No. 14 Georgetown defeats South Florida 75-45South Florida's Anthony Collins (11) drives to the basket and scores as Georgetown defenders, Hollis Thompson (1) and Jabril Trawick (55) look on during first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, in Washington. Georgetown won 75-45. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)
WASHINGTON (AP) On nine straight possessions, Georgetown forced a turnover. For nearly 11 minutes, the No. 14 Hoyas didn't allow a point.
It took a while for Georgetown's offense to get going as well, but that was OK with coach John Thompson III. If his team keeps holding opponents in the 40s, the Hoyas are going to win a lot more games.
Henry Sims had 13 points to lead five players in double figures, and Georgetown shot 65 percent in the second half Saturday in a 75-45 win over South Florida.
''We felt we were getting stops, and we knew that the shots would start going in,'' Thompson said. ''As long as we get stops and rebounds, we'll be able to score enough points.''
Stops weren't a problem in the 11 a.m. tipoff against South Florida, a team that typically plays the lowest scoring games in the Big East. The Bulls scored only five points in the first 15 minutes, largely because coach Stan Heath's players kept throwing the ball away.
''Today just wasn't our day,'' Heath said. ''I don't what it was. Early start, late start, I don't know. But it just wasn't our day.''
Otto Porter added 12 points, Jason Clark had 11, and Markel Starks and Jabril Trawick finished with 10 apiece for the Hoyas (18-4, 8-3 Big East), who led only 23-15 at halftime before essentially putting the game away with a 16-4 run to the start the second half.
''I don't think we were frustrated at all because we were playing good defense,'' Clark said. ''We just had to keep playing defense, and we knew that our shots were going to fall.''
It was Georgetown's second straight solid defensive effort. The Hoyas held Connecticut to 44 points and 30 percent shooting Wednesday night, the Huskies' worst output in both categories since the 1990s. It's a stark turnaround from last weekend, when Georgetown allowed Pittsburgh to shoot 52 percent, a defensive performance deemed ''awful'' by Thompson.
Augustus Gilchrist scored 15 points to lead the Bulls (13-10, 6-4), who shot 26 percent in the first half and 31 percent for the game. The big number, though, was 17 - the final turnover tally.
''It's been our recipe for lack of success,'' Heath said. ''We did the same (last month) against Marquette. We had 22 in that game. When we've had losses, that's typically the magic number that sticks out for us, and today it happened.''
The game between the conference's two stingiest defenses was expected to be low-scoring, but South Florida was particularly inept during Georgetown's 14-0 first-half run.
Ron Anderson Jr.'s traveling violation with 12:56 left started the cascade. It seemed every Bulls player wanted in. There were errant passes by Toarlyn Fitzpatrick at 11:51, Anthony Collins at 11:25 and Jawanzaa Poland at 10:40. The Bulls actually got a shot off on the next possession, but they got the rebound and then lost the ball on a bad pass by Hugh Robertson at 9:46. Then there was a turnover by Victor Rudd Jr. at 8:46.
That's six turnovers in a row by six different players. After three more - by Poland, Anderson and Gilchrist - there came in a possession in which Robertson missed a layup and the Hoyas' Sims grabbed the rebound with 6:35 remaining in the half, ending the turnover streak.
South Florida still hadn't scored in a while. It was 18-5 with 4:12 to go when Gilchrist hit a 3-pointer, ending a scoring drought that lasted 10 minutes, 52 seconds.
The Hoyas started clicking after halftime. A three-point play by Hollis Thompson pushed the lead to 15, and a 3-pointer by Starks got it to 18. A just-for-fun alley-oop dunk by Aaron Bowen accounted the game's final points, making for a 30-point margin of victory.
''The more we couldn't score, the more we got frustrated,'' Heath said. ''And all of a sudden, the avalanche opened up.''
Joseph White can be reached at https://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP