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Georgetown 61, Syracuse 39

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- No. 5 Georgetown clinched a share of the Big East title by hammering Syracuse in the final regular season game between the historic rivals, 61-39 on Saturday afternoon.

Markel Starks scored 19 points and D'Vauntes Smith had 15 for the Hoyas (24-5, 14-4 Big East), who took control of the highly anticipated and emotional clash with a 20-6 second half run.

National Player of the Year candidate Otto Porter scored 10 points and matched his career-high with seven assists as Georgetown capped the regular season by winning 12 of its last 13 games. The Georgetown students capped the game by storming the court.

The Hoyas will be the No. 1 seed in next week's conference tournament and now have three Big East regular season titles under coach John Thompson III.

The top-scoring defense in the Big East, Georgetown held Syracuse to its fewest points since being a member of the Big East, a conference both schools founded in 1979. The Orange also finished with season-lows in total points, first half scoring and field goal percentage.

Michael Carter-Williams scored 17 points for the Orange (23-8, 11-7), who shot 31.9 percent from the field and 1 of 11 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Beyond the first place possibility for Georgetown, the game had added importance because the two longtime foes will no longer play in the same conference starting next season. Syracuse, which lost four of five games to end the regular season, jumps to the ACC next season after 34 seasons in the Big East.

Georgetown, part of a basketball seven-school alliance with other current Big East schools, will split off from the conference's football schools while keeping the Big East name.

Leading 25-18 at halftime and 32-25 early in the second half, Porter's first basket of the game ignited the decisive spurt before the raucous crowd of 20,972, the largest for a college basketball game all-time in the greater Washington D.C. area.

Starks drained two of his five 3-pointers in the stretch and Smith-Rivera's jumper with 7:21 remaining put the Hoyas up 52-21, leading to the Georgetown students chanting "A-C-C, A-C-C."

The Hoyas entered the day tied with No. 8 Louisville and No. 15 Marquette. Regardless of how those schools fare against Notre Dame and Saint John's respectively on Saturday, Georgetown owns the tiebreakers.

On Feb. 23, the Hoyas ended the Orange's 38-game home court winning streak with 57-46 victory behind 33 points, eight rebounds and five steals from Porter.

Georgetown last swept Syracuse during the 2001-02 campaign.

Syracuse holds the all-time lead 48-41.

During first half of the rematch, the sophomore managed only two points, sinking a pair of free throws with 24 seconds remaining.

Starks and Smith-Rivera combined for 19 points as the Hoyas led 25-18 at halftime.

Notes: Thompson directed Georgetown to back-to-back Big East regular season titles from 2006-08. ... Syracuse entered the day tied for fourth in the conference with Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. The top four seeds in the conference tournament receive a double bye into the quarterfinals. ... The reigning Big East Player of the Week, Porter became the first player to win the award three straight weeks since Boston College's Troy Bell during the 2002-03 season. ... Triche made his 138th consecutive start. ... Former Georgetown alum at the Verizon Center for the series finale included Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning.
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