ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP)—Roy Hibbert’s mere presence made Georgetown’s defense dominant Tuesday night in an easy victory over DePaul. He was just as good— maybe even better—on offense in the seventh-ranked Hoyas’ 76-60 rout of the Blue Demons.
Hibbert had 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists as Georgetown won its fourth straight game since a loss to No. 2 Memphis.
“In many ways his scoring is irrelevant. … Just his effort and energy level was terrific and it was infectious to the rest of our team,” Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. “The rebounds he ran down and the defensive plays that he made. His decision-making is always good. He just set the tone, set it early.”
Georgetown scored the game’s first 11 points and played its customary tough defense with Hibbert changing shots in the lane, even though he had no blocks.
The Hoyas also parlayed their patient offense into one easy basket after another. Georgetown (12-1, 2-0 Big East) led by as many as 24 points in the first half and was up 46-25 at halftime. The biggest lead was 28 in the second half.
“We made sure we limited them to one shot and made it hard for them to score over us and made it tough for them down low,” the 7-foot-2 Hibbert said. “That opened up the floodgates for us.”
DePaul (6-8, 2-1) had won four straight and was off to a 2-0 league start for the first time ever, but the Blue Demons were overmatched.
Hibbert had two baskets to start the second half, including a dunk, and the Hoyas were sailing at 50-25.
Hibbert got his third foul with 15 minutes to go and DePaul’s brief rally cut the lead to 17. But the Hoyas showed their poise and quickly pushed the lead back to 27 with just under nine minutes to play as Patrick Ewing Jr. took a pass from Hibbert for a basket and then dunked to make it 67-40.
The balanced Georgetown attack featured 13 points from Austin Freeman and 12 apiece from Jessie Sapp and Jonathan Wallace.
“They get me the ball and I’ve got to get them the ball, as well,” Hibbert said. “I get them some passes and more open looks and set some screens so they can get good shots and that will open up things for me down low. … It’s fun to score a little bit and then when people start focusing on you and turn their back, I try to hit them with passes.”
Mac Koshwal and Dar Tucker led DePaul with 14 points each. Koshwal had 13 rebounds and, like teammate Wesley Green, had trouble with Hibbert.
“I tried my best to guard him,” said Koshwal, a 6-foot-10 freshman. “He’s a very skilled big man.”
Georgetown smothered DePaul from the outset with the Blue Demons missing their first seven shots.
Hibbert had a sweeping hook for a basket and then a reverse left-handed dunk. Wallace’s 3-pointer made it 11-0 just four minutes into the game.
“Our guys did a good job of sharing the ball,” Thompson said.
Freeman’s layup on a give-and-go, another hook in the lane by Hibbert and Wallace’s 3-pointer pushed the lead to 28-11 with 7:20 left in the half.
DePaul missed 18 of its first 22 shots, while the Hoyas connected on 12 of their first 17. At halftime, the Hoyas were 19-for-29 (65 percent) while DePaul was 8-of-33 (24 percent), including 2-of-14 on 3-pointers.
Georgetown finished at 54 percent and held DePaul to 32 percent.
DePaul made a mini-rally in the first half with five straight points to get within 13, but Sapp had a three-point play after driving right through the porous DePaul defense and Freeman got another easy basket on a nifty bounce pass from Hibbert that made it 40-20.
The Hoyas were up 44-20 in the closing seconds, but after the Hoyas lost the ball, Ewing raced to the other end of the court and delivered a hard foul on Will Walker. Ewing was also called for a technical foul on the play with 9.8 seconds to go. DePaul got a five-point play out of the heated exchange, making three of four free throws before Draelon Burns got an offensive rebound and hit a layup.
But Georgetown’s Tyler Crawford tipped in a shot just before the buzzer, giving the Hoyas a 46-25 lead.
Burns, DePaul’s leading scorer at 18.5 points, managed only six points.
The Hoyas entered the game shooting 52 percent from the field and allowing opponents to hit just 34.8 percent. They had allowed an average of 54.4 points and only Memphis has scored more than 60.