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DePaul losing streak at five as Georgetown earns 71-59 win

ROSEMONT IL - FEBRUARY 03: Mikael Hopkins #3 Georgetown Hoyas puts up shot against Forrest Robins#11 DePaul Blue Demons Allstate

ROSEMONT, IL - FEBRUARY 03: Mikael Hopkins #3 of the Georgetown Hoyas puts up a shot against Forrest Robinson #11 of the DePaul Blue Demons at the Allstate Arena on February 3, 2014 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Updated: February 4, 2014 12:01AM

For the first 20 minutes Monday against DePaul, Georgetown hardly resembled the team that upset then-No. 7 Michigan State on Saturday. That changed when the Hoyas regrouped and the Blue Demons came apart in the second half.

Georgetown scored 23 points off 13 DePaul turnovers, converted 30 of 41 free throws and got 26 points from Markel Starks in a 71-59 victory at Allstate Arena.

‘‘I thought our first half was absolutely awful,’’ Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. ‘‘[The Demons] made it that way. Their team was playing really hard. In the second half, our guys decided they wanted to play.’’

DePaul (10-13, 2-8 Big East) led by as many as nine in the first half before letting a 30-27 halftime lead slip away because of turnovers and missed shots.

‘‘We went about eight minutes where we didn’t play well, giving them easy baskets, and at the same time we had a drought where we didn’t get a field goal,’’ said Demons coach Oliver Purnell, whose team lost its fifth consecutive game. ‘‘That cost us the game.’’

DePaul played its third consecutive game without leading scorer Cleveland Melvin, who has been suspended indefinitely for
undisclosed reasons.

‘‘It was the same old song,’’ said freshman guard Billy Garrett Jr., who scored 12 points off the bench in his return from a two-game
absence caused by an illness. ‘‘Turnovers let them back in the game, and we didn’t
defend for 40 minutes. Teams like that thrive off turnovers and mistakes.’’

Senior guard Brandon Young led the Demons with 15 points, and freshman guard R.J. Curington added 10 in his first career start.

The Hoyas (13-9, 4-6) started the game 1-for-13 from the field and had three players foul out, but they overcame that with double-figure scoring from Starks, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (17 points) and Jabril Trawick (15 points).

Gov. Pat Quinn, a Georgetown alum, watched the game from a skybox.


Twitter: @toniginnetti

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