Georgetown beats Syracuse 61-39

Syracuse forward James Southerland, left, battles for the ball with Georgetown guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Washington. Photo: The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - On an afternoon that Otto Porter Jr. didn't make a field goal until the second half, No. 5 Georgetown used stifling defense to close its Big East rivalry against No. 17 Syracuse with a 61-39 victory Saturday that gave the Hoyas the regular-season conference title.

Georgetown sent Syracuse off to the Atlantic Coast Conference with the Orange's lowest-scoring Big East game.

Porter finished with 10 points, but the national player of the year candidate contributed in plenty of other ways, as usual, with eight rebounds and seven assists.

Markel Starks scored 19, and freshman D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Hoyas (24-5, 14-4), who will be the No. 1 seed at the Big East tournament next week in New York.

Syracuse (23-8, 11-7) was led by Michael Carter-Williams' 17 points.