The final score indicates decisive blowout: Georgetown 77 Bryant 47.
As opposed to their season-opening home loss to Radford, no drama existed as the Hoyas (2-3) led comfortably over the final 20 minutes for their first home win of the season. Yet there was little easy early against the pesky Northeast Conference program.
Sophomore swingman L.J. Peak efficiently scored 20 points and fellow sophomore Isaac Copeland had 13. However, Georgetown's offensive system wasn't crisp against Bryant's zone despite advantages across the board. All Big East selection D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera finished 1 of 9 on 3-point attempts and 3 of 12 overall for a season-low nine points.
Bryant (2-4) lost by 19 to Siena and 80-45 at Harvard in its previous two games. Top scorer Hunter Ware played in those games, but not against Georgetown due to illness. The remaining Bulldogs only shot 31.7 percent from the field against the Hoyas. However, they repeatedly moved the ball into good scoring positions against the Hoyas' man defense. Shooting 4 of 25 from beyond the arc combined with not having big bodies capable of dealing with Georgetown's length did the Bulldogs in.
"I thought that our man-to-man defense was not good at all," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said, "but I thought our zone was fairly effective."
Now, don't let the Debbie Downer talk fool you. A win is a win is a win especially for a team that started the season with three losses in four games.
Peak slashed and dashed his way to his most points since scoring 23 in his collegiate debut. Freshman Marcus Derrickson had 12 points and 12 rebounds -- and one technical foul during an early second half spat with a Bryant player that energized the home side.
Reggie Cameron's continued his impressive perimeter shooting streak with three 3-pointers. This victory also included the season debut, albeit scoreless return for sophomore forward Paul White, who missed the opening four games with a hip injury.
More good news postgame as coach John Thompson III announced guard Tre Campbell (illness) "will play" Tuesday against Maryland Eastern Shore after missing the last three games.
Overall, let's just say Thompson will have plenty to pick at as the team preps for Tuesday's meeting with UMES, otherwise known as the final tuneup before next Saturday's rematch with Syracuse.
The basics: The Hoyas couldn't separate from the Northeast Conference program until closing the first half with an 11-2 run over the final 3:42. Georgetown only sank three 3-pointers in the first half and two came in this stretch via Smith-Rivera and Copeland, who opened the second half with another one. They maintained a double-digit lead the entire second half, eventually pushing the margin to 31.
"I think towards the end of the first half, we decided to lock down and really focus on defense and running transitions," Copeland said. "That really worked in our favor.”
Led by Derrickson, Georgetown cleaned up on the glass overall (47-37), yet essentially pushed on the offensive glass (11-10). "You could tell, (Marcus) he decided to go get the ball today," Thompson said.
Marcel Pettway led the Bulldogs with 15 points.
Offense: Georgetown faces Syracuse next week. That means dealing with the famed 2-3 zone. Based on how the Hoyas fared against Bryant's version initially, room for improvement exists.
For the opening 15 minutes, Georgetown rarely generated open looks despite size and talent advantages all over the court. The overall ball movement lacked flow and contained plenty of side-to-side passing. They finished 43.3 percent from the field with Smith-Rivera's rough night weighing down the percentage.
As the game progressed, so did the ball movement. Similar to the previous three games, feeding the high post created shooting opportunities beyond the arc, specifically in the corner.
"I expected [Bryant] to play a lot of zone," Thompson said. "I think our guys moved the ball better. We stressed that we have to get the ball into the overload, into the middle an attack from there. We have to get the ball into the short corner and then attack. ...
Listed at 6-foot-3, Smith-Rivera didn't get clean looks in the first half, which led to the senior forcing some attempts. Meanwhile Peak made 6 of 8 shots from the field including his first 3-pointer of the season.
Defense: Again, by the numbers, it appears Georgetown guarded Bryant as desired. Not so much. Thompson credited Bryant's offensive execution with giving the Hoyas' man concepts problems. Nisre Zouzoua's layup had the visitors down 23-21 with 8:17 remaining before halftime.
Ultimately, the inexperienced Bulldogs missed too many layups, not to mention 3-pointers.
"They were good shots," Bryant coach Tim O'Shea said. "One time, I looked up and we had a couple freshmen and a couple sophomores playing, this is a big stage and I think maybe nerves played into that a little bit. I don’t know. .... I thought, again, we competed well."
The true highlight: Skateboarding bulldog for the win
— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) November 28, 2015