Georgetown found the antidote to its shooting woes on Monday at Verizon Center, and it came in the form of undersize, turnover-prone Longwood.
Capitalizing on 30 Longwood giveaways, 15th-ranked Georgetown romped to an 89-53 victory that gave Coach John Thompson III the luxury of delving deep into his bench and giving 14 players a chance to contribute.
None was as valuable as sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr.
He scored a career-high 22 points and dished out a career-high seven assists while adding four rebounds, four steals and one monster block in 29 minutes of work.
And he did so without committing a foul or turnover.
With final exams looming later this week and few Georgetown fans able to place Longwood on a map, much less in a conference (its campus is in Farmville, Va., and the Lancers joined the Big South in July), a crowd of just 5,283 was on hand for what amounted to a well-timed confidence boost.
“We struggled last game with our offense,” said junior forward Nate Lubick, who hustled at both ends of the court, alluding to the 46 points Georgetown labored so hard to amass against Towson. “To be able to get some offense off of turnovers was definitely a boost for us.”
Georgetown’s press accounted for some of the giveaways. Others were the result of Longwood’s inexperience. The Lancers start two juniors, one sophomore and two freshmen — only one of whom is taller than 6 feet 6.
All told, the turnovers led to 47 points — more than half the total for the Hoyas (8-1).
“We’ve got inexperienced guys and guys that have not played together very much,” said Longwood Coach Mike Gillian, whose team fell to 2-7. “It’s a team effort in the wrong direction.”
Georgetown junior guard Markel Starks hit four three-pointers and finished with 17 points. However, sophomore Greg Whittington (eight points) struggled from long range, missing all five attempts from beyond the arc.
It was the first meeting between the teams.
Longwood, which joined the Division I ranks in 2004, hit the opening basket. But Georgetown went on a 9-0 run and did not trail again, scoring easily in transition.
Thompson turned to his bench early, bringing in sophomore Jabril Trawick (six points, four rebounds) and freshmen D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (six points) and Stephen Domingo (seven points) in the first eight minutes.
After drawing four quick fouls, Mikael Hopkins spent most of the game on the bench, allowing Moses Ayegba an opportunity to show his rebounding skill. Ayegba corraled a team-high five in 13 minutes.
That said, rebounding remains a weakness of the Hoyas. On Monday, it was the one area in which Longwood excelled; it outrebounded Georgetown, 36-26.
“It’s always a concern when you’re outrebounded,” Thompson said. “It’s not something we’re going to put our head in the sand and act like it didn’t happen.”
But with Porter dazzling in so many facets of the game, it hardly mattered.
In one tone-setting sequence in the first half, Porter flicked an over-the-shoulder pass to the onrushing Whittington for a rousing dunk that put the Hoyas ahead, 31-18. Porter followed with a jumper, then a dunk of his own.
Georgetown got the ball back on yet another turnover, and Starks hit a three-pointer that put his team ahead, 38-18. With 2 minutes 48 seconds remaining in the first half, Georgetown eclipsed its scoring output in its 37-36 victory over Tennessee two weeks earlier.