By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – For 34 minutes, Mike Rice’s biggest fear hadn’t come true. Otto Porter had been held to just nine points.
Then, Porter took over. And the head coach’s trepidation heading into the game came to fruition.
“We knew they were going to go to him. He’s their best player,” junior wing Mike Poole said. “He wasn’t having the best game at first until the end.”
And in crunch time, Porter took over. The 6-foot-8, 205 pound forward scored 10 straight points for the Hoyas in the final 5:42 to lead No. 20 Georgetown over Rutgers 69-63 at the RAC.
Just like his head coach anticipated would be the case.
“Otto Porter’s Otto Porter. That’s what we’ve come to expect form him,” John Thompson III said. “I thought he was terrific. I always think he’s terrific. He came through….That’s what he does. He’s one of the best players in the country and the best players in the country consistently come through.”
And it came as no surprise to Rice either.
“That’s what you have in the Big East,” Rice said. “You’re going to face lottery picks and first round draft choices.”
Today it was Porter, who left his mark on the game.
“He had his fingerprints all over the game,” senior forward Austin Johnson. “Rebounding and passing and scoring. He’s a great player.”
That made a great play in the waning moments of the game.
Porter took a pass from Markel Starks on the low block, and was quickly double teamed by Wally Judge and Dane Miller. Porter spun into a layup, which he hit while he was fouled.
Sinking the free throw with 1:15 to put Georgetown up 65-61 and the game out of reach for Rutgers.
It was a play Porter made even though Rutgers had seen it coming.
“The last cut-and-post, [associate head coach David] Cox called it right in the huddle,” Rice said. “They just out-executed and out-toughed us there.”
And so, Georgetown (17-4, 7-3 Big East) did what Rutgers (12-10, 3-8 Big East) has struggled to do in the last three and a half weeks. Not only grind out a game, but cap it off with a win.
“In the Big East you just got to find a way to win and at the end they found a way to win,” Seagears said. “And I think at the end they found a way with Porter cutting in and just making a tough tough shot and the and one bucket also.”
Displaying why he’s one of the premiere players in the Big East.
“He’s a hell of a player, I know that much,” Seagears said. “He’s actually the reason they finished off the way they did and why they got the ‘W.’”