The Georgetown Hoyas (21-6, 11-5 Big East) took down Villanova (11-16, 4-11 Big East) handily 67 to 46 this afternoon at the Verizon Center. Seniors Henry Sims and Jason Clark contributed in their penultimate game in the Verizon Center as Hoyas with 15 and 12 points respectively. Freshman Otto Porter paced the Hoyas with 15 points through a barrage of mid-range jumpers in his second collegiate start, while junior Hollis Thompson contributed 10 points of his own. All four players, along with freshman Greg Whittington, finished the game with six rebounds apiece to lead a dominant performance on the glass.
Don’t forget to check out Tim Shine’s game recap over on the Voice website.
After the team’s worst defensive performance of the season against Seton Hall on Tuesday, the Hoyas worked on returning to their typical, stingy ways, holding the Wildcats to 28 percent shooting on the afternoon. Mouphtaou Yarou and Maalik Wayns, their two most potent offensive threats, were largely irrelevant today as they shot just 3-20 combined. Head Coach John Thompson III, for one, was pleased with his team’s bounceback performance in a game where his Hoyas never trailed.
“We’ve exhausted it this week – we were not good against Seton Hall defensively and I thought we were very good today,” said Thompson. “I thought we were 180 degrees from where we were the other day.”
One potential hangover from Tuesday’s loss, though, was Markel Stark’s conspicuous absence from the court today. Rumors point to a verbal disagreement between the sophomore and Thompson III after the Seton Hall game, though the coach brushed it off, saying, “I just wanted to start Otto and not play Starks.”
Thompson III confirmed that Starks is healthy but when asked if he would play in the next game, simply responded, “We’ll see.”
Porter, who started in Starks’ place for his second college start, was elbowed in the mouth 34 seconds into the game. After taking time to get his bearings, Porter said he was itching to get back in and contribute.
“I was fired up and so were my teammates,” the freshman said. “I think they kind of read my mind and started picking it up after that.”
Porter, along with freshmen teammates Whittington, Jabril Trawick, and Mikael Hopkins contributed greatly to the Hoya victory with their efforts on the glass and defensive end.
Jockeying for Position
The Hoyas knew how important this game was for their conference standings. With the win, the Hoyas remain in a jumble for fourth place in the Big East with Cincinnati and South Florida. Georgetown still has to play Notre Dame and Marquette, two teams ahead of them in the standings. A strong finish is crucial if the Hoyas want to remain in the conference’s top four and receive a double bye in the Big East Tournament.
Jay Wright, Villanova’s head coach, feels that Clark will be a crucial part of this latter portion of the Hoyas’ season, praising the guard for his play and unselfishness.
“I really think Jason Clark is one of the best players in the country,” Wright offered. “I think if his goal was to get 30 tonight, he could, but I think his goal was to win and to lead his team, set an example. He’s just an assassin – he’s great defensively, he rebounds the ball.”
His hard-luck Wildcats lost freshman JayVaughn Pinkston during warmups to an ankle injury, though the forward tried to play on the bum ankle. Wright, though, made no excuses for his team and instead praised Georgetown for their length and versatility.
“I love the team over there,” Wright said, referring to the Hoyas. “I think they’ve got great balance, they’ve got length. Obviously, they execute their offense really well.”
The Hoyas have a quick turnaround before a crucial game against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish come in at 12-4 in the conference and have had the Hoyas’ number in years past. Monday evening’s matchup will also serve as Senior Night for Sims and Clark as they look to end their home careers with a victory. Clark, for one, is not worried about his last home game as a Hoya, as he and the rest of the Hoyas are simply focusing on the next game at hand.
I’m just thinking of it as another game,” the senior said. “Coach said we’re not going to reflect until the last game when we have to take off our jersey and never put it on again.”
Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center.