Well that's a relief. Fueled by long runs just before and after intermission, your Georgetown fighting Hoyas ran past the lowly Longwood Lancers 89-53 Monday night, setting their fans' minds at ease after a couple of offensively challenged outings. As is becoming standard procedure, Otto Porter led the way with 22 points, 7 assists, 4 steals, 3 rebounds, and 1 block. The juniors also got in on the action as Markel Starks emerged from a recent shooting slump to can 4 three-point attempts and 17 points overall; Nate Lubick put the ball in the basket less, netting just six points, but was excellent all around, dishing out eight assists to go with four rebounds, two steals, and a block.
In the early going, Georgetown looked better offensively than in recent lackluster wins over Tennessee and Towson. For its part, Longwood was simply terrible, turning the ball over 18 times in the first half alone (and 25 times overall). The ball was moving more easily than in games past, as seven of the first nine Hoya baskets were assisted. Foremost in distributing the ball was Porter, who found open teammates in transition and the half-court, dishing out six assists before the under-four timeout arrived. And the Hoya press created plenty of those fast break opportunities, with Georgetown generating 26 first-half points off of turnovers.
Even so, Georgetown struggled to gain much separation from Longwood, as the lead was still just single digits with under six minutes to play in the half. But then the Hoyas, who hadn't exactly been confined to the half court to that point, really got things going in transition. Starks hit a driving and-one, followed by a gorgeous Greg Whittington-Porter give-and-go which Whittington finished with authority (see above). Out of the timeout, Porter hit a mid-range jumper then, after the Hoya press resulted in a Starks steal, finished Markel's feed with a dunk. A Lubick steal on one end of the floor led to a Whittington-assisted Starks three to push the lead to 20.
While some end-of-half sloppiness narrowed the gap a bit, Georgetown came out of intermission on a similar run, smothering the Lancers with its full-court press. At one point, Georgetown scored eight points without Langwood crossing half-court: a Starks floater was followed by a Lubick steal (or wrestle-steal, if that's a thing), which begat a Porter and-one that, after a Longwood miscue, was capped by a Starks three ball to made the gap 25 points.
The extra cushion gave JTIII plenty of time to play the reserves. An astounding 11 Hoyas scored at least 2 baskets apiece. Hoyas filling the box score included Moses Ayegba (4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block), who filled his career-high 13 minutes with plenty of nice moments, including a dunk to finish a Lubick dish and a textbook feed to a back-cutting Stephen Domingo for an easy lay-up. That freshman also had the best game of his young career, overcoming the nerves that seem to be affecting his jump shot to contribute a career-high 7 points and a pair of assists. Wing Aaron Bowen also got some good minutes, with a strong finish at the rim complementing a last-minute three, although he still seems to be pressing, perhaps doing his case to play instead of Domingo more harm than good. And in another minutes battle, Jabril Trawick and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera turned in six points apiece, though the sophomore made his presence known on the boards as well. Oh, and JOHN CAPRIO (caps lock required) had a career-high four points(!!).
In all, the win was exactly what the Hoyas needed, a confidence-building rout of a lowly opponent. Georgetown had plenty of time to employ its ever-stronger press, and to get touches and minutes to its often underused bench. And the blowout could scarcely have come at a better time, with just two games on the schedule for the next two-and-a-half weeks. There's plenty still to work on, but Monday night was a start.