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Blue Demons Fall to Georgetown, 71-59
Brandon Young led DePaul with 15 points on Monday.

Brandon Young led DePaul with 15 points on Monday.

Feb. 3, 2014

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­­ROSEMONT, Ill. – A slow start to the second half proved to be DePaul’s undoing Monday night.

A 17-7 run enabled Georgetown to erase a halftime deficit and pin a 71-59 BIG EAST Conference loss on the Blue Demons at Allstate Arena.

DePaul applied its full-court press in an effort to catch up, but the Hoyas played it smart down the stretch and hit their free throws.

As a team, Georgetown (13-9, 4-6 in the BIG EAST) went 30-of-41 from the line, including 23-of-28 in the second half. Markel Starks led the Hoyas with 26 points.

DePaul (10-13, 2-8) led for the first 22 minutes of the game. But once Georgetown moved ahead early in the second half, the Hoyas never relinquished the lead.

A 7-0 burst in the second half gave Georgetown (13-9, 4-6) a seven-point lead. Billy Garrett Jr.’s driving layup brought the home team within 48-44 when the Hoyas went on a 10-0 run.

Brandon Young led the Blue Demons with 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals while Garrett finished with 12 points after missing two games with an illness. Freshman R.J. Curington had 10 points---his third consecutive game in double figures.

“There was an eight-minute stretch at the beginning of the second half that clearly cost us the game,” said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. “There was a lack of focus and guys were not communicating. The miscues were team-wide.

“We also hit a drought where we didn’t get a field goal for almost six minutes. Our salvation to win games has to be on the defensive end of the floor. We have to understand that.”

A sluggish start to the second half saw Georgetown tie the game at 32-32. DePaul had held the lead for the first 22 minutes and led 30-27 at halftime. The Hoyas took their first lead on Aaron Bowen’s 3-point shot. A Tommy Hamilton IV basket down low left the Blue Demons trailing 35-34.

Garrett’s 3-pointer knotted everything up at 37-37 before Jabril Trawick’s basket and 3-point shot put the visiting team ahead by five. A pair free throws by Markel Starks gave Georgetown a 44-37 lead in the middle of the second half.

A clutch three from Young and a Garrett drive to the basket twice made it a two-possession game. Georgetown led 51-44 after a D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera three-point play with less than eight minutes to go.

“In the first half, we were more focused and locked-in defensively,” Garrett said. “We had some slippage in the second half and turnovers hurt us (Georgetown scored 23 points off turnovers).

“I felt okay out there in short stints. After being out more than a week, I’ll try to get back to game speed.”

Curington and Forrest Robinson made their first starts of the season, and Curington teamed with Young to give DePaul an early seven-point lead. Curington, who was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week earlier on Monday, has scored 47 points in his last three games.

Garrett was reunited on the court with Charles McKinney who returned from an ankle injury.

Georgetown had closed within three with less than eight minutes to go in the first half when Young connected on a 3-pointer. Hamilton followed with a nice post-up move inside for another basket. After a Hoya score, Curington swished a corner three putting the Blue Demons ahead 24-15 after a 9-2 run.

The Hoyas responded with a 7-0 burst in narrowing the lead to two before DePaul went ahead by six after two Young foul shots and a McKinney back-door layup. Starks hit a three as the Blue Demons went into leading by three.

“Those guys play really, really hard,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said about a DePaul defense that limited the Hoyas to 30 percent shooting in the first half. “They made us play bad.”

Up next for the Blue Demons is an 8 p.m. tipoff Friday at No. 12/12 Creighton who is tied with Villanova atop the BIG EAST standings. The game will be televised on FOX Sports 1.

Notes: Tonight’s meeting was the 29th all-time between the two schools… Georgetown leads the series 23-6, including 14 straight wins… tonight’s game was DePaul’s 480th all-time appearance at Allstate Arena… The Blue Demons have knocked down a three-pointer in 634 straight games, dating back to Feb. 16, 1993… Young passed Stephen Howard (1,691 pts., 1988-92) for seventh on the school’s all-time scoring list… with two steals, Young moved past Stanley Brundy into fourth all-time in school history in steals (169)… Curington reached double figures for the third straight game after receiving BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors earlier in the day… Georgetown’s 30 free throws and 41 free throws attempted were both season-highs by an opponent.