Missed layups doom DePaul vs. No. 11 Georgetown
By JOSEPH WHITE
WASHINGTON (AP) Trying to end a 39-game losing streak to Top 25 teams, DePaul made a game of it for 14 minutes or so against No. 11 Georgetown.
One glance at the play-by-play sheet shows why the threat ended there.
"Missed layup by Robertson." "Missed layup by Melvin." "Missed layup by Young." "Missed layup by Crockett." "Missed tip-in by Melvin." "Missed layup by Melvin."
All of those close-in misfires came during a 15-4 Georgetown run to end the first half. Game over. The Hoyas went on to win 90-66.
"We missed some really easy layups off set plays, point-blank range," DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said. "Then I thought that really caused us not to be as sticky on the defensive end of the floor. ... We let frustration set in instead of digging in, and that kind of fueled Georgetown."
Brandon Young scored 16 points to lead the Blue Demons (11-15, 2-11 Big East), who have lost 12 in a row to Georgetown and haven't beaten a ranked team in five years. DePaul was coming off of a win over Rutgers on Saturday and was hoping to win back-to-back Big East games for the first time since 2008.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 33 points for Georgetown, the most by a Hoyas freshman since Victor Page's 34 in the 1996 Big East tournament. Smith-Rivera went 10 for 12 from the field, 8 for 10 from the free-throw line and made 5 of 6 3-pointers.
"Everyone wants to come in right from Day One blazing," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "And it's taken him time to get settled in. He's getting comfortable out there with what we're doing."
The Hoyas (20-4, 10-3) won their eighth straight and pulled even again with Syracuse and Marquette atop the conference. They shot 63 percent and scored a season-high in points, handling with relative ease a possible trap game ahead of Saturday's much-anticipated final Big East visit to No. 8 Syracuse.
Thompson, already nervous by nature before every tipoff, said he was more jittery than usual because of all the attention that has given to the Syracuse game. In addition, he said his team had "probably the worst practice of the year by far" on Tuesday. Asked what was wrong with it, he said "everything."
"I don't have the energy," he said, "to revisit yesterday's practice."
The nerves no doubt ratcheted up a notch when Otto Porter, the Hoyas' best all-around player, went to the floor clutching his right knee when DePaul's Worrel Clahar was called for an offensive foul about eight minutes into the game.
Porter stayed in the game and didn't seem affected, with a step-back long 3-pointer as the shot clock was expiring and a backcourt steal among his highlights later in the half. He started the second half but was gone for good with 17:18 to play, making another visit to the locker room and sporting a right knee brace.
"I think he's going to be OK," Thompson said. "He banged knees, and he was sore, and I think it scared him more than anything else. I don't think it's anything big. We were able to get by without putting him back in. If things got tight, I could've put him back in."
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Updated February 20, 2013