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Otto Porter Big Effort to Lead Hoyas in Win Against Villanova
After a sudden turn on events 34 seconds into the game, Otto Porter rebounded to lead four players in double figures and five players with six rebounds in his second start of the season for the Hoyas in their 67-46 win against Villanova Feb. 25 in front of a season-high 19,277 Verizon Center fans.
Wildcat Maurice Sutton threw an elbow in the first of what would be many aggressive moves throughout the game that left Porter on the court floor amid his own blood resulting from when he bit his tongue. He would return minutes later and lead the team with 15 points, six rebounds and two assists.
“I was fired up,” Porter said. “So were my teammates, I think they kind of read my mind and started picking it up.”
After coming out to a quick start, the Hoyas went on a 15-4 run during which Villanova went without a field for almost six minutes. They would come back to score 12 points in less than three minutes, but it only closed the gap to seven before the close of the half. Much of the Wildcat offense was due to their proficiency on the pick-and-roll.
“Villanova is good at that, particularly when Maalik (Wayns) is in the game,” Thompson III said. “He’s so dangerous coming of that, trying to score or pass. Year in and year out when you play them you have to be good at pick and roll defense. I think where we were pretty good today.”
Wayns sprained his MCL Feb. 7 and missed the three games prior to Georgetown and much of Villanova’s scoring was picked up by Dominic Cheek in his absence. The 6-foot-6 guard, who scored 19 points on 6-13 shooting, was the only Wildcat to score more than two field goals in Villanova’s 28 percent shooting night, which is attributed to injuries that have littered this team since the season’s opening.
While coach John Thompson III echoed this factor affected Villanova’s performance, he was happy with his team’s performance after a rough outing at Seton Hall.
“In all honesty, [Villanova] can’t catch a break,” he said. “They got a kid that gets hurt in warm-ups, just with all the injuries they’ve gone through. They’re not healthy right now. But, from our perspective, from what we did and how we executed, I thought we were 180 degrees from where we were the other day.”
The team effort the Hoyas were lacking against Seton Hall resurfaced Saturday. Jason Clark scored 15 points, Hollis Thompson added 10 and Henry Sims finished with 12, 10 of which he scored in the second half. Those three, Porter and freshman Greg Whittington grabbed six rebounds apiece to contribute to the 41 total.
“Playing together, communicating, having each other’s back,” Clark said on the defensive effort after Seton Hall. “We’ve stressed it all season, but we’ve definitely stressed it the last few days of practice after our last game.”
Georgetown came out quick in the second half and grew their lead to 22 points before bringing in their bench players. Freshman Jabril Trawick didn’t quite make a fast-break layup, but redshirt freshman Aaron Bowen grabbed the rebound and tipped it in. Trawick would rebound later when he came in for a big dunk with 0.8 seconds left in the game to seal the win.
The Hoyas have just two days to rebound before returning to the Verizon Center to play their final home game of the season against Notre Dame, ranked No. 2 in the Big East.