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.

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

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

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North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)