Georgetown’s surge has been led by Starks, a junior guard, and Porter, a sophomore forward who leads the Hoyas in scoring and rebounding. Both were in foul trouble in the second half, limiting Georgetown’s offense and forcing the Hoyas to go to a zone defense for a while.
The 6-foot-8 Porter helped the Hoyas get off to a 13-9 lead, hitting two baskets and a free throw while the Bearcats’ long-standing shooting problems continued. They missed 11 of their first 14 shots from the field and 5 of 8 from the free-throw line.
Smith-Rivera hit a 3-pointer — the first by either team after 12 combined misses — and had two free throws, and Nate Lubick scored a couple baskets inside off passes for a 29-20 advantage, the biggest lead by either team in the half.
Georgetown was more aggressive at attacking the basket in the second half. Porter had four points during an 8-0 run that built the lead to 43-31 while the Bearcats struggled to make even a close-up shot, drawing groans from the season-high crowd of 12,842.
Parker got the Bearcats going. He scored 11 consecutive points against Georgetown’s zone defense, including a driving back shot that gave Cincinnati a 51-50 lead with 6:53 to go.
“We had to buy ourselves some time because everyone was in foul trouble,” Thompson said, referring to his decision to go zone. “Then they started banging some shots in and we had to go back to man-to-man. I thought we did a good job forcing them to take difficult shots.”
Porter picked up his fourth foul during Parker’s scoring spurt and went to the bench, temporarily costing the Hoyas their leading scorer and rebounder. Porter got back into the game and made a pair of free throws for a 57-53 lead with 1:16 left. The Bearcats never threatened again.
Wright has been struggling to score since spraining his right knee and aggravating his left shoulder in the last few weeks. He’s only 10 of 49 from behind the arc in the last seven games, his shot thrown off by the injuries.
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