Starks, Smith-Rivera Help Lead Georgetown Past High Point, 80-45
Dec. 5, 2013
by Bobby Bancroft
WASHINGTON - Markel Starks scored a game-high 18 points and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 17 points as Georgetown used an early second half spurt to eventually blow past High Point 80-45 on Thursday night at Verizon Center.
Joshua Smith chipped in with 11 points as Georgetown (5-2) won its fourth-straight game and extended its home non-conference winning streak to 46 games.
High Point (3-4), which has now lost back-to-back games, was led by Jorge Perez-Laham's 10 points off the bench.
Georgetown connected on its first five shots of the night, including three-pointers from Smith-Rivera, Starks, and Jabril Trawick, in taking an early 13-4 lead less than four minutes into the game.
The Hoyas then relied on their defense for the rest of the half in building a 28-16 advantage heading into the locker room. With an aggressive switching man-to-man defense, Georgetown limited High Point to just 18.5 percent shooting (5-of-27) over the opening 20 minutes.
Much like the Lipscomb game, a different Georgetown team seemed to appear from the opening second half whistle.
Starks scored five quick points on a layup and three-pointer, Smith-Rivera added an old fashioned three-point play, Nate Lubick added a jumper, and then Smith hit a close range layup to give the Hoyas a 10-0 run that extended their lead to 38-16 with 18:03 remaining and essentially put the game out of reach.
"We have that ability to start and finish games on a high note, it's not like we don't have the stamina for it," Starks said when asked about the difference between the first and second halves.
"We are a good team and I think that every game we have to get better and better, but once we snapped out of it and came out in the second half I thought we were pretty good."
With High Point reeling, Georgetown really began to pick apart the Panthers zone defense with back-to-back backdoor cut layups.
Starks found himself on both sides of the action as he first picked out Smith-Rivera's hard cut to the hoop and then on the next possession Lubick found Starks for a layup of his own as the Hoyas pushed the lead to 47-23 with 13:44 remaining. Lubick finished with a season-high five assists, six rebounds, and perhaps more importantly - zero turnovers .
From there Georgetown did more damage from downtown with Smith-Rivera and freshman Reggie Cameron hitting from long distance.
Georgetown matched a season best with 10 three-pointers, a mark they previously hit against Wright State. Smith-Rivera and Cameron each connected on three three-pointers on the night.
Georgetown's largest lead of the game came with 2:26 remaining when John Caprio's layup pushed the score to 79-39.
Moses Ayegba came off the bench to grab a season high eight rebounds in 18 minutes of action.
Georgetown shot a blistering 61.8 percent from the field in the second half (21-of-34) in putting up 52 points after halftime.
"In the second half I think we were good at both ends of the court to tell you the truth," said coach John Thompson III.
The Blue & Gray improved their all-time record to 13-0 against schools from the Big South.
Georgetown is back at home on Saturday against Colgate.
The Hoyas hold a 7-1 all-time record against the Raiders with the last meeting coming in the 2005-06 season. The tip-off is scheduled for noon and can be seen nationally on Fox Sports 1.