Postgame Roundup: Hoyas defeat Butler Bulldogs in overtime
The Georgetown Hoyas, 11-4 (3-1 in Big East) defeated the Butler Bulldogs, 10-6 (0-4 in Big East) in a 70-67 overtime thriller Saturday night.
Despite the fact that Georgetown’s interior defense was plagued by foul trouble, stars D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Markel Starks came through for the Hoyas, with a little help from role player Aaron Bowen. After the Hoyas blew a commanding second half lead, they found needed a clutch three-pointer from Markel Starks to tie the game and send it to overtime.
From there, despite being forced to play Freshman wing Reggie Cameron as a center, Smith-Rivera and Starks led Georgetown to overtime victory, punctuated by a thunderous dunk from Bowen.
The loss was both critical for Georgetown in its attempt to keep pace in the Big East and devastating for a Butler team that is better than its record suggests.
Both teams shot the ball poorly early in the first half, although Georgetown managed to heat up fast enough to race into halftime with the lead. From there, the Hoyas effectively maintained a safe distance between themselves and Butler, as Butler’s best player, Kelly Dunham, struggled to get into an offensive rhythm.
For Georgetown, Indiana native Smith-Rivera was critical offensively for a team that can be anemic offensively at times. Smith-Rivera was the best player on the court Saturday with 18 points, 7 rebounds and five assists. Smith-Rivera’s strong night combined with some late magic from Starks prevented Georgetown from enduring an epic collapse that would have effectively ended their season in the Big East.
While Georgetown did not play particularly well, they received gritty performances from players who were pressed into service filling in for the players who fouled out.
Meanwhile, Butler has struggled tremendously without star coach Brad Stevens, and has failed to live up to expectations in the Big East, failing to deliver for their home crowd.
Next week, Georgetown will face Xavier, beginning the most challenging section of the Hoya’s schedule. Only time will tell whether Georgetown will be able to compete with the rest of the Big East this season.
Photo: Gavin Myers/Georgetown Voice