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January 17, 2013

Hoyas push on, knock off Provy

January 17th, 2013 - Last night Georgetown jumped on Providence early before weathering a 15-2 second half run by the Friars, finally dispatching the Friars 74-65 before 9,210 fans in the Verizon Center. Coach John Thompson III's squad made due again without the services of a key cog.

The Hoyas would march to a 38-19 intermission lead - a bulge increased by outscoring Provy 8-0 over the stanza's last four minutes and 28 seconds - while extending it to 43-21 after junior guard Markel Starks' three ball with 17:21 to play.

Starks finished with 16 points, seven helpers, and three swipes, while sophomore forward Otto Porter helped himself to 20 points, eight caroms and two steals. The Hoyas got on track offensively, shooting 53.2% from the field, and dropping 41.7% of their three pointers, though they only shot 12 from long distance.

"It was very good" to see his team shoot well, shared Thompson afterward. "I think our guys, the last two games, have done a very good job of sharing the ball; we're making the extra pass, we're setting good screens, we're cutting hard which is then opening up our teammates.

"But I think the guys are doing a good job of searching for shots for their teammates instead of searching for shots for themselves".

Starks was also pleased, noting "I'm sure it's a relief for the fan base and you all as well. But it's also a relief for us as well; we have guys that can score the ball. We have guys that can shoot. And when the ball is going in, it definitely puts some smiles on people's faces".

The Friars were able to make their run via a 1-2-2 three-quarter defense that included scrambling. As Thompson noted Provy "decided to make the game ugly".

Providence received a game high 21 points from junior guard Bryce Cotton. Sophomore forward LaDontae Hinton trailed him with 14 points, followed by 10 apiece from junior forward Kadeem Batts and Vincent Council, the former pacing all rebounders with 11, followed closely by Hinton's 10.

Though Council was the game's high man with nine assists, the Friars could only muster 37.9% shooting from the field, while canning a solid 7-20 (35%) of their three pointers.

One player that could have helped close out on Friar shooters beyond the arc was sophomore swingman Greg Whittington, ruled ineligible per academic concerns, Wednesday; known broadly for his 12.1 point and 7.1 rebound averages (second on the team in both), Whittington is the team's best individual defender, using length and athletic ability to harass shooters as well as ball handlers, the latter particularly at the head of G'Town's 1-2-2 press.

According to Thompson, the Hoyas will push on without Whittington, as it's unclear when or if his services will be again available. Georgetown (12-3, 2-2 in the BIG EAST) seemingly will not have him for their next game, a road tilt at South Florida.

Following the Bulls, G'Town, currently unranked after falling out of the polls after their Pitt loss, travels to Notre Dame (20th in the AP and Coaches polls) next Monday, before welcoming current top collegiate honcho Louisville the subsequent Saturday.

Provy (9-8, 1-4) hosts Villanova on Saturday, followed by Pitt, another home game, Tuesday.

For more regarding Whittington and the game generally, be sure to visit HoyaReport.com.



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