CINCINNATI -- Markel Starks scored 17 points and Otto Porter Jr. had 16 points helping No. 15 Georgetown withstand a spirited second-half rally by Cincinnati to defeat the Bearcats 62-55 before 12,842 fans at Fifth Third Arena. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 14 points for Georgetown (19-4, 9-3 Big East), which extended its winning streak to seven. Cincinnati had won the previous four meetings. Jaquon Parker scored 15 points for the Bearcats including 11 straight during a 13-4 run, which gave Cincinnati a 51-50 lead with 6:53 left in the game. But the Hoyas held on to retain a share of first place in the Big East Conference. Georgetown entered Friday's game tied with No. 6 Syracuse and No. 18 Marquette for first place. Sean Kilpatrick and Cashmere Wright each scored 12 points for Cincinnati (19-7, 7-6 Big East) but the Bearcats only shot 31.5 percent from the field, including 4-for-24 from 3-point range. Early in the second half, a backdoor layup by Starks put the Hoyas ahead 35-26, matching Georgetown's largest lead of the night. Bearcats' head coach Mick Cronin called timeout, and his team responded with a 5-0 run. But Georgetown, which has won nine of its past 10 games, answered with an 8-0 run. Nate Lubick's hook shot put the Hoyas ahead 43-31 with 15:04 left. The Bearcats rallied back behind Parker, whose 3-pointer cut the Hoyas' lead to two. Hopkins, Porter and Lubick each had four fouls with just under six minutes left. Hopkins fouled out with 4:17 remaining and Georgetown leading, 54-51. Friday's game featured two of the Big East's top three defensive teams, both limiting opponents to fewer than 60 points per game. And, that defensive prowess was evident in the first half. The Bearcats, who had already set a school record for blocked shots this season, had three blocks in the first 2:36 of the game. Georgetown began the game 0-for-6 from the field before Hopkins scored the Hoyas' first basket with 15:52 left in the first half. Midway through the first half, the Hoyas and Bearcats were a combined 9-for-29 shooting and 0-for-7 from 3-point range. A 3-pointer by Smith-Rivera put Georgetown ahead 23-17 with 5:37 left in the first half. It was the first made 3-pointer by either team. Cincinnati went 1-for-11 from 3-point range and 8-for-17 from the free-throw line in the first half, and trailed 31-25 at halftime. NOTES: Bearcat guard Wright recorded career steal No. 190 on Friday, moving him into sole possession of first place on the school's all-time list. Wright surpassed David "Puffy" Kennedy who had 189 steals from 1977-81. ... Porter is averaging 18.6 points and 8.9 rebounds in his past nine games after averaging 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds in his first 12 contests. ... For the second time in the past five years, the Hoyas have no seniors on their roster. Nearly 70 percent of Georgetown's minutes are played by freshmen and sophomores.
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