In a game where offensive fluidity never appeared and Marquette's coach picked up a momentum-changing technical foul, Georgetown continued its recent mastery of winning time.
The Hoyas survived a frigid shooting performance by turning the Golden Eagles' voluminous amount of turnovers into copious amount of points. Porter scored 21 points and Markel Starks had 16 as No. 15 Georgetown won its sixth straight game with a 63-55 victory over No. 18 Marquette on Monday night.
Nate Lubick added 10 points for the Hoyas (18-4, 8-3 Big East), who moved into a second-place tie with the Golden Eagles (17-6, 8-3). Marquette committed 19 turnovers, which Georgetown turned into 24 points.
After starting 0-2 in conference play, which included a 49-48 loss at Marquette, the Hoyas have won eight of nine and improved to 13-1 at home.
“It's time to win," said Starks, whose back-to-back 3-pointers in the first half put the Hoyas ahead for good at 12-11. "Consistency is what it is. The numbers don’t lie. We can’t emphasize that enough. Everyone’s mindset is to win."
Georgetown led 33-23 at halftime, but went the first seven minutes of the second half without a field goal. After Marquette made a brief overture about making the game tight, the Hoyas essentially salted the offensively challenged battle away with a 19-7 run for a 56-43 lead.
The decisive surge came after Marquette coach Buzz Williams picked up a technical foul for arguing a lost ball turnover called on his center Davante Gardner. At the time - 12:13 left in the second half - Georgetown's lead was only 37-34.
Nine game seconds later, the Hoyas led by seven. Porter sank two technical free throws and ended the ensuing possession with an elbow jumper for a 41-34 lead. After a Marquette score, Porter and Lubick each sank two free throws and the lead never dipped below eight points again.
Williams consistently strode onto the court and far away from his sideline during play, making his technical more of a final straw than a single blowup and the leading the raucous crowd of 11,821 to constantly chant, "Off the court." Rather than answer a question about whether his technical was indeed momentum altering, Williams preferred commenting on how many he has picked up at Marquette.
Yeah, I was trying to get my average up on technical's," the coach cracked.
Asked the same game-turning question, Starks offered a concise response.
“Yes, absolutely," the junior guard said.
Porter is hardly a big talker, but the star sophomore is certainly big time player. The All-American and Big East Player of the Year candidate scored all nine of his second half points after the technical and finished with seven rebounds, three steals and three assists.
"He’s one of the best players in the country," Thompson said of his star sophomore. "I mean he’s consistently shown that. He’s someone who takes pride in and excels in every aspect of the game...He understands that if you do all of these things you will win and he wants to win."
Georgetown only shot 38.5 percent from the field and finished 6 of 21 from beyond the arc. However, the Hoyas made 17 of 24 free throws and generated open court points, much to the bewilderment of Marquette's coach.
"They had seventeen points in transition, they had fourteen points on offensive rebounds so they scored 50 percent of their point on layups," Williams said, "and we still held them to 39 percent from the field, which is incredible."
Incredible, sure, but not winning, certainly not compared to Georgetown's ball-stopping ways.
Jamil Wilson scored 13 points and Chris Otule had 11 for the Golden Eagles.
Marquette jumped ahead 11-6 as the wide-bodied Otuile made his first four field goal attempts for eight points. Those were also the center's only field goal attempts in the half. The Hoyas zone defense began taking away the inside options, forcing the Big East's lowest rated 3-point shooting team into taking those undesired perimeter looks. Marquette missed five of six 3-point attempts in the half and finished 4 of 13 overall.
"I thought our post players, after giving up early points, our big guys got into the rhythm of what they were trying to do," Thompson said. "We didn’t necessarily make a tactical change; I just think our guys did a better job of guarding them."
Among the bigs Thompson cited for their defense, forward Mikael Hopkins, who also grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.
"Mikael got nine rebounds, a career-high. God bless him, now he has to do it again on Friday, said Thompson, who used only used seven players. Each one snared at least two boards and Georgetown outrebounded Marquette by four after losing that battle 35-23 in the opener.
After a sluggish start, Georgetown took the lead for good with an 8-0 run including the Starks' 3-pointers. Porter scored 10 in the half and his fast break layup sparked a closing 9-2 run for a 33-23 halftime lead.
Marquette committed 12 turnovers in the half and never scored more than two consecutive points over the final 15 minutes.
Georgetown plays at Cincinnati on Friday night. The Hoyas have lost four straight to the Bearcats. Of course, these Hoyas have embraced winning time.