Feel-ine Good: Hoyas Snap Two-Game Skid with Blowout Win Against Tigers
After going 1-2 in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament last week, the Georgetown men’s basketball (5-2, 0-0 Big East) rediscovered their winning ways by convincingly defeating Towson (7-2, 0-0 CAA), 76-46, Sunday afternoon at Verizon Center. Georgetown junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera led an all-around team effort for the Hoyas, who had five players score in double-figures, with 16 points.
The Blue and Gray controlled the game right from the opening tip, as they never relinquished the 2-0 lead they acquired after senior center Joshua Smith‘s layup just 20 seconds into the game. Behind 62 percent shooting in the first half, the Hoyas entered halftime with a commanding 40-17 halftime lead. Although the Hoyas were certainly clicking on the offensive end, the Tigers did not help themselves either by shooting a measly 24 percent from the floor in the first half. Although both teams played more evenly in the second half, the Georgetown lead, which grew to as many as 35 points midway through the second half, was insurmountable for Towson, who went 0-for-12 from three-point range in the game. A fast start, which has eluded the Hoyas as of late against inferior non-conference foes, was a focal point for the Hoyas entering the matchup.
“I think… we just wanted to come out and be aggressive,” said Smith-Rivera. “Coming off of two losses we wanted to be the aggressor and come out and get a win more than anything.”
Despite not playing a game in nearly 10 days, the Hoyas showed no signs of rust, as all players contributed to the win. Senior center Joshua Smith’s dominance in the low-post early on, with eight points in the game’s first 10 minutes, forced the Tigers to double-team him early on and opened up opportunities for his teammates from the perimeter. Freshman forward Paul White proved to be one of the beneficiaries, as he converted 3-of-4 attempts from downtown and finished with 11 points. Overall, the Hoyas shot 50 percent, 11-of-22, from three-point land largely in part due to the separation Smith, who finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, helped create for his teammates.
“Josh is a weapon we have that we have to take advantage of,” said Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III. “I thought he did a good job today of pursuing the ball and not just watching and waiting for it. Once we established [Josh in the post] it becomes a lot easier to make 11-of-22 from three.”
Senior guard Jabril Trawick, senior forward Aaron Bowen and freshman forward Isaac Copeland all had strong games for the Hoyas as well. Trawick tallied 11 points on an efficient 5-of-7 shooting while also dishing out three assists in just 21 minutes played. Coming off the bench for the Hoyas, both Copeland and Bowen helped maintain the Hoyas’ intensity, both on offense and defense, throughout the contest. Copeland added 10 points while Bowen scored eight points off perfect 3-of-3 shooting. The ability of these players to provide production off the bench adds another dimension to Thompson’s squad, as opponents will not only have to devote their attention to Smith-Rivera and Smith.
“If the guys play like they did today it takes the tension out of it, because you just pass to the open guy and the open guy can score, said Thompson, “So if you get five guys out there that can share the game, that can score, that can help each other. We have a team where we can put five guys on the floor and the opposition has to worry about each of them.”
The Hoyas will return to action this Wednesday when they face No. 11 Kansas (6-1, 0-0 Big 12). The Blue and Gray hopes to exact revenge for the 64-86 drubbing they suffered at the hands of the Jayhawks last season. Tip-off is slated for 7:00p.m.