NCAA

Hoyas look to build off Brooklyn showing

markelstarks.jpg

Hoyas look to build off Brooklyn showing

After splitting a pair of games against ranked foes in Brooklyn, the Hoyas (3-1) return to the Verizon Center on Saturday against Mount St. Mary's (Noon). Georgetown downed UCLA in the semifinals of the Legends Classic on Monday before falling 82-72 in overtime to top-ranked Indiana in Tuesday's championship game despite 20 points from Markel Starks and late-game heroics by Otto Porter.

As expected, the Hoyas' performance proved demonstratively better with Porter, the do-everything sophomore forward who missed the bulk of Georgetown's first two games with a concussion suffered in the season opener. The New York eye-opener was the junior Markel Starks, who set his career-high with 23 points against UCLA.

In the previous 20 games, the former Georgetown Prep star had not topped 11 points. His overall game suffered in the scoring wake, his minutes fluctuated over the final weeks last season. The Hoyas need more of the aggressive, confident, 3-point making version going forward in the Big East wars, especially since he's the only upperclassman among the primary backcourt options. The Hoyas' leading scorer with 13.8 points, Starks is shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc.

As for the versatile Porter, he averaged 16.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.5 blocks and 2.5 steals in the New York swing, which included the overtime-forcing layup against Indiana.

Fellow sophomore Mikael Hopkins scored 11 points against the Hoosiers before fouling out. After receiving limited minutes last season, the 6-foot-8 forward and former DeMatha product has reached double figures in scoring in all four games this season, though his apprehensive post-play leaves observers wanting more.

The Mountaineers (1-2), coached by 29-year-old former VCU assistant Jamion Christian, are led in scoring by former George Mason guard Rashad Whack (13.7 ppg). The first meeting between the two programs since 2009, Georgetown leads the all-time series 20-6.

While the Hoyas have the talent edge, the Mountaineers have proved formidable offensively from distance, an inconsistent area defensively for Georgetown to date. Despite the Hoyas' perimeter length, highlighted by Porter and the elastic Greg Whittington, Indiana made 10 of 17 three-pointers in victory. Earlier this month, Liberty sank 10 of 19 from beyond the arc in a 68-59 Georgetown victory. The Mountaineers are shooting 37.7 percent from 3-point territory led by Whack's 9 of 18 from distance.

Barring an upset to Mount St. Mary's or the various voting groups prove unimpressed McKayla Maroney-style by the Brooklyn outings, this should be Georgetown's last game as an unranked squad - for now, anyway. Starting Saturday, the Hoyas play six of their next seven games at home with only the Nov. 30 matchup against Tennessee in the Big East-SEC challenge standing out as a likely roadblock. The one away game comes against skittish Texas on Dec. 4 in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

usatsi_10821197.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

WASHINGTON -- Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run homer, Vince Velasquez pitched five effective innings and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped Washington's six-game win streak with a 3-1 victory over the Nationals on Saturday.

Velasquez (2-4) allowed one run and one hit in his first win since April 7. He also struck out four, walked four and hit a batter.

Edubray Ramos, Tommy Hunter, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris then combined for four innings of one-hit relief. Neris earned his sixth save.

Trea Turner led off the Washington ninth with a walk and was running when Matt Wieters popped out to short right field. Turner, who slid into second, lost track of the ball and was easily doubled off first.

Wilmer Difo homered for Washington. Third baseman Anthony Rendon went 0 for 2 with two walks after missing 19 games with what the team called a contusion to his toe.

Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark (2-3) tied his season high with nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He was charged with three runs and six hits.

Andrew Stevenson accounted for Washington's other hit, a one-out single in the sixth. Pedro Severino followed with a walk, but Ramos induced a double-play grounder from Rafael Bautista.

Cesar Hernandez opened the game with a single off Roark and Hoskins homered to center on a 3-2 pitch. It was his fifth of the season.

Maikel Franco provided an insurance run when he followed Carlos Santana's one-out triple with a single in the sixth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: RHP Ben Lively (lower back strain) threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session. Lively was placed on the disabled list April 27. ... Manager Gabe Kapler said RHP Pat Neshek (shoulder strain) will throw a bullpen session as the next step in his rehabilitation. Neshek has not appeared in a game this season.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was scratched from the lineup due to stiffness in his side, according to manager Dave Martinez. ... RHP Trevor Gott, who sprained an ankle in the sixth inning Friday night, is day to day.

UP NEXT

The winners of the last three NL Cy Young Awards square off when Philadelphia's Jake Arrieta (3-1, 3.49 ERA) opposes Max Scherzer (6-1, 1.79 ERA). Arrieta won the award in 2015 with the Cubs and Scherzer, the National League Pitcher of the Month for April, has claimed the honor each of the last two seasons.

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

omer_yurtseven_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

MORE NCAA: TOP BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.