Washington, DC – Greg Whittington scored 11 points and the No. 15 Georgetown Hoyas held off the Towson Tigers, 46-40, at the Verizon Center on Saturday.
Once again the Hoyas (7-1) struggled offensively, shooting just 29.2 percent for the game, but played outstanding defense in converting 20 Towson (4-5) turnovers into 18 points for their fourth straight victory.
Mikael Hopkins, Otto Porter and Nate Lubick each contributed 10 points in the victory.
Coming off a career game against Vermont, former Hoya Jerrelle Benimon led the Tigers with 11 points, a game-high 16 rebounds and two blocks in defeat. He transferred from Georgetown after the 2010-11 season.
"I was pretty pumped up coming back to Verizon Center," said Benimon. "It was a good experience, I'm still pretty cool with the coaches and a couple of the players, so it was fun to see them again."
A year removed from a pitiful 1-31 campaign, the Tigers went toe-to-toe with the ranked Hoyas throughout the contest, but managed just three points over the final 4:37 of the game.
The Tigers led throughout the first half until Whittington threw down a dunk to put Georgetown ahead with under a minute to play in the opening stanza.
The Hoyas continued their struggles on offense, shooting just 16.7 percent in the first half, but clung to a 17-15 lead over the Tigers at the break.
"It's got to get better," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III regarding his team's offense. "I told the guys this, at this point we have a lot of growing up to do. We're immature offensively, in that we have a lot of guys that are thinking, trying to figure out what to do, what reads to make and it's something we have to work on."
Towson did not let up in the second half, as Jerome Hairston scored eight straight points to bring them within one before Michael Burwell got in the paint and floated home a layup to put Towson back on top 27-26.
Both teams exchanged several baskets until Porter's free throw put Georgetown ahead for good.
Burwell and Rafriel Guthrie each made layups to keep the Tigers within one, but two straight baskets from the Hoyas gave them a 42-37 advantage with 4:54 remaining.
Following a timeout, Benimon drained a triple to keep Towson within striking distance, but the Tigers failed to score again.
They turned the ball over on three straight possessions before Burwell missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with a minute left. Starks then hit a running jumper in the lane with under 30 seconds to play to put the game away for the Hoyas.
Georgetown won its 40th straight game at home against a non-conference opponent and improved to 20-1 in their last 21 home games overall dating back to last season ... Bilal Dixon and Marcus Damas both fouled out for Towson. Dixon had five points and six rebounds and Damas scored six before exiting ... The Tigers have never beaten the Hoyas, losing for the fourth time ... Towson is winless (0-9) versus ranked opponents all-time.