Otto Porter

Otto Porter, Georgetown continues winning streak with victory over St. John’s

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We’ve seen both sides of this Georgetown team in 2012-13, both good and bad, but Saturday at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., the Hoyas put together a strong team outing to beat St. John’s, 68-56.

Playing with a more athletic but smaller three-guard lineup, St. John’s struggled to counter Georgetown’s interior attack and were outrebounded, 38-33. Many open misses on the perimeter turned into offensive rebounds and second-chance opportunities for the Hoyas.

Nate Lubick and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera led the way with nine rebounds each and do-it-all forward Otto Porter had seven boards.

As has become the norm, Porter made an impact in nearly every category, finishing with 11 points to go with those seven rebounds and two blocks.

Georgetown did a good job defensively of disrupting St. John’s leading scorer D’Angelo Harrison, who had just 2 points without registering a field goal, 0-of-10 from the floor.

The Hoya zone pushed St. John’s to the perimeter, where the Red Storm were cold. Coach Steve Lavin’s team shot just 4-of-17 from behind the arc, though they saw a surprising 12 points off the bench from reserve Marco Bourgault. Without Harrison producing, the offensive load was pushed to JaKarr Sampson, who had 16 points.

There may be one lasting implication of this loss for the Red Storm, though, with guard Jamal Branch injuring his knee in the second half. The official word from St. John’s is that Branch suffered a knee sprain.

The win extends Georgetown’s winning streak to four games. Georgetown has now won six of its last seven games. The Hoyas also creep up in the Big East standings and is now tied for third in a crowded field that includes Cincinnati, Notre Dame, and Syracuse.

For more, check out coverage from CSNWashington.com.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

VIDEO: Duke’s Grayson Allen beats No. 7 Virginia at the buzzer

Duke's Grayson Allen (3) and Marshall Plumlee (40) react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
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Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.