Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
After what amounted to a very disappointing December for the Hoyas, they have seemed to start the New Year off right with a 2-0 start in Big East play with a convincing 80-70 victory over Marquette tonight at Verizon Center.
The Hoyas were led by 15 points by Senior D’Vauntes Smith Rivera and Freshman forward Marcus Derrickson contributed a team-high 16 points in Georgetown’s second straight double-digit Big East triumph.
Georgetown seemingly got every shot it wanted to fall tonight, which has been anything but the norm recently and it was on the way to 59.4% shooting, while Hoyas defenders blanketed the Golden Eagles, especially junior center Luke Fischer and freshman forward Henry Ellenson. Ellenson and Fischer combined to shoot 6 for 15 in the first half and 8 for 27 for the game, scoring 13 and 10 points, respectively.
“I thought we were playing really slow and lethargic on defense in the first half and you’re not going to force teams to be uncomfortable,” Golden Eagles Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “Whether that makes them turn it over or makes them rush shots, if you’re not really laying it on the line on the defensive end you’re not going to get the outcomes that you want.”
The Hoyas (9-5, 2-0 Big East) converted 12 of 12 free throws in the final 4:33, with Smith-Rivera going 8 for 8, to end a two-game losing streak at home. They also withstood 11 second-half turnovers in part because they made 22 of 23 attempts from the line overall (96 percent), hit 6 of 15 (40 percent) from three-point range and enjoyed a 39-28 advantage in rebounding.
“D’Vauntes is getting everybody else involved, but when it comes time to win the game, D’Vauntes does what he has to do,” Hoyas Coach John Thompson III said. “Not to say the first part was not what he had to do. That’s a senior. He just took over at the end in the right kind of way.”