Washington – Like a broken record, Rutgers made a top-10 team sweat before losing its momentum late in a double-digit loss.
Leading No. 7 Georgetown at the Verizon Center in the second half, Rutgers could not stop player of the year candidate Otto Porter from taking over the game and lost 64-51 to make it four in a row.
“It’s very frustrating,” said head coach Mike Rice. “There was good execution, we’re getting some offensive rebounds. It’s the difference between good team and bad teams, winning and losing. You have to finish when you get opportunities and we didn’t.”
Trailing 38-37 with 12 minutes left in the game, the Scarlet Knights fell victim to another dominant night for Porter. Porter electrified the 12,931 in attendance with a put-back dunk as a part of seven straight points and a 9-0 Georgetown run.
Rutgers never recovered and foul trouble closed the door on any hopes at the biggest road win in school history.
Porter finished with a game-high 28 and eight rebounds, averaging 27.6 points per game over his last three.
“We didn’t know he was going to sit on the free-throw line 18 times,” said senior forward Dane Miller. “It was a tough game for us. Every time we put our hands on him, they called a foul.”
Led by a 15-of-18 night from Porter at the line, the Hoyas won the game at the charity stripe. Where Rutgers shot 6-of-15 for the night, the Hoyas finished at 71 percent and forced Wally Judge to foul out in the process. Rutgers committed 30 total fouls in the loss and allowed Porter to make more free throws than any other Hoya in the past 12 seasons.
After the loss, however, Rice was more frustrated by his team’s lack of finishing than the inability to stop Porter. As a national player of the year candidate, Porter is expected to make his impact, but just four second-chance points and a brutal free throw night made the difference.
“Every time we miss a free throw, every time we miss a put-back, every time we go soft offensively, that takes away some of the passion and energy you have to have to defend Otto Porter and Georgetown,” Rice said.
Rutgers (13-14, 4-12) drops below .500 for the first time since the season-opener with the loss and faces another big challenge Tuesday night, hosting Marquette on Senior Night.