm had their five-game winning streak snapped, falling to the Hoyas for the second time this season.

Early in the second half, starting guard Jamal Branch went down with a left knee injury, and had to be carried off the floor by teammates. As of now, the injury has been termed a sprain -- we'll see whether it ends up being more serious than that.

St. John's drops to 14-8 overall, 6-4 in the Big East. Georgetown improves to 16-4 overall, 6-3 in the conference.

The turning point: St. John's jumped out to a 7-3 lead, but Georgetown took control of the game shortly thereafter. A 12-0 run by the Hoyas turned a 15-12 deficit into a 24-15 lead. Georgetown led 39-28 at intermission.

Jakarr Sampson opened the second half with a three-point play, and the Red Storm were within eight, 39-31. But that's as close as they would get. St. John's hung around -- it wasn't nearly the blowout that the first meeting was, back on Jan. 12 at Madison Square Garden. But it wasn't close, either.

Star watch: St. John's leading scorer, D'Angelo Harrison (19.7 ppg), had the worst game of his career, finishing with just two points, shooting 0-for-9 from the field. Coach Steve Lavin kept Harrison on the bench for the final few minutes of the game, instead going with little-used Marco Bourgault, who had a career-high 12 points. Sampson scored a team-high 18 points.

For Georgetown, four players were in double figures -- led by forward Nate Lubick, who had a career-high 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Number crunch: As a team, St. John's had a miserable day shooting the basketball -- 20-for-63 (31.7 percent).

What's next: St. John's hosts Connecticut on Wednesday at 7 p.m., at Madison Square Garden. Georgetown travels to Rutgers, next Saturday at noon.

Rapid React: Georgetown 67, St. John's 51

January, 12, 2013
1/12/13
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What it means: This was embarrassing.

St. John's, which was highly competitive in its first three Big East games despite losing two of them, was thoroughly outclassed Saturday at Madison Square Garden, losing 67-51 to No. 19 Georgetown.

Despite their national ranking, the Hoyas were slumping, having lost their first two Big East games, including a 73-45 loss at home to Pittsburgh their last time out. And Georgetown was without second-leading scorer and rebounder Greg Whittington, who was suspended for the game for a violation of team rules.

Yet St. John's was never in this game, and that's troubling. The Red Storm drop to 9-7 overall, 1-3 in the Big East. The Hoyas improve to 11-3, 1-2 in the conference.

The turning point: St. John's never led -- Georgetown dominated from the opening tip. The Hoyas firmly took control with a 20-2 run in the middle portion of the first half, expanding their lead from 13-8 to 33-10. The Red Storm cut it to 36-19 at halftime.

The second half was just more of the same. Georgetown led by as many as 26. This was an absolute rout.

Star watch: Georgetown did an excellent job on D'Angelo Harrison, blanketing him defensively, even double-teaming him at times. Harrison, who was averaging 21.5 points per game, had a season-low seven points, shooting 3-for-12 from the field.

There was just one bright spot for St. John's. Chris Obekpa had six blocked shots as he set a St. John's record for blocks in a season, breaking the mark set by Walter Berry in 1985-86 (76).

For Georgetown, Otto Porter Jr. had 19 points and 14 rebounds, and Markel Starks added 17 points.

Number crunch: St. John's shot 21-for-59 from the field (35.6 percent), 3-for-16 from beyond the arc and 6-for-16 from the foul line. Awful, awful and awful.

What's next: St. John's plays No. 17 Notre Dame on Tuesday at 7 p.m., again at the Garden. Georgetown hosts Providence on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

These two teams will meet again, in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 4 p.m.

W2W4: St. John's vs. Georgetown

January, 11, 2013
1/11/13
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Here are three things to watch for when St. John's (9-6, 1-2 Big East) plays No. 19 Georgetown (10-3, 0-2 Big East) on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Tip-off is at 11 a.m., and you can watch the game on ESPN2.

HIGH STAKES: Both teams need a win, badly. St. John's is coming off a heartbreaking two-point home loss to Rutgers and is trying to get back to .500 in the conference. Georgetown is in even worse shape, coming off a stunning 73-45 loss to Pittsburgh in D.C. The Hoyas are 0-2 in the Big East for the first time since 2001-02.

It's a rivalry game, and its importance is clear. But how much will each team be affected by the early start time? Watch out for sleepwalkers.

BROKEN RECORD: Freshman center Chris Obekpa needs just one more blocked shot to set a St. John's single-season record. With five blocks against Rutgers on Wednesday, Obekpa tied the previous record of 76, set by Walter Berry in 1985-86.

Obekpa needed just 15 games, half a season, to tie Berry's record, which is mind-boggling. He is currently second in the country in blocked shots per game (5.1), just percentage points behind Kansas center Jeff Withey.

St. John's has 15 regular-season games remaining, so Obekpa is on pace for 152 blocks prior to the Big East tournament. The NCAA record for blocked shots in a season is 207, set by David Robinson of Navy in 1986 (35 games).

Also worth noting: Not only has Obekpa started the past five games after coming off the bench in the first 10, but he played 38 minutes in the previous two, versus Cincinnati and Rutgers. In fact, only one bench player got more than eight minutes against the Scarlet Knights -- Sir'Dominic Pointer, with 24. Coach Steve Lavin seems to be shortening his rotation.

THE HOYAS: Georgetown is ranked in the Top 25, but will probably lose that ranking next week, no matter the result Saturday. That's what happens when you drop two straight, including a loss by 28 points at home. It was Georgetown's largest margin of defeat in a game since 1974.

Back in November at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Hoyas upset then-No. 11 UCLA 78-70 in the semifinals of the Legends Classic, and almost knocked off then-No. 1 Indiana in the final, losing 82-72 in overtime. They won seven straight after that but had trouble scoring at times, winning 37-36 against Tennessee and 46-40 against Towson. Then they opened Big East play with a 49-48 loss at Marquette, and scored just 45 in the blowout loss to Pittsburgh.

"It's not just bad luck with the rims," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said after the Pittsburgh game. "We've continued to try to make changes as the season has gone along. It's not like we're just sticking our head in the sand and saying 'Hey, let's not worry about it.'"

We'll see if Thompson has figured it out by Saturday. The Hoyas are ranked 263rd in Division I in points per game, at 63.5. But their ranking in offensive field goal percentage is much higher -- 101st (45.2 percent). Seventeen turnovers against Pittsburgh hurt, but the Hoyas are committing just 12.2 turnovers per game on the season, ranking them 57th.

Six-foot-eight sophomore forward Otto Porter leads Georgetown in scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg). Fellow 6-8 sophomore Greg Whittington has nearly identical numbers (12.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg). Junior guard Markel Starks averages 11.2 points per game, and is shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.

St. John's has scored just 53 and 56 points in its past two games. Saturday's contest should be a low-scoring, tight affair.

Rapid Reaction: Georgetown 64, Texas 41

December, 4, 2012
12/04/12
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What it means: Georgetown continues to look like a team capable of contending in the Big East. Texas? Well, Texas looks like it could use some help.

The Hoyas are now 6-1 on the season, after their 64-41 win over the Longhorns on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden -- the first game of the Jimmy V Classic.

Georgetown was in New York just two weeks ago -- the Hoyas upset then-No. 11 UCLA, and nearly upset No. 1 Indiana, in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center. They seem to like the Big Apple. And they’ll be back at the Garden on Jan. 12 to face St. John’s.

Texas, which has already lost to Division II Chaminade in Maui, drops to 5-3, and still has games against North Carolina and Michigan State before Christmas. The Longhorns desperately need star point guard Myck Kabongo, who continues to sit out while the NCAA reviews his eligibility status.

The turning point: Georgetown scored the first nine points of this game, and never lost control from there. The Hoyas led by as many as 17 in the first half, and took a 30-17 lead into the break. Texas shot just 8-for-28 (28.6 percent) in the opening 20 minutes, and committed 12 turnovers.

Texas briefly cut the deficit to single digits, 32-24, on a 3-pointer by Sheldon McClellan four minutes into the second half. But on Georgetown’s very next possession, Markel Starks answered with a trey of his own, and the Hoyas were off and running again. This was about as easy as a victory gets.

Player of the game: Georgetown entered the game with its top four scorers all averaging between 10.7 and 12.7 points per game -- and it was a team effort again Tuesday night. Otto Porter filled up the box score, as usual, with a team-high 14 points, eight rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Nate Lubick chipped in 13 points, making six of his seven attempts from the field.

McClellan had a team-high 12 points off the bench for the Longhorns.

Key stat: Texas was the No. 1-ranked team in the country in field goal percentage defense entering this game, limiting opponents to 30.7 percent shooting. No team had shot better than 36.7 percent against them. But Georgetown shot 41 percent from the field on Tuesday night -- 25-for-61. A switch to zone slowed the Hoyas down a bit in the second half, but they were still dominant.

What’s next: Georgetown will host Towson, on Saturday at noon. Texas plays UCLA at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

Georgetown pulls off big upset in Brooklyn

November, 20, 2012
11/20/12
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UCLAElsa/Getty ImagesKyle Anderson and Joshua Smith hang their heads after Georgetown upsets UCLA at Barclays Center.

NEW YORK -- The Hoyas crashed the party Monday night.

Actually, to be more accurate, they canceled it.

With No. 1 Indiana and No. 11 UCLA making rare trips to the Big Apple, Georgetown put on the most impressive show Monday night, besting the Bruins in the second semifinal of the Legends Classic, 78-70, at the Barclays Center.

The college basketball world was buzzing about UCLA star freshman Shabazz Muhammad, who was making his collegiate debut. But unranked Georgetown put on a clinic instead, and put the kibosh on a much-anticipated Indiana-UCLA matchup in the championship game.

The Bruins knew they were in for a battle from the start, when the Hoyas jumped out to a 10-2 lead. UCLA recovered and went up by four, 24-20, with eight minutes and change before halftime. But a savvy move by Georgetown coach John Thompson III, switching to a 2-3 zone, enabled the Hoyas to retake the lead, 31-29, at halftime.

“It was effective,” Thompson admitted. “They were getting a lot of easy baskets in the first half, and I thought it slowed them down just a little bit.”
[+] EnlargeGeorgetown
Elsa/Getty ImagesOttto Porter celebrates his 3-pointer in the second half against the UCLA.


“We really were tentative, (we) didn’t get it inside,” said UCLA coach Ben Howland.

The Hoyas charged out of the gate with 12 straight points after intermission, taking their largest lead, 43-29, with 17:42 left. UCLA clawed back within four points on five different occasions, but could get no closer. Every time the Bruins got within striking distance, the Hoyas had an answer -- often via a backcut and a nifty pass.

Georgetown shot 54.5 percent from the field (30-for-55), and 50 percent from beyond the arc (7-for-14).

“(In) the second half, their offense really, really cut us up,” said Howland.

Georgetown was well aware of the hype surrounding Muhammad, widely regarded as the top high school player in the country last year, who was just cleared to play by the NCAA on Friday. Muhammad scored 15 points on the night, but it was an unspectacular 15.

“We knew that he was gonna play,” said Georgetown sophomore swingman Otto Porter. “We wanted to just kind of keep him contained.”

Porter, meanwhile, was the best player on the floor Monday night, finishing with a boxscore-busting 18 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, five blocks and three steals. Not bad for a guy who missed the team’s last game with concussion symptoms.

“We’re a better team with him on the court,” said Thompson, in the understatement of the night.

Georgetown also appears to be a better team than most people expected this season. The Hoyas, after losing their top three scorers from a year ago, were picked to finish fifth in the Big East.

But if they continue playing like this, they could contend for a conference championship.

Porter had plenty of help Monday. Junior guard Markel Starks, who averaged 7.1 points per game as a sophomore, scored a game-high 23, shooting 9-for-14 from the field. Sophomore forward Greg Whittington chipped in 13.

“I think this team trusts each other, and they trust what we’re doing,” said Thompson. “A couple of nights ago it was D’Vauntes (Smith-Rivera), tonight Markel scored points, and tomorrow night it may be someone different. This is an unselfish group.”

It’s also a group with zero McDonald’s high school All-Americans. UCLA has three from last year’s McDonald’s game alone.

But Georgetown will be the team facing top-ranked Indiana on Tuesday.

They’ve already gotten the country’s attention. If the Hoyas pull off another victory in Brooklyn, they’ll be the talk of college basketball.

It’s only November, folks. But the Madness has begun.

Rapid Reaction: Georgetown 78, UCLA 70

November, 19, 2012
11/19/12
10:18
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What it means: We’re not going to see Indiana versus UCLA after all.

The No. 1-ranked Hoosiers took care of business Monday, beating Georgia in the first semifinal of the Legends Classic. But the No. 11 Bruins were upset by Georgetown, 78-70, in the second semi, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad made his collegiate debut, after missing the first three games of the season waiting to be cleared by the NCAA. But that was overshadowed by the Hoyas’ performance as well.

The skinny: Georgetown jumped out to a 10-2 lead less than three minutes into the game, but UCLA answered, going ahead by as many as four, 24-20. The Hoyas took a 31-29 advantage into halftime.

Georgetown began the second half on fire as well, scoring 12 straight points out of the gate to lead 43-29 with 17:42 remaining. The Bruins made a run, closing to within four on five different occasions in the middle portion of the half. But they would get no closer, as the Hoyas closed out the game relatively comfortably.

Star watch: Georgetown junior guard Markel Starks was outstanding, finishing with a game-high 23 points, shooting 9-for-14 from the field. Sophomore Otto Porter, after missing the Hoyas’ last game with concussion symptoms, had 18 points and 11 rebounds.

UCLA was led by freshman guard Jordan Adams (22 points) – Adams was less heralded than Muhammad and fellow frosh Kyle Anderson and Tony Parker, but he’s now scored 20 or more points in four straight games to start his college career. Muhammad scored 15 points in 25 minutes off the bench, shooting 5-for-100 from the field – not bad, but nothing sensational.

Number crunch: Georgetown shot better than 54.5 percent from the field (30-for-55), and 50 percent from beyond the arc (7-for-14). Starks, Porter and fellow soph Greg Whittington knocked down some tough shots from the perimeter, but the Hoyas also created plenty of easy baskets with their backdoor cuts and precision passing.

What’s next: Georgetown now gets to play No. 1-ranked Indiana in the championship game, Tuesday at 9:30 p.m.

UCLA will face Georgia in the consolation game, at 7 p.m.

Rapid Reax: Cincinnati 72, Georgetown 70

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
5:13
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Overview: Our first game of the day, between Syracuse and UConn, was going to be tough to beat

But this one did it.

GeorgetownCincinnatiCincinnati, the No. 4 seed, ousted No. 5 seed Georgetown 72-70 in double overtime -- a game that was ugly for most of regulation, but then thrilling in the final minutes and the extra periods.

The Bearcats (23-9) advance to the Big East semifinals, while the Hoyas (24-7) go home with just one win in this tournament. Both teams' spots in the NCAA tournament are already secure.

Turning points: Too many to count. Georgetown led 30-24 at the half, and the second half went back and forth. Georgetown increased its lead to nine, 36-27; Cincinnati closed to 36-35. Georgetown went up 49-38; Cincinnati cut it to 52-51, and then went ahead 53-52 on a Yancy Gates tip-in with 37 seconds left. But with the score 54-52, Georgetown freshman Otto Porter connected on a short jumper with 3.6 seconds left to tie the game, and we ended up in overtime.

In the first overtime, Georgetown had the ball trailing 64-62 with 12.9 seconds left coming out of a timeout, but was struggling to find a good look. With the clock winding down, center Henry Sims drove down the lane from the top of the key and laid it in at the buzzer -- a beautiful move, especially for a big man -- to tie the score at 64.

In the second overtime, with the score knotted at 70, Cincinnati's Cashmere Wright drove the lane and banked it in to make it 72-70 with 7.6 seconds left. After a timeout, Georgetown went the length of the floor and tried to make magic one more time -- but Sims' jumper from the top of the key was off the mark.

Key player: Gates came alive for the Bearcats in the second half and the two overtimes, finishing with 23 points and eight rebounds. He scored 10 of Cincinnati's final 11 points in regulation.

For Georgetown, Sims has nothing to hang his head about. The senior, who had 20 points and 13 rebounds against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, followed up that performance with 22 points and 15 rebounds on Thursday.

Key stat: Georgetown shot just 8-for-15 from the foul line -- a couple more made free throws could have made all the difference.

Amazingly, Cincinnati shot just 2-for-21 from 3-point range, yet pulled out a victory.

What's next: Syracuse and Cincinnati will tangle at 7 p.m. ET Friday. The teams played once during the regular season -- a 60-53 Syracuse win in Cincinnati. The Orange were without starting center Fab Melo.

Georgetown returns home and gets ready for Selection Sunday.

Rapid Reaction: Georgetown 64, Pitt 52

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
4:57
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Overview: It's official -- Pittsburgh will miss the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001.

Pitt's nightmarish 2011-12 season is finally over, after the No. 13-seeded Panthers lost to No. 5 seed Georgetown in the second round of the Big East tournament Wednesday afternoon. A season which began with promise -- Pitt was picked to finish fourth in the conference -- went off the rails with a nonconference loss to Wagner on Dec. 23, followed by seven straight losses to begin Big East play.

PittsburghGeorgetownGeorgetown went in the opposite direction. Picked to finish 10th, the Hoyas instead finished tied for fourth, and continue to look like a team capable of going deep in this tournament, and the Big Dance as well.

Turning point: Pittsburgh actually led this game for most of the first half, but a 12-0 run by Georgetown over the final 4:07 gave the Hoyas a 31-23 lead at intermission. After a quick 6-0 flurry by the Panthers to start the second half, the Hoyas reasserted control, for good. Back-to-back treys by Greg Whittington and Otto Porter turned a 31-29 game into a 37-29 game, gave the Hoyas some breathing room, and they poured it on from there.

Key player: Porter, who did not make the All-Big East Rookie Team despite averaging 9.0 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds for Georgetown, was excellent -- particularly in the second half. Porter finished with 20 points and six rebounds, with 14 of his points coming after intermission. Center Henry Sims was outstanding as well, with 20 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.

Also, kudos to Ashton Gibbs, who scored 14 points in his final game at Pittsburgh. Gibbs' senior year certainly didn't go the way he envisioned, but the Scotch Plains, N.J., native had an excellent collegiate career.

Miscellaneous: Georgetown trotted out a starting lineup of players 6-foot-10, 6-8, 6-8, 6-8 and 6-2, with Porter joining the starting lineup -- that's some serious size. ... The Hoyas outscored the Panthers 22 to 11 at the foul line, which obviously made a big difference.

What's next: Georgetown will face No. 4 seed Cincinnati in the Big East quarterfinals, Thursday at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Pittsburgh heads home with a final record of 17-16, 5-13 in the Big East.

Barclays to host stacked Legends Classic

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
3:21
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The Legends Classic is moving from New Jersey to the new Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn this fall, and they've put together a heck of a field, featuring some of the most storied college hoops programs in the country.

UCLA, Indiana, Georgetown and Georgia will participate in a pair of doubleheaders at the Barclays Center, on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20.

Click here to read more.

Rapid Reaction: Seton Hall 73, G'town 55

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
9:05
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NEWARK, N.J. -- A quick take on Seton Hall's 73-55 win over No. 8 Georgetown on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.

WHAT IT MEANS: Seton Hall picks up its biggest win of the season -- a victory which will shoot to the top of its NCAA tournament résumé, and virtually clinch the Pirates' first bid to the Big Dance since 2006.

Seton Hall is now 19-9 overall, 8-8 in the Big East. Georgetown drops to 20-6, and 10-5 in the conference, after its most lopsided defeat of the season.

THE SKINNY: After falling behind 2-0, Seton Hall surged to the lead and played with it for almost all of the first half. Jordan Theodore scored 12 points in the first 20 minutes, and his two free throws with 1.3 seconds left gave Seton Hall a 35-28 lead at intermission, matching its largest lead of the game. The Pirates looked every bit the Hoyas' equal, making shots and in control at both ends of the floor.

Seton Hall picked up right where it left off after the break. Aaron Cosby, who did not attempt a shot in 16 minutes in the first half, drained two big jumpers early in the second half. Then Theodore took over again. Once the Pirates extended the lead to double digits, they never looked back. Seton Hall led by as many as 22, and won going away.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Theodore, who has talked all season about how desperate he is to play in the NCAA tournament, played like a man on a mission tonight. The senior point guard finished with a career-high 29 points -- shooting 8-for-11 from the field, 5-for-5 from 3-point range, and 8-for-8 from the foul line -- against one of the best defensive teams in the country. He also had five assists and four rebounds.

Georgetown did not have a single player in double figures.

NUMBER CRUNCH: We said in our preview earlier today that 3-point shooting would be a key factor -- and it was. Playing against the sixth-best team in the country defending against the 3-point shot, Seton Hall made eight of 13 attempts from beyond the arc.

WHAT'S NEXT: Seton Hall will host Rutgers (12-15, 4-10 Big East) here at The Rock on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Pirates beat the Scarlet Knights 59-54 in Piscataway on Feb. 8, in Round 1 of the intrastate rivalry.

Seton Hall then wraps up the regular season at DePaul (11-16, 2-13 Big East) on March 3.

W2W4: Seton Hall vs. Georgetown

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
2:20
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Here are three things to watch for when Seton Hall (18-9, 7-8 Big East) takes on No. 8 Georgetown (20-5, 10-4 Big East) on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Tip-off is at 7 p.m., and you can watch the game locally on SNY, or via ESPN3.

CRUNCH TIME: Seton Hall is trying to make the Big Dance for the first time since 2006, and it could really use a signature win. The Pirates' RPI rating is high (34), but they are 1-3 against Top 25 opponents. And that one win came against UConn in early January -- the Huskies are no longer ranked.

In the latest edition of ESPN.com's Bracketology, Seton Hall is the second-to-last team in the 68-strong NCAA Tournament field.

Seton Hall closes the regular season with two very winnable games, hosting Rutgers and then at DePaul. But victories over those teams won't impress the selection committee very much. The pressure is on the Pirates tonight -- let's see how they respond.

FROM DOWNTOWN: Three-point shooting figures to be a critical factor in this game. These are the two best teams in the Big East, in terms of defending against the 3-pointer -- Georgetown allows teams to shoot just 27.6 percent from beyond the arc, Seton Hall just 29.5 percent.

But, both teams also have very good 3-point shooters. Georgetown's Hollis Thompson makes a conference-best 47.6 percent from long range. Seton Hall has a number of guys who can knock down a trey, led by Aaron Cosby (39.6 percent) and Fuquan Edwin (38.8 percent).

Seton Hall shot 15-for 24 from downtown in its blowout win over St. John's last Tuesday, but just 4-for-20 in a loss to Cincinnati on Saturday. Will the Pirates be hot, or cold, tonight? The Hoyas will have something to say about that.

ON THE INSIDE: Look for some intense battles around the rim tonight between Seton Hall's Herb Pope and the Georgetown big men.

Pope is averaging a double-double (15.4 ppg, 10.6 rpg), but the Hoyas have 6-foot-10 center Henry Sims (11.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg), plus scrappy forwards like Nate Lubick and Otto Porter who certainly aren't afraid to mix it up in the post.

Seton Hall needs Pope to stay out of foul trouble, and leave it all on the floor.

SJU growing pains continue vs. G-town

January, 15, 2012
1/15/12
4:07
PM ET
NEW YORK -- St. John's keeps playing ranked opponents -- and keeps losing to them.

The Red Storm, who knocked off six Top 25 teams a year ago, are now 0-7 against them this season after losing 69-49 to No. 11 Georgetown on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

The final score doesn't tell the whole story -- this was a three-point game with 6:36 remaining -- but it's another disappointing defeat nonetheless, dropping St. John's to 8-9 overall, 2-4 in Big East play.

AP Photo/Seth WenigD'Angelo Harrison (left), Moe Harkless and the Red Storm endured another loss to a Top 25 opponent.


Interim head coach Mike Dunlap pointed to his team's 14 turnovers as a key factor -- turnovers and Georgetown's Hollis Thompson, who torched the Red Storm for 20 points, all of them in the second half, including five 3-pointers.

"I thought that Hollis was the difference," Dunlap said.

Freshman forward Moe Harkless was excellent for St. John's, finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds -- his sixth double-double in the past 10 games. But Harkless fouled out with 5:15 remaining and St. John's trailing by eight, effectively taking the Red Storm's comeback chances with him to the bench.

Georgetown coach John Thompson III lauded Harkless after the game. "He is tough," Thompson said, chuckling. "He can score a lot of different ways. Glad he got in foul trouble, 'cause he's a load to handle. He's a versatile player -- a very, very good offensive player."

It was the second straight game St. John's lost a key player early – shooting guard D’Angelo Harrison fouled out with 11:23 left in the Red Storm's 83-64 loss at Marquette on Wednesday.

Speaking of Harrison, he had his worst game of the season on Sunday, making just one of 12 shots from the field and finishing with five points, 10 below his average.

"I just try to take shots that are there," Harrison said. "I think I got blocked a couple of times, so that kinda hurt. I just gotta stay with it -- my teammates did a good job of keeping me in the game.

"Just a tough game for me. I'm gonna get better."

Dunlap said there were "some really good pieces" in this game -- particularly in the first half, when St. John's held Georgetown to 9-for-27 shooting from the field (33.3 percent), although the Red Storm still trailed 25-19 at intermission.

And St. John's did make a run to cut the lead from 12 to three in the second half, before Harkless exited and the margin got out of hand.

Georgetown drained 16 of 29 shots in the second half, and it appeared St. John’s and its seven-man rotation wore down, particularly on the defensive end.

"Conditioning becomes a factor, and then the slides aren't as effective," Dunlap said. "I think they have a good understanding of what we're trying to do, and they're getting a better understanding. But I think our resources are a little shallow to keep up that intensity in the second half."

It's tough to beat anyone when you shoot 17-for-54 from the field (31.5 percent), and 0-for-10 from 3-point range.

"Offense is rhythm, offense is timing -- there are a lot more subtleties to offense than defense," Dunlap said. "We know that the things that we're doing are correctable."

"They were really long," said Harkless of Georgetown. "I think we didn’t do a great job of attacking their zone. I think we’ll just get better."

There are no reinforcements arriving this season. St. John's must carry on with the seven players it has, six of whom are getting a baptism by fire in their first year of Division I basketball.

The Red Storm's next three opponents are currently unranked. But there are three more Top 25 teams on the schedule, as of now -- three more opportunities to pick up a signature win in this tumultuous rebuilding season.

We'll see if they're up to the task.

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