WASHINGTON (AP) -- Markel Starks scored 21 points and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 12 as the Georgetown Hoyas defeated the DePaul Blue Demons 61-54 in the Big East opener for both teams.
Billy Garrett Jr. led DePaul (8-6) with 17 and Brandon Young scored 13.
The Hoyas (9-3) were up by four at intermission and led 40-31 after Smith-Rivera's driving layup with 15:28 to play.
Young's 3-pointer pulled DePaul to within 40-38, but Georgetown scored three quick points and maintained a slim lead past the midway point of the second half.
With the Hoyas ahead 45-42, Starks scored on a fast-break layup following a steal and Georgetown scored nine straight - six by Starks - to open a 12-point lead with 5:24 left.
The Blue Demons got to within six three times, the final time on Garrett's layup with 19 seconds left, but no closer.
DePaul made just 13 of 26 free throws, and missed 10 of 16 in the second half, in its lowest-scoring game of the season.
The Georgetown-DePaul matchup was one of five opening-day games for the reconfigured Big East Conference. Seven Big East schools formed a basketball-only league and added Xavier, Butler and Creighton.
DePaul started 1 of 10 from the field, but Georgetown went nearly 5 minutes without a point and led just 13-8 after Starks 3-pointer with 9:28 left.
The Blue Demons took their first lead, 14-13, when Young inbounded the ball off a Hoya, grabbed it and made the layup.
Georgetown remained cold and Cleveland Melvin's dunk capped a 10-0 run that gave DePaul a 20-13 lead at the 4:57 mark.
The Hoyas' press caused two quick turnovers which fueled a 14-2 Georgetown run to intermission.
Aaron Bowen capped it when he grabbed a loose ball and hit a turnaround jumper from beyond the arc at the buzzer to make it 29-25.
The teams combined for 25 first-half turnovers, and Starks had 11 points in the first 20 minutes.
Georgetown hosts St. John's on Saturday and DePaul travels to Marquette.