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Georgetown 67, St. John's 51

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- After dropping its first two Big East games and suspending second-leading scorer Greg Whittington, the Georgetown Hoyas still had little trouble responding with a resounding 67-51 victory over St. John's at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Otto Porter scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead No. 19 Georgetown, which jumped out to a huge lead early and coasted from there. While Porter dominated inside, Markel Starks provided an outside touch, adding 17 for the Hoyas, including 2 of 3 on 3-pointers.

Jamal Branch scored 16 points to lead the Red Storm (9-7, 1-3 Big East), which dropped its second straight game, in the rare 11 a.m. matinee at the Garden.

Jakarr Sampson added 12 for St. John's while D'Angelo Harrison, who entered the contest averaging 21.5 points per game, was held to just seven.

SJU shot 35.6 percent from the field.

Shortly before the game, Hoyas head coach John Thompson III announced in a statement Whittington would not play Saturday "due to a violation of team rules." The statement did not specify the violation nor did it announce whether the suspension could last past the one game.

Whittington had been second on the team with 12.1 points per game, but Georgetown (11-3, 1-2) quickly showed it did not miss him, pouncing on the Red Storm for a 27-8 lead.

Up 13-8, Georgetown reeled off a 14-0 run, with Porter scoring four points and grabbing three rebounds during the spurt and Aaron Bowen punctuating it with a 3-pointer with 8:28 left.

St. John's finally broke its scoreless drought after more than 4 minutes when D'Angelo Harrison hit a jumper.

But the Red Storm got no closer than 16 the rest of the game. Georgetown took a 36-19 edge into the break, then expanded its lead to 45-22 with an 11-3 spurt to start the second half. Nate Lubick scored four points during the stretch and Porter punctuated it with a three-point play.

The Hoyas' lead remained in the 20-point area the rest of the game with both teams going cold for stretches and St. John's never able to mount a sustained run.

Notes: Georgetown has held opponents to 60 points or fewer in 10 of its 14 games. ... Whittington was averaging 12.1 points and seven rebounds per game, second on the team in both categories. ... St. John's fell to 1-2 against ranked opponents this season, having topped No. 14 Cincinnati on the road. ... The Red Storm had its second straight game shooting under 40 percent from the field. St. John's had hit for just 35.2 percent in a 58-56 loss to Rutgers on Wednesday. ... St. John's alum and former New York Mets closer John Franco attended the game and was announced to the crowd. ... St. John's hosts Notre Dame on Tuesday, back at the Garden. Georgetown hosts Providence Wednesday.
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