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Georgetown Hoyas plunder Seton Hall Pirates 74-52

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Sports,College,Craig Stouffer,Georgetown University

Georgetown kept its Big East resurgence going, rolling past Seton Hall 74-52 to extend its winning streak to three and post its fifth victory in six tries.

Otto Porter Jr. had 20 points and Markel Starks added 16 for the Hoyas (15-4, 5-3 Big East). Motivated by an 18-point loss in Newark last February, they handed the Pirates (13-8, 2-6) their worst defeat of the season.

"That game up there last year, we couldn't stop them, and we couldn't score," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "But I thought our guys today really executed, particularly at the defensive end."

The Hoyas limited Seton Hall to 32.6 percent shooting from the field, the lowest by any of their opponents in conference play. They racked up 15 steals, a season high, to complement the Pirates' 25 turnovers, one shy of their most all year.

"They're probably as good a defensive team as there is in the country," Pirates coach Kevin Willard said. "They're physical. They're solid. There's no gimmicks to them. You know what you're going to get. When Otto's at the four, he really causes some matchup problems."

Depth-starved for most of the season — and still missing suspended Greg Whittington — Georgetown got an unusual boost from junior walk-on John Caprio, who had three points, two rebounds, a steal and an assist in five quality minutes off the bench at the end of the first half. Thompson said the move wasn't preplanned, and Caprio had no idea his name was going to be called.

"Definitely not," said Caprio, a finance and marketing major who'd averaged less than two minutes in 22 career games and had eight career points. "Coach is always telling me to be ready whenever to go in and contribute so that's what I tried to do today."

But it was a fitting competitive debut for the New Jersey native and Seton Hall Prep alum, who finished the night with four points and tied for a team-high six rebounds in 12 minutes.

"I remember last year pretty vividly, losing there," Caprio said. "I had a bunch of family members there, and they were kind of ragging on me about it. Actually, one of the managers on their team was my manager in high school so he was kind of getting into me on Facebook about it. So it was good to beat them."

Nate Lubick (eight points, five assists) piled up three assists in the early going, later adding a charge and a transition layup off a bullet pass from Starks for a 20-4 lead.

The Pirates racked up four turnovers in their first five possessions and missed their first four shots before Tom Maayan finally got on the board with a layup. Three-pointers from Aaron Cosby (12 points) and Brian Oliver (13 points) sparked a 9-3 run for the visitors.

But Caprio entered with 4:38 remaining in the half and immediately pulled down a rebound as the Hoyas went on a 9-2 run that he closed with a putback for a 32-18 lead.

"I probably should've been playing Cap more," Thompson said. "Just in terms of understanding how to play basketball, Cap's probably one of our better guys. I thought we needed him in there to get better flow."

The lights inside Verizon Center dimmed slightly during a stoppage in the second half when a transformer in the neighborhood blew due to the severe weather, but the game was not halted.

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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