Tonight the Hoyas had the biggest challenge of the past few weeks, or maybe this season in Big East play as they needed to beat a team in conference play with a winning record, tonight they did just that with a strong finish over the Providence Friars, 83-71.
The Hoyas finally were able to get back to 6-6 in the Big East and they have set themselves up for strong finish if they can win a couple of games on the road and finish strong at home with strong efforts from Markel Starks and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera like they got tonight. Rivera finished the game with a strong 7-10 effort from the field with 22 points. Starks who exited the game and appeared injured, but later returned finishing with 14 points.
Smith-Rivera drew the Hoyas within two with a jumper in the lane, but Providence scored the next five, culminating in two foul shots from Cotton for a 54-47 lead with 10:25 to play.
Providence then went on an 11-2 after a pair of free throws from Bryce Cotton, who scored a game-high 26 points. The Hoyas scored seven-straight points and tied the game at 54-all on a pair of free throws from Hopkins with 8:29 to play. That was part of a larger 18-5 run over a span of 6:29, capped when Smith-Rivera hit a three-pointer with 3:54 to play, pushing the Georgetown lead to 65-59, which would be enough to carry them the remainder of the way.
“ We played hard as a team tonight. We knew how important this game was tonight in conference play and now we seem to have a better all around shooting effort taking place, said Hoyas Head Coach John Thompson III.