- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) - For one half of Georgetown’s 71-59 win Monday over DePaul, it looked like the Hoyas would squander any boost from their upset win Saturday over No. 9 Michigan State.

In fact, Georgetown coach John Thompson III didn’t think that victory was helping them much against the Blue Demons.

“It didn’t seem like it in the first half,” Thompson said.

Something did end up clicking for the Hoyas, who had Markel Starks score 26 points to help them continue their mastery of the Blue Demons despite trailing 30-27 at halftime.

“We just came out with more energy, above and beyond everything. Just came out with more energy,” Starks said. “Shots started to fall, started getting easy buckets, and we were able to contribute.”

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 17 and Jabril Trawick had 15 for the Hoyas, who were coming off a 64-60 upset win in New York over then-No. 7 Michigan State. That victory came after a stretch of five straight losses and defeats in the Hoyas’ last six of seven.

On Monday, Starks somewhat downplayed what the MSU win meant.

“Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to take away from the Michigan State win - that was a great boost for us but at the end of the day we can’t come out and play like we did in the first half, regardless of how big that win was, or what have you,” Starks said. “Every game, every single day we gotta come out with that same intensity as we did in that game.”

Georgetown (13-9, 4-6 Big East) prolonged its dominance of the Blue Demons, topping DePaul for the second time this season and 14th straight time overall. The 14 consecutive wins are the most for one Big East team against another, and DePaul hasn’t beaten Georgetown since Jan. 22, 1994.

The Hoyas didn’t take their first lead until an Aaron Bowen 3-pointer with 14:43 remaining in the second half, but then took their first double-digit advantage with 6:26 left at 56-44, part of a 10-0 run and half where they shot 45 percent from the field.

“The first half I thought we were more focused defensively,” DePaul’s Billy Garrett Jr. said. “We were more in tune and locked in. We had some slippage as far as focus in the second half.”

DePaul’s shooting, which was 32.1 percent during the second half, didn’t help. Nor did the Hoyas scoring 23 points off turnovers to DePaul’s three.

“We didn’t turn it over that much, but look at the points on turnovers on the stat sheet. Was it 23-3? That’s hard,” DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said. “Hard to overcome that.”

The Hoyas, though, got off to a slow start. DePaul took a three-point lead into the break and led by as much as nine, holding Georgetown to 30 percent shooting from the floor.

That included the Hoyas making just one of their first 13 shots.

“I thought our first half was awful. I thought it was absolutely awful,” Thompson said. “They made it that way.”

Starks, Georgetown’s leading scorer who had 21 points during the Hoyas’ 61-54 win over DePaul on Dec. 31, went just 6 for 18 from the floor but hit three 3-pointers and 11 of 14 free throws. After shooting 4 for 24 in his previous two games, No. 2 scorer Smith-Rivera was 3 for 11 but 3 for 6 during the second half of a game the teams combined to attempt 67 free throws, with Georgetown making 30 of 41 attempts.

“Give Georgetown credit. They stepped to the line and made their free throws,” Purnell said. “They had a lot of them.”

Brandon Young led DePaul with 15 and Garrett had 12 as the Blue Demons (10-13, 2-8) lost their fifth straight.

The Blue Demons were once again without leading scorer Cleveland Melvin due to suspension. Melvin, who came into Monday as the Big East’s seventh-leading scorer at 16.7 points per game, is suspended indefinitely and missed his third straight game.

DePaul did get back guards Garrett (illness) and Charles McKinney (ankle) after each missed two games. Neither started, but Garrett entered with 17:06 left in the first half while McKinney checked in with 11:45 remaining.

Monday’s game was the start of a stretch of games for Georgetown mostly against teams struggling in conference play. On Saturday they face Butler, then after playing Providence, the Hoyas visit St. John’s and Seton Hall.

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