Porter carries Hoyas to victory over RutgersBy Benjamin Standig, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sun, Mar 3, 2013 1:10 AM EST
WASHINGTON -- Last season, the Big East coaches did not select Georgetown's Otto Porter for the conference's all-rookie team. Rutgers' Mike Rice certainly did not recognize the storm coming his way this campaign. Rice, the rest of the conference and the entire college basketball world surely does now. Porter scored 16 of his 28 points in the second half as No. 7 Georgetown matched a program record with its 11th straight Big East win by defeating Rutgers 64-51 on Saturday night. Recalling his first impressions of Porter, Rice said postgame, "I saw a really good player. I don't know if anybody in this room could have predicted what he is right now. How efficient, how strong, mentally he's just unbelievable." "I always thought he was going to be a really good player," Rice continued, "but it's not close (to) who is the Big East Player of the Year is right now. If he keeps continuing this, it's not even close (for) national player of the year." Porter continued his own blistering streak with another stat-stuffing performance. The sophomore forward made 15 of 18 free throws, setting career highs in both categories. The Big East-leading Hoyas (23-4, 13-3) made more free throws than the Scarlet Knights attempted, finishing 30 of 42. "When you can get to the hole, get fouled and shoot free throws -- they're free so you want to shoot free throws," Porter said. The all-court performer also finished with eight rebounds, four steals, three blocks, two assists with one turnover while playing all but the final 23 seconds. In his last three games, the 6-foot-8 Porter is averaging 27.6 points, though he remains the antithesis of a ball hog. The efficient scorer made half of his 12 shots from the field and two 3-point tries against Rutgers. During the three-game stretch, he is shooting 58.1 percent from the field (25 of 43) and 56.2 (9 of 16) from beyond the 3-point arc. "Stating the obvious, he can score in a lot of different ways," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "We can look at how many games and talk about his scoring, but from day one, Otto Porter has done everything. You look at the rebounds, the deflections, the communications. It's not just about the scoring." Wally Judge, the only other player in the game besides Porter to reach double figures, led the Scarlet Knights (13-14, 4-12) with 11 points. Rutgers has lost four straight and 10 of 11. Rice's squad missed nine of 15 free throws overall and shot 32.1 percent from the field in the second half. Leading 29-28 at halftime, the Hoyas allowed the Scarlet Knights to score the first five points after halftime before taking the lead for good with seven straight points, capped by Porter's 3-point play. After Rutgers pulled closer at 49-45 with 8:08 remaining, Porter's two made free throws started a decisive 15-4 spurt. "Otto Porter and a lack of offensive toughness maybe down the last six minutes kind of did us in," Rice said. Georgetown, which won 11 straight conference games during the program's 2006-07 Final Four season, swept the two-game season series from Rutgers and has won 12 of 13 overall. The Hoyas ended the back-and-forth first half leading 29-28 after making 14 of 19 free throws. Georgetown finished 14 of 19 overall in Wednesday's 79-78 double-overtime win over Connecticut. Leading Louisville and Marquette by one game with one week remaining in the regular season, Georgetown plays its final road game of the regular season Wednesday at Villanova. NOTES: Otto Porter entered the weekend leading the Big East in 3-point field-goal percentage (46.8) and ranks among the Top 10 in scoring, rebounding, steals and field-goal percentage. The sophomore scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half of Georgetown's 69-63 victory at Rutgers on Feb. 9. ... The Scarlet Knights played their third game without leading scorer Eli Carter. The sophomore guard is out for the season after suffering a fractured fibula in his right leg on Feb. 16 against DePaul. ... Rutgers hosts No. 22 Marquette on Tuesday. ... Which Big East team has made the most NCAA Tournament appearances? 1) Villanova; 2) Georgetown; 3) St. John's; 4) Pittsburgh.
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