- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 9, 2008

ROSEMONT, Ill. — If there were any complaints about Georgetown’s brisk start against DePaul last night, it would be nitpicking.

After all, what’s not to like about the Hoyas’ 11-0 run to open the game en route to a 76-60 Big East victory. Roy Hibbert led Georgetown with a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds before 11,252 at Allstate Arena.

“Roy Hibbert was terrific tonight,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “He set the tone early. With him, in many ways, the scoring is irrelevant. The effort and energy level was infectious for the rest of our team.”

With the exception of a handful of Blue Demon surges, the seventh-ranked Hoyas (12-1, 2-0) kept DePaul at arm’s length as they claimed their fourth straight win. The Blue Demons (6-8, 2-1) saw their four-game winning streak snapped.

The Hoyas shot a sizzling 75 percent from the field (9-for-12) as they built a 28-11 lead by the 7:21 mark of the half. In the same span, DePaul managed just 18 percent (4-for-22), had five turnovers and were outrebounded 15-9.

By the 1:50 mark, Georgetown’s lead reached 24 points at 44-20 after a basket by Jessie Sapp. DePaul then scored five straight points — three on free throws after a technical foul against Patrick Ewing Jr. and a pair on a putback by Draelon Burns. But Hoyas guard Tyler Crawford got a pair back with his buzzer-beater that gave the Hoyas a 46-25 halftime lead.

Much of the Hoyas’ first half dominance came from their inside game, with 30 points in the paint and a 25-13 first-half rebounding edge.

DePaul used an 8-0 second-half run to cut the lead to 54-37, but Georgetown replied with a 12-3 run as a dunk by Ewing that pushed the lead to 67-40 with 8:50 left.

“We had a bad start, and they kept playing harder and harder, [and] the start of the game was the main reason,” said DePaul center Mac Koshwal, who finished with 14 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.

Joining Hibbert in double figures were guard Austin Freeman (13 points) and guards Jonathan Wallace and Sapp, who scored 12 points each.

Dar Tucker also scored 14 points for DePaul, and Will Walker added 11.

After a hot first half, Georgetown’s shooting cooled to 54.4 percent (31-for-57) for the game. DePaul improved from 24.2 percent (8-for-33) in the first half to 32.4 percent (22-for-68). The Hoyas outrebounded DePaul 40-38.

After losing seven of their first nine games, the Blue Demons entered the game with the first 2-0 start in any conference they have played in since giving up independent status in 1991-92. Four of DePaul’s losses have come against top 20 teams, including an 84-66 loss last month to No. 3 Kansas.

The Hoyas have now won six straight against the Blue Demons. DePaul last beat Georgetown in 1994 in suburban Chicago.

Georgetown plays Connecticut at Verizon Center on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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