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Georgetown Basketball: February 2014 News Archive

Marquette 75, Georgetown 73 2/28/14  

Three missed shots in the final 1:42 of play have all but ended Georgetown's 2014 NCAA hopes in a 75-73 loss at Marquette Thursday night.

Georgetown opened the game with effective shooting and good defense, but at a price. Jabril Trawick and D'Vauntes Smith Rivera combined for 13 points in the first seven minutes as Georgetown hit five of its first six shots and jumped to a 15-4 lead in the first five minutes of play, holding the Warriors (17-11) to 1-5 shooting. On defense, however, Marquette's size up front was apparent from the start, as both Mikael Hopkins and Nate Lubick picked up two fouls each within the first four minutes, necessitating a shuffle of resources in the pivot that would be an issue throughout the game.

Marquette fought back on the offensive rebound, with consecutive baskets off second chance attempts to close to 15-10, but the Hoyas were shooting 60 percent from the field when a Markel Starks three put Georgetown up eight at the 11:50 mark, 22-14. A run of poor defense evaporated the lead, as Marquette scored eight points over the next two minutes to tie the score, 22-22, and the Hoyas went over six minutes with just one field goal. As outside shooting waned, outstanding free throw support took hold, keeping the Hoyas close when a pair of baskets by Mikael Hopkins earned a 35-34 lead at the 3:09 mark. Marquette did not commit a turnover for the first 16 minutes of the game and ended with just two at the half, staying close as Georgetown shot 52% at the half, 50% from three point range, and arrived at intermission with a well played and well deserved 40-37 lead.

The second half was anything but, a rock fight of a period where fouls predominated the flow of play. Georgetown's front line trio of Nate Lubick, Mikael Hopkins, and Moses Ayegba were all in foul trouble at halftime, and it continued early in the second. Hopkins picked up his third foul just over one minute into the half and a fourth at the 17:42 mark, sitting him for most of the remainder of the game. Ayegba picked up two fouls in 22 seconds, with his fifth foul coming at the 16:41 mark. Georgetown was ineffective from the field to open the half but kept Marquette in check as well--neither team scored a field goal for the first 3:49 of the half. Georgetown's interior defense came at a price, and Jake Thomas made the most of it. Thomas, the designed three point shooter for Marquette, was 3-3 from three point range by intermission and opened up again in the second, with two open threes that keyed a 9-1 run to open a lead for the Warriors, 48-41.

The second half was a shooting drought by Georgetown, whose shooting numbers evaporated in the face of better zone defenses by Marquette and visibly tired shooting from its three main scorers. An inside pass from Starks to Lubick at the 14:08 mark was Georgetown's first basket of the second half at the 14:08 mark, A Smith-Rivera jumper would follow at the 12:37 mark, and the Hoyas would not earn a third bucket for almost seven minutes thereafter.

As the teams traded possessions, free throws and fouls were the story. Georgetown lost its second big man as Nate Lubick surrendered his fourth and fifth fouls within 16 seconds of each other, bowing out with 11:31 to play. With Hopkins sitting with four fouls, coach John Thompson III opted for Bradley Hayes to come off the bench and get a few minutes in to protect Hopkins. Hayes, who had played just 19 minutes all season, would play the remainder of the game with an effort well beyond fans' expectations, but it forced a significant change in strategy that led Marquette to victory.

Midway in the half, Marquette led by four, 60-56, and pushed the lead to seven after Thomas' sixth three of the game. Thomas fell victim to foul trouble, and with an inexperienced Hayes in the middle, Marquette began to go inside to Davante Gardner with predictable results. Over the next five possessions, the Warriors fed Gardner in four possessions, picking up nine points to hold a lead that Georgetown had been chipping away at much of the half despite scoring only three field goals over a 15 minute period.

Hayes seemed to grow in confidence in the stretch, giving the Georgetown cause new life. Consecutive baskets by Smith-Rivera closed the lead to three, 72-69 with 3:44 to play, and the defense forced a Todd Mayo turnover with 3:13 to play. Georgetown looked to close to one when Starks was called for charging on the next drive, but Hayes picked up a big rebound on the next series and fed Trawick for a basket at the 2:11 mark, 72-71. Despite all the poor shooting, Georgetown was actually in a position to win this game, but the shots weren't falling anymore.

On its next possession, the Hoyas held with 1:52 to play,but Smith Rivera took a quick three that rolled in and out. Marquette went back inside to gardner for a foul and two free throws, 74-71, answered by two from Starks ten seconds later, 74-73. Marquette went back to Gardner on its next series, but Hayes stood his ground and Gardner missed a short jumper, setting up Georgetown with the ball and a three second differential between the shot clock and the game clock. Off a time out, Starks held the ball and made his surge, driving inside but sending the shot off the backboard. A quick foul on Juan Anderson netted one more for Marquette, 75-73, but a miss on the second free throw gave Georgetown still one more chance with 10.8 seconds remaining.

Smith-Rivera had a clean view of the basket, drove the lane, but his shot skated across the rim. Hayes considered, but wisely avoided, a tip-in on the rim that would have been called as offensive goaltending, as the basket sailed out of Georgetown's hands thereafter--a thrilling finish, but perhaps also ending a realistic path for Georgetown to advance to the NCAA post-season.

Georgetown ended the second half shooting just 7-26, missing nine of ten from three point range, a familiar refrain for a team which has shown its shooting fatigue in games this season.

Davante Gardner (26 pts, 18 in the second half, 8-10 FG, 10-12 FT) and a career high 22 from Jake Thomas (7-12 FG, six three pointers) led the Warriors, who have won three straight versus Georgetown and five of six down the stretch this season. The Hoyas were carried with a combined 59 points from Markel Starks, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, and Jabril Trawick, but were outscored a staggering 40-3 from bench points. The Georgetown bench combined to shoot 0-8 from the field.

Georgetown falls to 7-9 in the conference with two games remaining. The Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       40   4-8   2-5   10-10 1   4  2   24
Smith-Rivera 40   4-9   2-7   5-6   5   3  1   19
Trawick      37   1-3   2-4   8-8   6   4  2   16
Lubick       12   2-4   0-0   1-1   3   0  4    5
Hopkins      18   3-3   0-0   0-1   4   0  5    6
Cameron       8   0-0   0-1   0-0   1   1  1    0
Bowen        22   0-3   0-3   1-2   4   0  2    1
Ayegba       12   0-1   0-0   0-0   5   1  5    0
Hayes        11   0-0   0-0   2-2   2   1  4    2
Injured: Adams
Did Not Play: Allen, Williams, Caprio, Domingo
Team Rebounds                       2
TOTALS      200  14-31  6-20 27-30 33  14 26   73
How Long Has It Been? 2/23/14  

Just one home game remains in the 2013-14 calendar--March 4 vs. Creighton, which will be the 250th Georgetown game played at Verizon Center since it opened in December 1997. Georgetown's overall record is now 187-62 (.751).

McDonough Gymnasium has hosted the most home games, 382, since it opened in 1951. Earlier this season, Verizon passed the Capital Centre for the second most home games in Georgetown history, with 235 games played in Landover, MD from 1974 through 1997.

Georgetown 74, Xavier 52 Updated 2/22/14 10:00 pm EST 

Not this time, Xavier.

A month ago, Xavier was able to give up 42 first half points and rally back from a 17 point deficit to hand Georgetown one of its most baffling losses of the 2013-14 season. In the rematch, the Hoyas again put up 42 at halftime but was able to build a 25 point second half lead en route to a remarkable 74-52 win at Verizon Center Saturday.

Two days earlier, Georgetown fell behind 4-0 at Seton Hall and never led in the game. Saturday, Georgetown opened the game 5-5 and never trailed. A big part of its early start went to junior Jabril Trawick who got the start over freshmen Reggie Cameron, who was on the bench throughout the game. Trawick scored five of the Hoyas' first nine points, and helped provide a key offensive spark as the Hoyas stopped one of two serious run by the Musketeers in the game.

From a 16-7 Georgetown lead with 14:36 to halftime, the Hoyas missed its next five shots and Xavier closed to 16-13, a common pattern given the Hoyas' inconsistent shooting this season. The Hoyas began to close off the inside play to Xavier center Matt Stainbrook, and went on a 13-5 run that put the game out of reach. baskets by Starks and Bowen put the Hoyas up six, and when Xavier's Jalen Reynolds was issued a technical foul for woofing it up over a block, Starks added two more at the line ti go up eight, 23-15.

Two more baskets by Trawick put the Hoyas up 29-15, with 12 of the points coming off Xavier turnovers. Semaj Christon's 4-4 shooting kept Xavier close, but even at a 47% shooting pace the Musketeers were 16 points down at the half, 42-26. The Hoyas shot 56 percent in the half and its 10-11 effort at the line set a high standard for the team to meet after the break.

They did even better.

The X-men mounted their second and final challenge of the game just after halftime, closing to 44-33 behind baskets by Christon and Stainbrook. The Stainbrook basket with 17:16 remaining would mark Xavier's last field goal for over 12 minutes, as the Hoyas' defense stepped up and the Musketeers had no answer.

Georgetown answered with a 12-2 run, with points from five different players: free throws from Aaron Bowen, a basket by Mikael Hopkins, a give-and-go from Bowen to Markel Starks, and a Trawick three put the Hoyas up 17, 52-35, followed up by two more from Bowen and a basket inside by Moses Ayegba.. Emblematic of Xavier's shooting woes was the foul out of point guard Dee Davis with 10:45 to play. Davis, who had 17 in the win last month at Cintas Center, was scoreless in today's game.

The Musketeers did not add a bucket until the 4:40 mark, now down 25 after a Nate Lubick basket. The bench did not empty until the 1:06 mark, where Cameron saw his only action of the game along with John Caprio, David Allen, Stephen Domingo, and Bradley Hayes.

9.0 to 1
GU assist
to turnover ratio,
first half

Xavier 2-pt FGs
second half

Georgetown adv,

Georgetown adv,

XU turnovers

GU points from
XU turnovers

Xavier steals

Georgetown's box score was not especially remarkable: 20 two point baskets, 21 rebounds, and a substandard effort from D'Vauntes Smith Rivera (1-8 FG) and Mikael Hopkins (8 points, no rebounds). What set it apart was turnovers: 11 for Xavier, but just three for Georgetown, a number unseen in a game for the Hoyas dating to when the statistic was actively tracked in the media guides, dating to the 1991-92 season.

"That is unbelievable," said senior Markel Starks. "I think we just took great care of the basketball today. I also think our attention to detail was there. We've missed that at times through the year, but it was a joy to play today. If we can sustain that effort and level of competitiveness every day, then we are going to do big things. "

The defense which has been so inconsistent this year took a step forward. Christon, who was 4-4 at the half and scored with 18:17 to play, was held without a shot by the Hoyas for the remainder of the game.

"We had a tough time bringing the ball into the halfcourt," said Xavier coach Chris Mack. "Georgetown's contained press turned into a turnover-type press. It's a contained-press and our guards couldn't handle it well enough. Our positioning down the floor wasn't what it needed to be. The spacing was poor and because of that we were never able to get into a halfcourt offense where we should establish him in the low post. In the first game, they didn't pressure us as much and we had opportunities to get [Stainbrook] the ball. Since we couldn't find our way into the halfcourt, we couldn't get him the ball. "

Markel Starks led the Hoyas with 22 points but Trawick's play did not go unnoticed.

"[Trawick] brings a lot of toughness to the game; you could see that on the film. I think he is their emotional leader," said Mack. "Jabril shot the ball well today and played with a lot of confidence. We knew he was a really good player and an emotional leader. He did a good job today."

"Just when he is on the court, we are a better team," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III. "I liked bringing him off the bench because we were getting a fusion off the bench. But we were just getting too many slow starts. We risk not having as much coming off the bench, but it turned out okay today and we are probably going to stick with it."

The Hoyas remain on the outside looking in for the NCAA's, but are one-half game out of sixth place as Georgetown meets each of the top four seeded teams to finish the regular season. As far as Thompson sees it, it's one down, three to go.

"It feels good because they beat us the first time and you're able to get them back. But now we have to move on and hope we can do the same thing on Thursday."

Next up, Marquette, who escaped with a 96-94 win at DePaul to remain alive for its own NCAA hopes at 16-11 on the season.

The Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       37   5-10  2-4   6-7   3   4  2   22
Smith-Rivera 30   0-4   1-4   6-8   4   2  1    9
Trawick      34   3-4   2-4   1-2   3   4  4   13
Lubick       35   3-5   0-0   3-4   7   1  4    9
Hopkins      19   3-4   0-0   2-2   0   0  5    8
Cameron       1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Allen         1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Bowen        24   3-6   0-0   1-2   1   2  2    7
Caprio        1   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  0    0
Domingo       1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Ayegba       16   2-2   0-0   0-1   3   1  2    4
Hayes         1   1-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    2
Injured: Adams
Did Not Play: Williams
Team Rebounds                       4
TOTALS      200  20-47  5-12 19-26 26  14 20   74
Seton Hall 82, Georgetown 67 Updated 2/21/14 

Barring some remarkable wins to end the season or a sweep of the Big East conference tournament, the Georgetown Hoyas may have played its way out the 2014 NCAA tournament discussion following a 82-67 loss at Seton Hall Thursday evening.

The Pirates had their way with the Hoyas, connecting on 20 assists in 27 baskets, eight threes, and shooting 55 percent from the field, shredding what was left of a Georgetown defense that has been exposed in recent games as slow and tired.

Seton Hall (14-12) never trailed in the game, thanks to guard Fuquan Edwin. The 6-6 Edwin scored seven of the Pirates first nine points while D'Vauntes Smith Rivera had eight of the Hoyas' first 13. From a 15-13 Pirate lead midway in the first half, the hall scored on its next two possessions to go up 20-15, now shooting 7-9 from the game amidst a porous Georgetown defense whose lack of intensity was a running theme during the game. Edwin was 5-5 from the field as the Pirates went up 23-15 at the eight minute mark.

Consecutive baskets by Markel Starks and three pointers from Jabril Trawick and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera rallied the Hoyas to a five point gap, 29-24, but Starks picked up his third foul and had to sit at the 5:16 mark. Seton Hall went inside over its next two possessions, picking up a basket and foul and leading by ten, 34-24. A three pointer by Edwin, his 15th point by halftime, gave the Pirates a nine point lead at the break, 37-28, with the Pirates contributing 13 assists on 15 field goals.

The second half opened with promise for the Hoyas, holding Edwin scoreless on his first two shots and scoring the first six points of the period, closing to 37-34 with 17:50 to play. The Pirates soon rallied, taking apart the Hoyas while Georgetown's defense withered yet again. A 14-2 run over the next 4:16, led by six from Edwin, pushed the lead to 51-36 at the 13:34 mark and Georgetown never recovered. The Hoyas closed to ten midway in the half but no closer, the Pirates, averaging just 13 assists per game, put up 20 on the Hoyas and drove inside with ease, as manifest during a stretch where center Patrick Auda drove the center of the lane untouched for a dunk and then a layup on the following possession. With six minutes to play, the Pirates had put 30 points in the paint, and all but five baskets were by assist.

Georgetown had no answers inside or out. The Hoyas managed only two field goals in the final six minutes, as a run of free throws extended the game but did not change the outcome. The Pirates led by as many as 19 with 2:09 remaining before its bench emptied, and Georgetown followed suit. For a coach which has visibly avoided using the bench all season, John Thompson opened up the lineup in the last two minutes, as David Allen, Stephen Domingo, and Bradley Hayes all finished the game, a sign that the Hoyas were finished in this game.

"My message is very simple. When we have a great attitude, we focus on what we need to focus on, and we share the basketball we are a very good team," said Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, whose Pirates shot 55 percent from the field. Edwin's 21 points, all by the 13 minute mark of the second half, led the Hall.

Outside of Smith-Rivera's 20 points, the starters were visibly off their game. Markel Starks did not score for the first 13 minutes of play, had two baskets by halftime and two more in the first seven minutes of the second, but no field goals thereafter as he struggled to stay with Fuquan Edwin. Reggie Cameron was ineffective from deep, Nate Lubick ineffective from close. Mikael Hopkins had five points in the first seven minutes and managed two points thereafter as he was consistently out of position on defense and unable to stop a Seton Hall team that entered the game ranked last in rebounds. Jabril Trawick and Aaron Bowen combined for 18 off the bench but Georgetown's big men again came up small. Moses Ayegba failed to score in eight minutes and posted just one rebound altogether.

The loss marks the first season sweep by Seton Hall over Georgetown in 11 seasons and dropped Georgetown out of a possible tie for sixth. Georgetown owns a half game lead over Seton Hall for seventh place in the conference, which stands the chance of further erosion over its next four games, as Georgetown is 0-4 against these teams to date this season. The Hoyas are 4-0 against the bottom two teams in the Big East (Butler and DePaul) and cannot finish below them, but carry a combined 2-8 record against everyone else.

The Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       29   4-5   0-3   5-6   2   2  4   13
Smith-Rivera 38   5-11  3-3   1-2   1   3  3   20
Cameron      15   1-2   1-3   0-0   1   0  0    5
Lubick       26   0-2   0-0   2-2   4   3  3    2
Hopkins      20   3-5   0-0   1-1   4   0  4    7
Allen         2   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Bowen        18   3-7   0-2   1-2   6   1  5    7
Caprio        5   0-2   0-0   0-0   3   1  0    0
Domingo       7   1-3   0-0   0-0   2   0  0    2
Ayegba        8   0-1   0-0   0-2   1   0  1    0
Hayes         2   0-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Trawick      30   3-8   1-2   2-2   6   0  5   11
Injured: Adams
Did Not Play: Williams
Team Rebounds                       1
TOTALS      200  20-47  5-13 12-15 31  10 25   67
High Tech At Verizon Center 2/20/14 

An innovative use of technology will be introduced at Saturday's home game at Verizon Center.

The Washington Post reports on the use of location technology at the game, or the ability to send targeted marketing to fans via text message, based on their location. A fan approaching a concession stand can be sent an offer to buy popcorn, for example, or an fan in the upper deck could receive an offer to relocate in the lower seats. The messages are sent through the use of iBeacons, which have been installed in the arena.

"We want to see how it works and what we can actually do with it and how people like it and use it. Thatís always the first step,Ē said Randall Boe, an executive vice president at Verizon Center. ďThereís a lot of cool stuff out there. The hard part is making sure it fits and improves the fan experience.Ē

"There are a lot of potential applications. Could we use it at the end of a period to send a stat sheet to everyone?Ē Boe asked.

The offers will be pushed through the "Hoya Tix" app on iOS devices (no Android coverage). Officials claim one third of the fan base at Verizon Center has the app, although this may be more among students at this point. Don't be surprised to hear plenty of promotion for others to download the app prior and during the game, however.

Music Appreciation 2/18/14 

Once dubbed "the most interesting man at Georgetown" in a student government campaign, senior Nate Lubick has seen his share of activities as an undergraduate. One he passed on: the Georgetown Chimes.

"The a capellas tried to get me to join them," Lubick told BigEast.com. "I donít know how they heard about me but Iíve always refused."

"When I got to Georgetown I just kind of stopped singing. I had been singing a decent amount, doing covers and things like that. I constantly listened to different types and different styles of music. It wasnít that I lost the passion for singing or anything but when I got to college there just wasnít anybody who I shared a similar taste in music with. No one to sit down and listen to good music, with so it just kind of fell off."

Music was an active part of growing up for Lubick.

"My younger brother still sings a lot and heís performed live a few times. Heís really, really good," Lubick said. "He stuck with it. He plays multiple instruments and heís really good. And my dad was a professional saxophone player. He gave it up for 25 years but recently went back to it. Now he practices like a maniac trying to get back to where he was."

"I listen to a lot of old soul music, a lot of old jazz music. Thatís what I like most but I like a lot of acoustic stuff, too. I like a lot of John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Otis Redding and Sly and the Family Stone...Iíll always sing. Iíll go with my brother and weíll collaborate and mess around and weíll do covers and stuff but itís not something Iíll pursue professionally. But itís always something Iíve loved."

St. John's 82, Georgetown 60 Updated 2/17/14  

Georgetown's hopes of a fifth consecutive NCAA appearance took a step backward as the Hoyas were no match for St. John's, 82-60, at Madison Square Garden Sunday night. The Redmen scored the first 15 points of the game and never looked back, handing the Hoyas its worst loss in the series between the schools since Dec. 9, 1972, a 109-68 loss at Alumni Hall during John Thompson's first season as head coach.

Rysheed Jordan led the way with a career high 24 points, scoring the first seven points of the game en route to 22 points overall for the Redmen (17-9), who have won eight of its last nine. The Hoyas opened the game missing six straight shots with three turnovers as Jordan put the Redmen up 15-0 at the 14:22 mark. A Markel Starks three pointer, Georgetown's only such three of the half, was the Hoyas' first basket of the game at the 12:55 mark but the die was cast in this one.

Georgetown shot over 50 percent for the remainder of the half, but made little headway against a St. John's team that was shooting 68 percent from the field--inside, outside, and everywhere in between. Three times in the first half Georgetown closed the lead to ten--as late as 3:21 in the first half, Georgetown trailed 36-26-- only to go scoreless from the field thereafter as St. John's carried a 46-28 lead into intermission, the largest halftime deficit by Georgetown in a Big East game in five years.

A give-and-go from Nate Lubick to Markel Starks six seconds into the second half gave some hope to the Georgetown contingent at the Garden, but Georgetown would manage only one more basket over the next four minutes as the redmen built a 20 point lead, 52-32, at the 17:25 mark. The Hoyas began a run with a basket by Lubick and an assist from Lubick to Smith-Rivera, as the Redmen went cold. Over the next ten minutes, Georgetown cut the lead to eight, 61-53, as St. John's guard D'Angelo Harrison accounted for the only Redmen points in the run.

With 6:54 left, Georgetown answered a pair of Jordan free throws with a Smith-Rivera three to return the lead to eight at 61-53. At the 6:10 mark, Jabril Trawick was flattened by a Chris Obekpa charge but was assessed a technical foul in the scrum, his fifth personal foul. From that point Georgetown did not score a basket for the remainder of the half, as St. John's closed out the game on a 17-3 run.

St. John's guard D'Angelo Harrison, held to four in his game last month at Verizon Center, added 24 Sunday night to lead the Redmen. The same could not be said from Georgetown's guards. Markel Starks was 4-14 from the field, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera 6-11. The Hoyas were especially weak inside, where Mikael Hopkins failed to score and was blocked at least twice going up for layups by St. John's defenders. The loss of Trawick (13 points) took the wind out of the Hoyas, which saw more from Aaron Bowen (9 points) than Hopkins, Moses Ayegba and Reggie Cameron combined (4 points).

GU shooting
first six minutes,
first half

GU shooting
last three minutes,
first half

GU shooting
first six minutes,
second half

GU shooting
last three minutes,
second half

St. John's adv,

St. John's adv,

GU turnovers

3-pt FG's,
GU starters

3-pt FG's,
SJU starters

"When a team beats you, as Georgetown did earlier this season, you want to come back and beat them," said St. John's coach Steve Lavin. "I think the bigger picture here is that the team is continuing to make strides in a positive direction. It's a team that, since the last time we played Georgetown, has continued to improve on a daily basis and now we are seeing the dividends of that hard work."

The Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       40   3-8   1-6   4-4   1   1  3   13
Smith-Rivera 39   5-8   1-3   2-2   1   3  3   15
Cameron       8   0-0   0-1   0-0   0   0  1    0
Lubick       35   2-3   0-0   2-2   6   4  3    6
Hopkins      10   0-3   0-0   0-0   3   1  4    0
Bowen        31   4-4   0-1   1-2   2   1  4    9
Domingo       1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Ayegba       13   2-3   0-0   0-0   3   0  4    4
Trawick      23   2-5   1-2   6-7   3   1  5   13
Injured: Adams
Did Not Play: Allen, Williams, Caprio, Hayes
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS          18-34   3-13 15-17 22   11 27  60
In Case You Missed It... 2/11/14  

Fox Sports 1 coverage of Mikael Hopkins' big-time block in the first of last night's game:

Georgetown 83, Providence 71 2/10/14 10:45 pm EST 

In 15 games this season, the Providence Friars held a lead entering the final ten minutes of a game, and won all 15. In its 16th such game, leading the Georgetown Hoyas by seven, the Hoyas answered back with a remarkable 36-17 run that fortified its post-season hopes, 83-71, before a small crowd of 8,063 at Verizon Center Monday.

The Hoyas opened the game strong, connecting on seven of its first nine attempts and taking an early 15-12 lead. For its part, PC opened the game 0-3 but then connected on six of its next eight, many as a result of effective offensive rebounds and inside play. Georgetown answered with a 10-0 run keyed from the perimeter, where threes by Aaron Bowen and Markel Starks paced the Hoyas to a 27-15 lead with 7:00 to play in the half.

The lead was fleeting, in large part due to one of the great individual efforts by a Georgetown opponent in recent years.

With no points through the first 13 minutes of play, Providence's leading scorer Bryce Cotton was held in check. The check was about to bounce. Cotton began his onslaught with a three at the 6:48 mark, than with three free throws following a perimeter foul by Jabril Trawick to close the lad to 27-21 with 6:12 to play. On the next series, a three pointer, 27-24. As Georgetown went the final seven minutes without a field goal, the Friars worked their way back into the game, and Cotton took over down the stretch. A pair of Cotton free throws closed the Georgetown lead to one at the 2:01 mark, 29-28, a Cotton jumper at the 1:33 mark gave PC its first lead at 30-29. After two free throws by Aaron Bowen, Cotton dropped a three over Starks with 39 seconds to play, and took a curtain call by sinking yet another three at the buzzer. Cotton scored 19 of the final 21 points of the half for PC as the Friars trashed the Hoyas' 12 point advantage for a four point lead of its own, 36-32.

Georgetown's first half numbers were solid (41% shooting, just three turnovers) but the Hoyas had lost an offensive punch from Markel Starks (no points in the last 11:30 of the half) and numerous offensive miscues from Mikael Hopkins, with just two free throws at the break. And despite a five point run by Reggie Cameron to open the second half to close the gap, Georgetown was still fighting uphill for much of the second half.

Cotton's charge continued. A basket at the 16:29 mark regained the lead for the Friars, seeking their first win in Washington in nine years. After a pair of free throws by Jabril Trawick to give Georgetown its first lead of the half, Cotton connected on a long three, part of an 11-2 run which grew the Friars lead to 54-47 with 10:25 to go. At this point, Starks had not scored a field goal in over 21 minutes of play, and only one field goal from D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera in 17 minutes. Both guards needed to step up to save Georgetown's NCAA hopes, and both stepped forward.

Starks began the comeback with a three at the 10:13 mark, 54-50. DSR added two at the 9:10 mark, 54-52. With Kadeem Batts sent to the bench for his 4th foul, free throws by Jabril Trawick gave GU the lead, 56-54. Starks injured his knee on a jumper in the lane at the 6:41 mark, 58-57, but two big rebounds by Nate Lubick fought off PC's inside game and Trawick answered inside, 60-57.

Off a Providence turnover with 4:44 to play, Smith-Rivera took a long three that missed, but off an offensive rebound, Lubick fed DSR at the same spot, this time hitting the shot and extending GU's lead to six, 65-59. Two more possessions followed, and Georgetown connected on each, 70-62, with 2:18 to play. Efforts by Providence to trade free throws proved ineffective, as the Hoyas sank 10 of 11 attempts in the final two minutes.

GU home record
vs. Providence
since 1980

GU points,
second half

GU 3FT shooting,
second half

GU turnovers,
second half

GU advantage,
pts. off turnovers

PC bench points

A layup by Bryce Cotton with under a second left gave him 31 for the game. In the last ten minutes, it was his only field goal.

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera led the Hoyas with 22 points on 7-10 shooting but there were many contributors in a true team effort. Despite a poor shooting effort, Mikael Hopkins came up big inside, with 11 rebounds. Starks finished with 14, Cameron 11. The Hoyas shot 54 percent in the second half and held PC to 33% shooting and just two threes in 10 attempts.

The Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       37   4-5   2-10  0-0   3   4  0   14
Smith-Rivera 36   5-6   2-4   6-7   5   5  2   22
Cameron      21   2-3   1-4   4-4   1   0  0   11
Lubick       33   4-6   0-0   0-0   6   2  3    8
Hopkins      32   2-7   0-1   4-6  11   2  5    8
Bowen        11   0-1   1-2   3-4   1   1  1    6
Ayegba        8   1-2   0-0   0-0   0   0  3    2
Trawick      22   1-3   1-1   7-9   3   1  3   12
Injured: Adams
Did Not Play: Allen, Williams, Caprio, Domingo, Hayes
Team Rebounds                       1
TOTALS      200  19-33  7-22 24-30 31  15 17   83
Georgetown 71, Butler 63 2/8/14 11:50 pm EST 

A wire-to-wire effort from senior guard Markel Starks proved the difference as Georgetown defeated Butler, 71-63, before a season high 13,011 at Verizon Center Saturday. The outcome was never in serious danger, but the Bulldogs kept things interesting right until the final minute.

Butler got out to an early 11-4 lead in the game behind two threes from guard Kellen Dunham as the Hoyas were especially slow in the first seven minutes of play. Georgetown responded with added defensive pressure, as the Bulldogs missed its next four from the field and Georgetown clawed back. Still, Butler led for much of the first half until an Aaron Bowen three pointer--Georgetown's only three of the entire game, gave Georgetown a 21-20 lead and they never relinquished the lead thereafter. Despite holding Dunham and fellow Butler scorer Khyle Marshall to a combined 4-12, center Andrew Chrabascz kept the Bulldogs close and Butler trailed by only two until a late layup by Bowen gave Georgetown a four point lead at the break, 29-25.

Chrabascz opened the second half as Butler's only offensive weapon, matching the Hoyas point for point and scoring the first ten points of the half for the Bulldogs, 39-35, part of a season high 24 point effort. Butler closed to two at 39-37 before the Hoyas answered with a basket from Nate Lubick, but the lead seemed suspended between four and six for most of the game. A 7-0 run game the Hoyas a nine point lead midway in the second, 53-44, but could not extend the lead and defenses from both teams began to take over. Over a five minute period, the teams combined for three field goals and dueled on the line, where Georgetown guards Markel Starks and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera helped maintain the Georgetown lead at seven, 53-46.

Georgetown's lead was nine at the 6:40 mark, but Butler worked the deficit down inside, with three layups consecutive series to close to five at the 2:40 mark, 60-55. From this point, Starks took over, with a basket, an assist, and two free throws in Georgetown's next three series, followed by an acrobatic basket with 47 seconds that gave the Hoyas the breathing room it had lacked all afternoon, 66-59. The Georgetown guards went a combined 13-14 from the line in the second half, against a 15-17 effort from the Bulldogs from their foul shooting. In the end, the first half lead built out of a pair of baskets from Bowen was a hurdle the Bulldogs could not surpass.

Both teams played remarkably close down the stretch. Butler shot 54 percent for the second half, Georgetown 53 percent. The rebound margin was one and the foul margin was even. In the end, Georgetown Starks came up big when it counted.

GU 3FG shooting,
first half

GU 3FG shooting,
second half

GU turnovers,
second half

GU advantage,

GU advantage,

GU advantage,
pts off turnovers

"I think that Markel is playing at a very high level right now at both ends of the court," said coach John Thompson III." Most night's he's going to have to guard someone who can get buckets, who can score, and so just to have that responsibility to work at one end, to work at the other end, get everyone else involved, and just with our team right now he's going to be out there for most of the time. We are on the same page, and usually when he gets tired he lets me know, and today he said he was fine so he stayed out there."

"In terms of his physical condition, in terms of taking care of his body, in terms of preseason, fall, summer, spring, working hard and preparing his body - he does that, and has done that, more so and in a more diligent manner than probably any player I've ever coached...when you have D'Vauntes [Smith=-Rivera] out there, you have Jabril [Trawick] out there, even we can put situation when the ball's in Nate or Mikael's hand, we do have other people that can make plays for him, and make plays for other people. He does not have to have the ball in his hands at all times but with that being said I think coming down the stretch we all want to have the ball in his hands."

"When you have a small room for error and you make mistakes, you set yourself up to not have the result that you want,"said Butler coach Brandon Miller. "We went into halftime and said `Good news, bad news. Good news is that we're only down four, but that is also the bad news. Because we didn't play very well in the first half. We needed to play better in the first half of the game. "

"I do give our guys a lot of credit, we were down 11. The game could have slipped away, got away from us. We stayed in it. We battled. We got it to within four on two different occasions. But when you give Georgetown that kind of a lead, you put the wrong guys on the free throw line, they are too good of foul shooters to end the game."

The Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       40   7-11  0-2   5-6   1   7  2   19
Smith-Rivera 38   5-9   0-2   8-8   5   1  2   18
Cameron      14   1-2   0-2   0-0   0   1  0    2
Lubick       31   4-5   0-0   2-3   9   2  4   10
Hopkins      13   2-4   0-0   0-0   6   0  4    4
Bowen        29   2-3   1-3   1-2   1   1  2    8
Caprio        1   0-0   0-1   0-0   0   0  0    0
Ayegba        5   1-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  2    2
Trawick      29   4-6   0-2   0-0   6   2  3    8
Injured: Adams
Did Not Play: Allen, Williams, Domingo, Hayes
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      200  26-41  1-12 16-19 31  14 19   71
DePaul Attendance: 6,339 (Maybe...) 2/4/14 

Monday's attendance was listed at 6,339, but with almost no fans seen in the TV broadcasts behind the baskets and in the upper deck at Allstate Arena, the numbers appear to have been inflated. For DePaul, this is not unusual.

In May 2013, while discussion centered on $100 million in public financing for a new DePaul arena at McCormick Place, Crain's Chicago Business questioned DePaul's official attendance average last season and its fact-checking proved embarrassing to the school. Wrote Sports Illustrated:

"Crainís wrote that it had gained access to DePaulís actual attendance headcount numbers, and that the Blue Demons drew approximately 2,900 people per game. Thatís well below the published attendance numbers, which were almost 8,000 per game this past season. Over the past three seasons, DePaul claimed attendance of over 127,000 while the actual headcount in the arena only totaled 41,771, according to TicketMaster scan data.

"City officials have claimed the arena will break even in the first year of operations and then be profitable going forward, but thatís assuming that DePaul draws more than 9,000 fans a game."

In the end, the mayor carried the vote, and the public financing was approved.

Georgetown 71, DePaul 59 Updated 2/4/14 

Big Monday, this was not.

With all the style of a root canal, Georgetown and DePaul squared off before a friends and family audience in Rosemont, IL, a 71-59 Georgetown win that took nearly two and a half hours, little of it memorable.

What may prove memorable is the reemergence of D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Jabril Trawick, who each turned in key offensive output to a team running on empty for much of the first half. In doing so, the two helped give Georgetown to a much needed road win and give it new life heading into the second half of Big East play.

The Hoyas picked up some new jerseys en route from New York, with a racing stripe down the side. The offense was anything but racing to begin the game. Georgetown managed one basket in the first 7:42 of the first half, shooting 1 for its first 10 until a Markel Starks jumper closed the deficit to 11-6. With a score as close as this, DePaul was not much better, and the first half was replete with poor shooting on both sides of the ball.

The Hoyas trailed by as many as nine with 6:24 remaining in the half, but managed 13 points off of DePaul turnovers to stay close, trailing by three at the half, 30-27, despite shooting just 30 percent for the first half. Outside of Starks and Jabril Trawick, who combined for 15 of the Hoyas' 27 points, the rest of the team shot a combined 15 percent.

Poor shooting continued into the early second half.

Three inside fouls over the first two minutes of second half play put Mikael Hopkins and Nate Lubick into foul trouble, but saw the arrival of D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera from an extended slump. DSR had entered the game shooting 4 for his last 24 over three games and was 0-5 at the half, but scored his first basket of the game at the 14:04 mark to tie the score at 32, giving the Hoyas a second wind in the cavernous setting in the Chicago suburbs. By that point in the second half, the two teams had combined to score in 1 of their first 14 attempts

DePaul's first basket of the half came at the 14:15 mark. From a 37-37 tie at the 13:11 mark, Georgetown outscored the Blue Demons 21-7 over the next eight minutes, with five from Trawick, seven from Starks, and and seven from Smith-Rivera, while forcing more DePaul turnovers and general lackluster play from the Blue Demons.

Combined shooting

Combined fouls

GU turnovers

DePaul turnovers

GU adv.,
points off turnover

Combined FG scoring,
Starks, DSR

Combined FG scoring,
rest of team

GU 3-pt. shooting

Smith-Rivera's play was vital. DePaul had closed to 46-42 when Smith-Rivera hit a jumper and answered it with a basket and foul at the 7:19 mark to build the lead to seven, 51-44. Markel Starks then took over, scoring nine straight down the stretch and Georgetown had the points it needed to fend off any late DePaul rally.

The game wore on at the free throw line, where the teams took 20 free throws in the final five minutes of play. DePaul closed to nine at 61-55, and argued a close call that was ruled a foul after the ball caromed off of Starks in the backcourt. The pleas were not heard by the officials, Starks sank two free throws, and the Hoyas never looked back, although it was not until an Aaron Bowen dunk at the 1:07 mark that the game was truly out of reach. It was the only Georgetown basket in the final six minutes amidst a 13 for 17 effort at the line down the stretch to keep the Demons at bay.

Starks (25), Smith Rivera (17) and Trawick (15) combined for 58 of Georgetown's 71 points, with DSR's 11-11 effort at the line two short of the school record set by Jim Barry in 1965. While Starks and Smith-Rivera did not shoot well from the field (a combined 9 for 29 against the Big East's lowest rated defense), the free throw line was more forgiving, with 22 points in 25 attempts. The two teams combined to shoot 67 free throws.

The win was Georgetown's 14th consecutive over DePaul since 1994, and was DePaul's fifth straight loss of the 2013-14 season.

The Georgetown half of the box score follows below:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       37   3-11  3-7  11-14  2   2  3   26
Smith-Rivera 33   3-8   0-3  11-11  5   0  1   17
Cameron      19   0-1   0-2   0-0   4   1  1    0
Lubick       25   1-1   0-0   1-4  10   2  5    3
Hopkins      11   1-3   0-0   3-4   3   0  5    5
Bowen        25   1-2   1-2   0-2   4   0  2    5
Caprio        1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Domingo       1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Ayegba       22   0-2   0-0   0-2   5   1  5    0
Hayes         1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Trawick      28   4-5   1-3   4-4   3   1  0   15
Injured: Adams
Did Not Play: Allen, Williams
Team Rebounds                       2
TOTALS      200  13-33  5-17 30-41 38   7 22   71
Georgetown 64, Michigan St. 60 2/1/14 

"They just wanted it more, simple as that."--Keith Appling, Michigan State guard

Sixteen points from Markel Starks and two big baskets from Jabril Trawick earned the Georgetown Hoyas its biggest win of the 2013-14 season, a 64-60 win over #7-ranked Michigan State at Madison Square Garden.

For the Hoyas to stay competitive with the #7 Spartans, two issues came to the forefront: the need to control the perimeter and to exercise control inside. Georgetown faced both tasks early, as Michigan State focused on an offense heavy on outside shooting which, for the most part, Georgetown was able to control. Inside, Georgetown set an encouraging tone early, as center Mikael Hopkins score Georgetown's first six points and the Hoyas held a 10-3 edge on the boards as the Hoyas built a five point lead, 13-8, seven minutes into the first half.

Michigan State roared back with a 10-0 run, thanks in no small part to Georgetown turnovers. GU had committed only two in the first seven minutes, but surrendered seven over the next four minutes as MSU build its own five point lead, 18-13. Baskets by Nate Lubick and D'Vauntes Smith Rivera evened the score, and the teams went back and forth until the final 1:25, where a pair of Spartan threes piloted State to a 30-29 lead at the break. For its part, Georgetown committed 11 turnovers by intermission, resulting in 11 points for Michigan State.

Georgetown's guard play picked up in the second half. Georgetown began the half with an 8-0 run, which opened with a Reggie Cameron three but which saw increased activity by Markel Starks and D'Vauntes Smith Rivera to get points inside on the injury-weary Michigan State front line. Baskets by Smith-Rivera and Starks pushed the georgetown lead to seven, 40-33, at the 13:44 mark after the Spartans opened the half missing eight of its first nine shots including seven misses from three point range. At this point, guard Gary Harris took over the sputtering Spartan attack, as MSU climbed back into the game midway through the half, closing to 44-41 with under nine minutes to play.

Previous games have seen this as a time when Georgetown's offense would wither, but not this afternoon. The Hoyas answered with Lubick finding Jabril Trawick inside for the basket, 46-41, and Lubick added two more on the next possession to keep the lead at five.

With Harris picking up the pace, Michigan State opted to give up fouls on Georgetown's weaker foul shooters to make up the gap. Moses Ayegba missed the front end of a one and one with 5:30 to play, but Georgetown's defense forced a turnover and Starks answered with a drive to go back up five, 50-45 at the 4;18 mark. Back came Harris with a three, 50-48. Starks returned the favor with a long two, 52-48, and a large Georgetown contingent at the Garden could be heard cheering the team all the way to the finish.

Following a Harris free throw to close to 52-49, MSU went back to the giveaway fouls. Ayegba was fouled with 3:10 to play and again missed the open end of the one and one, but 6-8 Kenny Kaminski missed an open three that would have tied the score with 2:50 remaining. On the next possession, Starks found Hopkins inside for a dunk, 54-49, and the underdog Hoyas had rallied yet again.

The Spartans were wavering but as long as Harris could get his shot, Sparty was still very much in the game. A Harris jumper closed the gap to 54-51 and MSU rushed to put Hopkins on the line, given his 56% free throw numbers. Hopkins answered with hitting both, 56-51. Harris answered the bell once again, with a three to close to 54-54 with 1:32 to play.

GU turnovers,
first half

GU turnovers,
second half

GU fouls

FG scoring,
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera,
last two games

3FG scoring,
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera,
last two games

GU advantage,

GU advantage,
points in paint

MSU 3-pt. shooting

MSU free throws

The two key plays down the stretch belonged to junior forward Jabril Trawick, still in limited service following his return from a fractured jaw. On the next series, Trawick drove to the basket as Starks' jump shot was off--Trawick corralled the ball with one hand and sent it to the basket with 1:10 left 58-54, then helped force a turnover on MSU's next play.

A free throw from Starks pushed the lead to 59-54, whereupon the Spartans went inside on its next drive. Kaminski's drive on Nate Lubick was ruled a block by Lubick, but Kaminski missed a second free throw which would have closed the deficit to one possession, part of a pattern of poor free throw shooting by the Spartans which hurt them late. A quick foul on Smith-Rivera resulted in two more Georgetown free throws, 61-55, but on the next series the Hoyas closed the door on Sparty's comeback. With its outside shot failing, MSU opted to go inside, but deflected a pass and found Trawick streaking to the basket, a dunk which sent the Garden buzzing and the Hoyas up for good, 63-55, with 24 seconds to play.

"Jabril and Nate were very, very good today," said coach John Thompson III in post-game remarks. "Their presence out there was unbelievable down the end and Markel made plays. Big, big plays."

Georgetown's adjustments made it possible for it to stay strong in the second. Despite its early turnovers, Georgetown did not force fouls, and as such the Spartans took only four free throws by halftime, keeping the Hoyas close. In the second half, following 11 turnovers, Georgetown committed only five the rest of the way.

"I did not feel we played with the toughness you have to play with under the circumstances we're in," said Spartans coach Tom Izzo. "Today we got out-toughed. We got thrown around on the boards. We got posted up. I thought they manhandled us."

MSU ended the game shooting just 39 percent, with a 9-29 mark from three point range. The Hoyas led in rebounds, 37-30.

"They took it right at us. I feel we didn't play with the toughness we needed," Izzo said. "They played harder than us. They deserved to win and we got what we deserved."

Starks led all Georgetown scorers with 16. Smith Rivera continues to shoot poorly from the field following his rib injury (2-13) but was sold at the free throw line, hitting eight straight until a miss with eight seconds remaining and the outcome settled. Lubick and Hopkins combined for 18 points and nine rebounds inside, a significant step forward for a Georgetown offense which needed a big game inside against the Spartans.

"Everybody contributed in the frontcourt," Lubick said. "Coach told us this is a team notorious for rebounding and we beat them up pretty good on the boards and that was a point of emphasis for us."

The win was Georgetown's first over a ranked opponent since its win earlier in the season over #10 Virginia Commonwealth, but more importantly, it ended a five game losing streak which sent Georgetown to the bottom tier of the Big East race. A big win in the Garden won't erase those five losses, but is a welcome arrival.

"It's a relief to get a win," said senior Markel Starks. "It feels good, finally."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       37   5-9   1-3   3-6   2   4  0   16
Smith-Rivera 30   2-8   0-5   8-9   8   1  1   12
Cameron      17   1-1   1-3   0-0   4   0  1    5
Lubick       30   2-3   0-0   4-4   6   2  4    8
Hopkins      31   4-9   0-0   2-2   3   1  2   10
Bowen        12   1-1   0-0   0-0   4   1  1    2
Ayegba       19   1-1   0-0   1-3   3   0  3    3
Trawick      24   4-5   0-1   0-0   2   0  2    8
Injured: Adams
Did Not Play: Allen, Williams, Caprio, Domingo, Hayes
Team Rebounds                       5
TOTALS      200  20-37  2-12 18-24 37   9 14   64
Whittington Not Enrolled At Rutgers 2/1/14 

An yet another twist to the story of Greg Whittington, the former Georgetown forward failed to enroll at Rutgers this spring, according to the Newark Star-Ledger and other media outlets.

Whittington had indicated his interest in transferring to Rutgers soon after leaving Georgetown in November, but never enrolled at the school. As a result, Whittington will not be eligible for intercollegiate play until the fall of 2015 if he decides to pursue another school.

"A team spokesman said that because Whittington was never officially enrolled and not a member of the universityís student-body or the team, no comment would be given on his decision not to join the school," wrote the Star-Ledger. "However, with Rutgersí 5 p.m. deadline to add/drop classes passing and Whittington not having enrolled, he will no longer be able to take classes this semester at the university."


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