Finally, an easy one for Georgetown

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Sports,College,Craig Stouffer

Hoyas have no trouble in blowout of Lancers

Georgetown badly needed a convincing victory coming off its second low-scoring, more-competitive-than-expected win two days before against Towson. A Longwood team that has struggled simply to hold on to the ball helped it get one.

The Hoyas were dominant in their 89-53 win before a mostly empty Verizon Center, scoring more points and registering more assists (25) than they had in any game this season. But the Lancers (2-7) chipped in with unforced errors that accounted for nearly half of their season-high 30 turnovers, the most for a Hoyas opponent in nine years under coach John Thompson III.

"I thought that our fullcourt defense, our pressure, our presses, were very effective," Thompson said. "I told the guys in the locker room, I thought that our halfcourt defense -- which has been pretty good -- I don't know how good that was today, meaning I felt like they turned the ball over or got the shot that they wanted."

Georgetown (season-high 14 steals) showed just how smothering it could be with a 12-3 run to start the second half after leading 40-24 at the break. Otto Porter Jr. hit a baseline jumper that is quickly becoming automatic and added a three-point play en route to 22 points and seven assists, both career highs, along with a career high-matching four steals.

With the Hoyas (8-1) barely letting Longwood escape its own half in the spurt, Greg Whittington (eight points, two steals) provided one of his three dunks and Markel Starks (17 points, two steals) added one of his four 3-pointers to make it 52-27 with more than 17 minutes remaining. The Hoyas had more points off turnovers (47) than they had scored overall in two of their three previous games.

"We struggled last game with our offense, so to be able to get some offense out of our turnovers was definitely a boost for us," said Hoyas forward Nate Lubick, who had a career-best seven assists.

Georgetown broke open the contest with a 9-0 run in the first half that started with Whittington cutting through the lane to catch Porter's pass for a two-handed slam. Whittington wasn't as happy later with Starks, glaring at the junior guard when Starks bypassed him for an easy dish to Porter for another uncontested dunk.

There were still areas of concern. The Lancers outrebounded Georgetown 36-26. Whittington also missed every one of his five 3-point attempts, and starting center Mikael Hopkins had four fouls and zero rebounds in nine minutes.

But Thompson also got to empty his bench, allowing time for reserve center Moses Ayegba (four points, five rebounds) and freshman Stephen Domingo (seven points) among others. Even if they didn't exactly impress, their time on the floor was crucial for a team that has gone barely seven players deep in more tight games than it has expected.

"Moses rebounded well, which is something that we need," Thompson said. "But I think it's a situation where guys are going to be ready once they get in. We expect and they expect that once you get in the game that they should do how they should do without much drop-off."

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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Craig Stouffer

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner