Despite sophomore point guard Markel Starks’ absence due to a stomach illness, No. 10 Georgetown (15-3, 5-2 Big East) eased past DePaul (10-8, 1-5 Big East) in an 83-75 win thanks to career-best performances from its two healthy rotation guards. Senior Jason Clark set a career high with 31 points and freshman Jabril Trawick tied his career high with nine points in just 12 minutes off the bench.

“[Starks] has — and this is not the trainer’s definition or the doctor’s, but — something going on with his stomach,” Head Coach John Thompson III said after the game. “We were getting on the bus and he said he wasn’t feeling well. He’s been throwing up and having stomach issues and then once he got here, he just said he felt too weak, told me he couldn’t play.”

Clark also played a role in the Blue and Gray’s domination on the boards, pulling down five rebounds in a game that saw the Hoyas outrebound the Blue Demons by a staggering 47-25 margin. Senior center Krys Faber and sophomore forward Cleveland Melvin were the only two DePaul starters taller than 6-foot-3. The 6-foot-10 Faber played just seven minutes against a Georgetown team that boasted four starters standing at 6-foot-8 or higher as freshman forward Otto Porter replaced Starks in the starting lineup.

Full-court pressure from DePaul went a long way towards mitigating Georgetown’s advantage on the boards, as the hosts forced 18 turnovers while committing only 11 themselves. The Hoyas also failed to take advantage of DePaul’s propensity for fouling, making just three of eight first-half attempts and finishing the game a mediocre 16-of-28 from the charity stripe.

Clark’s brilliance more than covered for those problems, though. The senior, who turned 22 on Monday, shot 11-of-14 from the field and scored 18 of his points in the second half after the Blue Demons cut the Georgetown lead to one with an 8-0 run spanning the break.

“It was a difficult game for him in that he had to deal with their press and their pressure most of the time, but then also he was clearly in a groove and the ball was going in,” Thompson III said. “Obviously Jason played very, very well.”

“It was coming through our offense,” Clark said. “I’d been on a stretch where I [hadn’t] been, you know, making a ton of three-pointers, but today they were falling.”

Senior center Henry Sims struggled with foul trouble, playing just 23 minutes and fouling out late in the game, but the Blue Demons had no answer for his length when he was on the court. Sims was second on the team with 16 points and had a team-high four offensive rebounds. Junior forward Hollis Thompson struggled from the field, shooting 6-of-15, but was the third Hoya in double digits with 14 points and committed only one turnover in a generally sloppy road contest.

“Road wins in this league are very difficult to come by. To that extent, it was a good day,” Thompson III said. “I don’t want to take anything away from their effort, their stick-to-itiveness, but we made that a lot harder than it had to be… To come in here and win is good, but we have to be better.”

Georgetown returns home from its brief two-game road trip to play host to Rutgers this Saturday.Tipoff is scheduled for noon.

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