Georgetown Hoyas sports roundup


Markel Stars (5) is leading the Hoyas. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

A roundup of Georgetown sports.

Men’s basketball: Georgetown senior Markel Starks was named to the Big East weekly honor roll for the second straight week on Monday. Starks helped the Hoyas to their fourth straight win on Monday night, coming from behind to beat Providence, 83-71, at Verizon Center. Georgetown improved to 15-9 overall and 6-6 in the Big East.

In a pair of games last week, wins at DePaul (71-59) and Butler at home (71-63), Georgetown’s senior co-captain averaged 22.5 points and 4.5 assists. In the win at DePaul, Starks scored 26 points, hitting 11 of 14 free throw attempts, as the Hoyas used a big second half to come back for the win. He followed that up with 19 points, seven assists and no turnovers in the team’s win over Butler on Saturday.

Starks, who has scored in double figures 20 times this season, is second on the team in scoring with 16.9 points per game and leads the team with 4.0 assists per game. He ranks seventh in the Big East in scoring, is sixth in the league in assists and seventh in free throw percentage (82.9 percent). Overall this season, he has played 91.5 percent of the team’s minutes (888 of 970) played. Starks passed the 1,000-point mark for his career in the loss to Villanova last Monday, becoming the 44th player in program history to pass that mark. He has now scored 1,079 points in 117 games (a 9.2 per game average) and needs six more to pass Bill Bolger (’53) for 35th all-time. In the last six games, he is averaging 20.6 points and 4.1 assists per game.

Women’s basketball: On Monday, Georgetown swept the Big East weekly awards for the second time this season as senior forward Andrea White was named player of the week and freshman center Natalie Butler was named freshman of the week.

White bounced back after missing a game nursing an injury to lead the Hoyas to a 1-1 week. The senior averaged 21.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals while shooting 50 percent from the floor and hitting all of her free throw attempts.

At Creighton on Wednesday, White stuffed the stat sheet with team highs of 17 points, five assists and three steals while grabbing seven boards. She followed that with an impressive double-double of 25 points and14 rebounds and added a pair of assists in the Hoyas’ 66-58 win against Xavier on Saturday.

Butler maintained her hold as the conference’s top rebounder following a week averaging 15.5 boards to go along with 14.5 points. Butler, who shot 52.6 percent from the floor, totaled 13 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and three assists at Creighton on Wednesday, before registering 16 points, 17 rebounds and three dishes against Xavier.

Averaging 13.4 rebounds in Big East games, the freshman center is on pace to break the conference’s rebounding average record of 12.4 held by Dana Wynne of Seton Hall (1994-95 and 1995-96). She is also on pace to break the GU record for rebounds in a season of 336 held by Rebekkah Brunson (2003-04). Her nine weekly awards rank her second in conference history behind Connecticut’s Maya Moore (2007-08), who had 10.

Men’s lacrosse: Georgetown opens its season on Thursday when it hosts Mount St. Mary’s (0-1, 0-0 NEC) at 3 p.m. on Multi-Sport Field. It will be the 31st meeting between the two programs, with GU trailing 14-16 after falling 14-6 last season. The Hoyas had won 14 consecutive games leading up to the 2013 meeting.

The Hoyas return three second-team all-Big East selections in graduate student Tyler Knarr, who was among the nation’s top five with a .622 face-off win percentage last season. Junior attackman Reilly O’Connor, the Hoyas’ leading scorer from a year ago, returns after becoming the first GU player since 2002 to top the 50-point mark (26 goals, 30 assists in 2013). Junior midfielder Charles McCormick also returns after scoring 19 goals last season.

Men’s soccer: The Hoyas signed six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Monday. The recruiting class was ranked fourth in the country by TopDrawerSoccer.com, and marks the third year in a row that GU has had a recruiting class ranked sixth or better.

Baseball: Georgetown was picked to finish fifth in the Big East preseason coaches’ poll, the league announced on Thursday. Additionally, sophomore Nick Collins (Carthage, N.C./Union Pines) was selected to the preseason all-Big East team at both catcher and designated hitter. The preseason team was voted on by the league’s seven head coaches.

As a freshman in 2013, Collins led the Hoyas with a .333 batting average. He started 45 of the 47 games he appeared in last season, with 22 starts coming behind the plate and 23 starts as the team’s designated hitter. He finished the year second on the Hoyas in both hits (59) and RBI (30) as well as tied for second in home runs (3). Collins also had team highs with both a .441 slugging percentage and a .383 on-base percentage.

The 2014 Hoyas teamed up with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for the spring season to help raise money for research to cure childhood cancer.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a childhood cancer charity funding research to help kids diagnosed with cancer. The foundation raises money primarily through head-shaving events. Volunteers, sponsored by family and friends, shave their heads in solidarity with children who typically lose their hair during cancer treatment. Last year, St. Baldrick’s raised more than $34 million, and the team plans to contribute to their 2014 success.

Members of the 2014 Georgetown team have pledged to shave their heads following the Hoyas’ April 5 game against Xavier at Shirley Povich Field. The Hoyas plan on honoring local kids who are fighting cancer as well that day. The team’s goals include becoming the most successful athletic team to partake in a St. Baldrick’s event, as well as place in the top 10 in their history.

Georgetown opens its 2014 campaign this weekend with three games in North Carolina. The Hoyas will play Marshall on Friday, Wake Forest on Saturday and Towson on Sunday. All three games will be played at Wake Forest. The Hoyas’ home opener will be Feb. 21 when they host Hartford at Shirley Povich Field in a three-game weekend series.

Softball: Georgetown 2-3) opened its season at the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational this past weekend, playing five games in three days. The Hoyas won in a come-from-behind fashion in their season opener against Liberty, 4-3, with a go-ahead double by senior Hannah Slovacek. Georgetown also beat Ole Miss in its second try in the final game of the invitational, 9-2. Junior Lauren O’Leary was named to the Big East honor roll for her two pitching performances for the weekend when she threw 13 innings with 10 strikeouts, only two walks and a 1.62 earned run average. The Hoyas travel to Farmville, Va., for their second tournament of the season on Saturday and Sunday. GU with open against Bucknell on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and will also play Longwood (twice) and Saint Joseph’s.

Women’s tennis: Georgetown (1-6) opened Big East competition last week against St. John’s. The women fell at home, 5-2. Freshman Sophia Barnard played in her first match in the No. 1 position but lost in straight sets. Senior co-captain Madeline Jaeger, who played in the No. 4 position, defeated a woman from St. John’s in straight sets. Freshman Victoire Saperstein won her third straight match for the Hoyas. The women are next in action on Feb. 21 against DePaul in a Big East matchup at home.

Men’s tennis: Georgetown (4-3) traveled to New Haven, Conn., this past weekend to face Yale and Bryant. Georgetown lost to Yale on Saturday by the score of 5-2. The men captured the doubles point with victories from the pairs of senior co-captain Casey Distaso/junior Shane Korber and freshmen pair Yannik Mahlangu/Jack Murphy. Mahlangu won the only singles match for Georgetown in three sets from the No. 5 position. On Sunday, the Hoyas fell to Bryant, 4-3. Korber, junior Alex Tropiano and junior John Brosens won each of their singles matches from the No. 2, 5 and 6 positions, respectively. The men are next in action at home against Davidson on Feb. 22.

Swimming and diving: The Hoyas’ men defeated Providence, while the women fell to Rutgers on Saturday afternoon at the Rutgers Aquatic Center. It was the final regular season meet before the Hoyas begin preparation for the Big East championships, beginning Feb. 19.

The Hoyas men defeated Providence, 173-92, while the women outscored the Friars, 176.5-101.5. The women fell to Rutgers, 182-89. Michael Ng earned a pair of victories in the 100 and 200 butterfly, while Emma Cammann earned a second place finish in the 100-yard backstroke and a third place finish in the 200-yard backstroke.

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