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No. 12 Georgetown hands No. 4 Louisville 1st loss

Dec 29, 2011 - 6:32 AM Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Markel Starks scored 20 points and No. 12 Georgetown survived a late Louisville run to earn a 71-68 win and hand the No. 4 Cardinals their first loss of the season Wednesday.

Louisville (12-1, 0-1 Big East), which was looking to match the best start in program history, used an 11-0 burst to tie the game with two minutes left, but Georgetown answered with six straight points to secure the win.

Otto Porter had 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Hollis Thompson added 10 points for the Hoyas (11-1, 1-0), who have won nine in a row.

"It was a very good big win against a very good team in a difficult place to play," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III. "We aren't worrying about validation right now. We just want to try to accumulate wins."

Kyle Kuric scored a team-high 17 points for the Cardinals, while Peyton Siva had 15 and Russ Smith finished with 14. Louisville started the game as one of only six unbeaten Division I teams.

Georgetown took control of a back-and-forth contest late in the second half, grabbing a 63-52 lead on Starks' layup with just over four minutes left. But Louisville rallied with an 11-0 run to tie the game. Siva scored four points during the burst and set up Gorgui Dieng for the game-tying layup with 2:02 left.

The Hoyas responded with six straight points, including a pair of free throws from both Henry Sims and Porter, before Smith knocked down a trey to make it 69-66 with 22 seconds remaining. Porter sealed the win with two more from the line before Rakeem Buckles capped the scoring with a layup at the buzzer.

"That was a disappointing loss," said Louisville coach Rick Pitino. "Our guys continued to fight hard. But I thought we really rushed, jacked up shots when it was still a game."

Earlier, the Cardinals scored 18 points in the paint en route to a slim 35-32 lead at the break. With a win, they would have matched the 1974-75 team for the best start in school history. The narrow defeat also halted a 20-game home win streak.

Game Notes

The Cardinals 20-game home win streak was their longest since winning 20 straight from January 29, 1966 through December 1, 1967, at Freedom Hall...Georgetown leads the all-time series, 8-4...Starks went 7-of-8 from the field, including 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.