On Wednesday night, the Blue and Gray (15-4, 5-3 Big East) cruised to a 74-52 home win over Seton Hall as the Hoya defense forced the Pirates into 25 turnovers. Georgetown also held Seton Hall to just a 32.6 field goal percentage.
“Our guys really executed on the defensive end,” Head Coach John Thompson III said. “I thought the effort was there. The communication was there. We were very good against what I think is a very good offensive team.”
Sophomore forward Otto Porter, Jr. registered 20 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. Porter, Jr. went 6 of 9 from the field and has now scored 17 or more points in six straight games. Junior guard Markel Starks also shot well, totaling 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Starks was particularly lethal from deep, getting 4 of 5 from three point range.
Although the turnover total was surprising, perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was the play of junior guard John Caprio. He finished with a game-high and career-high of six rebounds to go along with four points and two assists.
“In terms of understanding how to play basketball, Cap is probably one of our better guys,” Thompson said. “As you saw tonight, he is one of our better rebounders.”
In addition, he played for 12 minutes—the most of his career. When Caprio entered the game with 4:38 left in the first half, Georgetown was clinging to a 7-point lead. Caprio was even surprised by his playing time.
“No, I definitely wasn’t expecting this,” he said. “Coach always tells me to be ready to go and contribute. That’s what I tried to do today.”
Junior forward Nate Lubick also made a significant contribution to the win as he recorded 8 points, 4 rebounds, and a game-high of 5 assists.
“Nate has been very good the past three, four, or five games,” Thompson said. “I thought we did a good job when we got the ball down to him.”
Lubick led a Hoya offense that passed well on the night, with 19 overall assists.
“For the most part, offensively our guys did a good job of moving,” Thompson said. “We weren’t as stagnant as we were against Louisville.”
The Hoyas did not waste any time taking control of the game. They got off to an early 20-4 lead 8:09 into the game thanks to 8 Seton Hall turnovers. Georgetown used full court pressure and nifty passing to amass the lead.
“We came out to a great start. We did everything right at the beginning of the game,” Lubick said. “I don’t think coach expected our full court pressure to work that well. We were able to stay in it and kept that momentum going.”
The Pirates, however, responded to reduce the deficit to single digits toward the end of the half. Seton Hall center Eugene Teague made two jumpers to make the score 27-18 with 2:42 remaining the half. Teague, one of the top rebounders in the Big East, would be silenced for the rest of the game, though. The Hoyas would lead 32-22 at half.
“Our post players did a good job of making it hard for him to catch the ball,” Thompson said. “I think he is one of the better offensive post players in our league. We wanted to make it hard for him to get the ball. Our guys did a good job of crowding him.”
Georgetown came out in the second half with a 12-2 run, essentially putting the game out of reach. Porter Jr. scored 7 points in the run.
The Hoyas were particularly motivated to win this game since they were blown out by Seton Hall last year in Newark, N.J., 73-55.
“I don’t know if you guys remember,” Thompson said. “Last year we couldn’t stop them and we couldn’t score.”
Caprio actually attended Seton Hall Preparatory in New Jersey. This game was especially important to him.
“I remember pretty vividly losing there last year,” Caprio said. “Some of my family members were there and were really ragging on me after the game.”
The Hoyas will look to extend their winning streak to four games and climb higher in the Big East standings as they face St. John’s on Saturday at the Verizon Center. The game starts at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast on CBS.