Porter injured in Hoyas opening win over Duquesne

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Porter injured in Hoyas opening win over Duquesne

Two nights after Georgetown's aircraft carrier game went the no contest route out because of wet conditions, the inexperienced Hoyas officially opened their regular season with a "sloppy," albeit winning performance against Duquesne.

Losing Otto Porter early on with a head injury complicated matters. So did Georgetown's half court offensive struggles and the Dukes feisty resolve.

As it turned out, the Hoyas survived without the heralded forward, downing Duquesne 61-55 victory in the opening round of the Legends Classic on Sunday night at the Verizon Center thanks to freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's splashy shooting debut and Greg Whittington's manly rebounding.

The scoreless Porter left the court wincing in pain with 11:55 remaining, never returning to the bench.

"He's being monitored. He got hit in the head and as a precaution we just said let's not put him back in. It was close," said a John Thompson IIII. The Georgetown coach was unable to report in this postgame press conference whether Porter had suffered a concussion.

The Hoyas (1-0) blew most of an 11-point lead inside the final four minutes before winning their eighth straight season-opener under the ninth-year coach.

Georgetown played Friday against Florida on the U.S.S. Bataan, but the outdoor contest was called at halftime due to a slippery surface, making the home game the actual season opener.

Smith-Rivera sank his first six attempts including four first half bombs from beyond arc and finished with 19 points, missing only his final shot of the game. Whittington grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds, none more important than an offensive board snared after Jabril Trawick missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw with 28 seconds left and Georgetown up 56-53. Fouled by the Dukes, Whittington sank two free throws extending the lead to 58-53.

"I just went up to go get that rebound," Whittington said. "There was nothing to it. I just went up and got it."

Smith-Rivera made three of four free throws over the final 19 seconds to seal the ugly win.

"I think both teams were sloppy," Thompson said. "We definitely were sloppy at both ends of the court. It's early. It definitely felt like the season opener. We have a long way to go."

Mikael Hopkins finished with 13 points and his layup with 3:59 remaining put the Hoyas up 54-43. Over the next three minutes, Georgetown committed two of its 17 turnovers.

Duquesne (0-2) put together a 10-2 run before Whittington's board work and the final free throws iced the game. Sean Johnson led the Dukes with 21 points.

As for his rebounding ace, Thompson said, "I thought that Greg was very, very good today. He got 15 rebounds I believe and most of them are what I call "man rebounds." They aren't just the ones that just fell to him. He went and got them, up and over the rim."

The stocky 6-foot-3 Smith-Rivera, the top-rated among Georgetown's four freshman, entered four minutes into the game. Just 16 seconds later, his first official shot went up. Swish. Four more made 3-pointers in the half followed, though the final attempt was waved off, coming a split-second after the halftime buzzer.

"He can shoot, he can score, and he's a very good passer," Thompson said. "Just so happened tonight he was the recipient and our guys found him and he put the ball in the basket - but we needed that, there is no doubt about it."

The Indianapolis native tacked on another jumper in the first half. The Hoyas needed all of it; while Smith-Rivera went 5 of 5 in the half, his teammates finished 5 of 22. The ball movement was a touch better in the second half, but the Hoyas usual back door looks were non-existent until Nate Lubick hit a cutting Markel Starks for a layup and a 58-53 lead inside the final minute.

"I thought we were forcing too much," Thompson said. "We were hunting too much for our points instead of just making the ball move. That one possession we went through a whole series of things, stayed with it a little longer and we get a layup."

Other times in the closing minutes and throughout the game, the young Hoyas - six of the nine players that saw action are freshman or sophomores - proved impatient.

"We're coming down, it's under three minutes and we don't have a clear advantage and we're still trying to push it up," Thompson said. "I guess that's what this time of year is for, to figure it out."

Terps jump to No. 22 in national AP Top 25 poll

Terps jump to No. 22 in national AP Top 25 poll

Maryland basketball keeps moving on up.

After landing the last spot in the AP’s Top 25 last week, the Big Ten-leading Terps (17-2 overall, 5-1 Big Ten) continue their climb in the ranks, now sitting at No. 22 as of Monday. However, despite the conference standings, they're still behind No. 15 Wisconsin (16-3, 5-1) and No. 20 Purdue (16-4, 5-2).

Heading into Tuesday’s home matchup against Rutgers, Maryland is riding a four-game win streak with its last loss on Jan. 1 against Nebraska (9-10, 3-4).

Since cracking the Top 25, the Terps played one game last week — an 84-76 win over Iowa (11-9, 3-4) on the road with junior guard Melo Trimble leading the way with 20 points.

Freshman forward Justin Jackson also made waves last week, netting 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds, earning him the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week honor, the conference announced Monday.

Maryland takes on the Scarlet Knights (12-8, 1-6) on Tuesday at the XFINITY Center at 7 p.m.

AP TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLL:

1. Villanova

2. Kansas

3. Gonzaga

4. Kentucky

5. Baylor

6. Florida State

7. Arizona

8. UCLA

9. North Carolina

10. Oregon

11. Butler

12. Virginia

13. Louisville

14. Notre Dame

15. Wisconsin

16. Creighton

17. Duke

18. West Virginia

19. Cincinnati

20. Purdue

21. Saint Mary's

23. Maryland 

23. South Carolina

24. Xavier

25. Florida

MORE NCAA: Georgetown is back on a losing streak

Virginia Tech deals Clemson its 6th consecutive ACC loss

Virginia Tech deals Clemson its 6th consecutive ACC loss

CLEMSON, S.C. — Seth Allen scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half as hot-shooting Virginia Tech held off Clemson 82-81 on Sunday, sending the Tigers to their sixth straight Atlantic Coast Conference loss.

The Hokies (15-4, 4-3 ACC) shot 60.9 percent (14 of 23) in the second half and 54.7 percent overall to win for the third time in the past four games. Allen made five of his six shots — including three 3-pointers — in the final 20 minutes and had a critical steal with 90 seconds left to keep Virginia Tech out front.

The Tigers (11-8, 1-6) appeared to take the lead down 70-69 as Jaron Blossomgame's shot with 3:48 left was rolling around and ready to fall in when teammate Sidy Djitte, attempting a tip in, knocked it away.

Chris Clarke soon followed with a three-point play and Allen hit a crushing 3-pointer with 29 seconds left to seal things for the Hokies.

Clemson got within 80-78 with 5.9 seconds left on Blossomgame's 3-pointer. But Justin Bibbs hit two foul shots to seal things.

Blossomgame and Avry Holmes had 20 points each for Clemson, whose ACC losing streak is its longest since dropping seven straight to end the 2012-13 season.

Holmes hit a 3-pointer for Clemson as time ran out to end the scoring.

Zach LeDay had 16 points and Ahmed Hill had 11 for the Hokies.

MORE NCAA: Georgetown is back on a losing streak