Starks, Hoyas get past Cincinnati for 7th consecutive win
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Markel Starks scored 17 points and hit some key free throws down the stretch to boost No. 15 Georgetown to its seventh straight win, 62-55 over Cincinnati.
Otto Porter Jr. added 16 points and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 14 for the Hoyas (19-4, 9-3 Big East), who won despite wasting a 12-point lead in the second half. They are in sole possession of first place in the conference, a half-game ahead of Syracuse and Marquette.
JaQuon Parker had 15 points, while Sean Kilpatrick and Cashmere Wright each scored 12 for the Bearcats (19-7, 7-6), who lost for the third time in four contests.
Starks, who gave the Hoyas the lead for good by draining a 3-pointer with 5 1/2 minutes left, went 5-of-6 from the charity stripe over the last 47.7 seconds of the game.
Parker drove the left baseline and hit a leaning bank shot to give the Bearcats a 51-50 edge with 6:53 remaining. It was Cincinnati's first lead since 7-6.
Starks went 1-for-2 at the foul line a half-minute later and after Titus Rubles missed a pair of free throws, Starks gave the visitors the lead for good by burying a 3-point shot.
Cincinnati had a few opportunities to tie or go ahead, but faltered thanks in part to poor shooting. The hosts went 9-of-28 from the field over the final 20 minutes and finished 4-of-24 from 3-point range.
Jermaine Sanders and Parker both missed 3-point opportunities with under two minutes left.
Porter made two free throws with 1:16 left for a 57-53 margin. Starks made another from the charity stripe a short time later before the Bearcats sealed their own fate due to a devastating turnover. Sanders missed a 3-point try. Cheikh Mbodj got the offensive rebound, but threw the ball right into the hands of Starks with 37 seconds left.
Starks converted 4-of-4 from the foul line over the final 31.2 seconds.
The Hoyas led by as many as nine in the opening half before taking a 31-25 edge to the intermission. The margin stretched to 43-31 following Nate Lubick's jumper with 15:17 remaining.
Wright (192) became Cincinnati's all-time steals leader, passing the mark of 189 from David "Puffy" Kennedy from 1977-81 ... Georgetown had lost the previous four meetings ... Cincinnati shot 31.5 percent.
02/15 23:58:04 ET