Georgetown 68, Liberty 59

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 14, 2012
With top player Otto Porter Jr. sitting out because of concussion symptoms, Georgetown got a career-high 18 points plus nine rebounds from Greg Whittington and had very little trouble beating Liberty 68-59 Wednesday night. Nate Lubick added 13 points and eight rebounds, and Mikael Hopkins scored 13 for Georgetown (2-0). Liberty (0-3) was led by Casey Roberts' 13 points. Liberty scored the game's first four points, before Georgetown reeled off 17 in a row. All in all, it became the sort of mismatch one might expect between teams from the Big East and Big South. Liberty already lost to Richmond by 42 points and to William & Mary by 12. Plus, the Flames were without three of their primary post players, who are injured. Liberty, which is in Lynchburg, Va., is 0-9 against Big East opponents. Now things should get tougher for Georgetown, which travels to New York to play No. 13 UCLA on Monday, then No. 1 Indiana or Georgia on Tuesday. Against the Flames, even without preseason all-conference selection Porter, the Hoyas started three players who are 6-foot-8 or taller; the visitors' lineup didn't have anyone bigger than 6-7. Not surprisingly, Georgetown outscored Liberty 24-0 in the paint in the first half. Whittington, a sophomore, topped his previous college best of 15 points. He had eight points and 15 rebounds in Georgetown's 61-55 victory over Duquesne on Sunday, which officially was the Hoyas' season opener. Their first game on the schedule, against Florida on an aircraft carrier, was called off at halftime because of too much moisture on the court. Freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who scored 19 against Duquesne, had 11 against Liberty. Porter was hit in the head in the first half against Duquesne and left after playing only 6 minutes. His absence Wednesday was announced a little more than an hour before the tipoff. ''After the game on Sunday, Otto exhibited symptoms indicative of a mild concussion,'' coach John Thompson III said in a statement. ''Otto's well-being is our first priority and he is being monitored by our sports medicine team and our doctors, who have been evaluating him daily.'' Wearing a dark suit and tie, Porter stood on court during the pregame layup drill, then offered high-fives and pats on the back to teammates as they walked off. The sophomore sat on the sideline during the game. Porter was the Hoyas' leading returning scorer from last season, when he averaged 9.7 points. Sophomore Jabril Trawick started in his place Wednesday and finished with five points. Liberty went ahead 4-0 on a pair of jumpers by Tavares Speaks - and then went silent on offense. The Hoyas put up 17 consecutive points from there, including seven from Lubick, while playing their typically stingy defense. During Liberty's scoring drought, it had five turnovers, which ranged from stolen passes to a pair of shot-clock violations. Chad Donley's 3-pointer with about 12 minutes left in the half finally got the visitors back on the scoreboard, pulling them within 17-7. Davon Marshall's 3 with a little under 6 minutes to go before halftime pulled Liberty within 23-18. But Georgetown re-asserted itself from there until the end of the half and took a 41-25 lead into the locker room, its biggest lead until then. Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
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