On an afternoon when Otto Porter Jr. didn't make a field goal until the second half, No. 5 Georgetown used stifling defense to close its Big East rivalry against No. 17 Syracuse with a 61-39 victory Saturday that gave the Hoyas the regular-season conference title.
Georgetown sent Syracuse off to the Atlantic Coast Conference with the Orange's lowest-scoring Big East game.
Porter finished with 10 points, but the national player of the year candidate contributed in plenty of other ways, as usual, with eight rebounds and seven assists.
Markel Starks scored 19, and freshman D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Hoyas (24-5, 14-4), who will be the No. 1 seed at the Big East tournament next week in New York.
Syracuse (23-8, 11-7) was led by Michael Carter-Williams' 17 points.
In front of a raucous crowd of 20,792 at Verizon Center, the largest crowd ever to watch a college basketball game in the D.C. Metro area, Georgetown never trailed after pulling even at 3-3 on a three-pointer by Markel Starks. Starks hit another three moments later to give the Hoyas a 6-3 lead, and the home team never trailed again, closing the first half with a 9-3 run over the final five minutes and scoring the first seven points of the second half to go ahead by 32-18.
After Syracuse cut the deficit to nine, Starks hit another three to spark an 18-6 run, capped by a D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera jumper to make the score 52-31 with 7:22 left.
Georgetown and Syracuse first met in Big East play in 1980 as charter members of the conference. Saturday's game was the 62nd conference meeting between the two rivals, with the Hoyas winning 35 games to Syracuse's 27. Syracuse still holds an overall 48-41 advantage in the series, which dates back to the 1929-30 season.