NCAA

Takeaways from Georgetown's 68-49 win over UMES

dvauntes_smith-rivera.jpg

Takeaways from Georgetown's 68-49 win over UMES

The highlights and takeaways following Georgetown's 68-49 win over Maryland Eastern  Shore Tuesday night at Verizon Center. The win, the Hoyas' second straight, also served as their final tune-up before renewing the rivalry with former Big East foe Syracuse on Saturday.

What happened

Senior D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera set season-highs with 30 points and five 3-pointers for the Hoyas (3-3), who reached .500 for the first time this season. Georgetown never trailed, entered the halftime locker room leading 38-20 and were seemingly on the verge of blowing out the overmatched Hawks (1-5).

After valuing possession in the first half, the Hoyas began turning the ball over with regularity against UMES pressure defense. With the margin 10 at 50-39 with seven minutes remaining, Georgetown ended any drama by scoring the next eight points including five from Smith-Rivera, who reached 30 points for the fourth time in his career.

Smith-Rivera made all five of his 3-pointers in the first half. Bradley Hayes had 11 points and nine rebounds. Leading scorer Isaac Copeland went of 0 of 3 from the field and did not record a point.

Ryan Andino scored 16 points for the Hawks. UMES shot 36 percent from the field and committed 14 of its 19 turnovers in the first half.


MORE HOYAS: Georgetown's win shows growth and room for improvement

Welcome back, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's shot

Somewhat overlooked in Georgetown's rough start was the All-Big East performer's shooting and scoring struggles. Smith-Rivera's 12.8 point scoring average entering Tuesday was 3.5 points below his average last season. The senior, who nearly left school for the pro ranks over the summer, shot an abysmal 1 of 9 on 3-pointers and 3 of 12 overall against Bryant. Over the last three games, he went 4 of 20 overall from beyond the arc. Players slump at times, but rarely have we seen the career 37 percent 3-point shooter labor like this. The long distance scuffling ended in the first half. With confidence flowing, Smith-Rivera sank 5 of 7 from deep including treys on consecutive possession to give the Hoyas a 36-20 lead.

Perfect time for a return to form seeing as Georgetown faces the vaunted Syracuse 2-3 matchup zone next. Not that head coach John Thompson III was worried.

"I don’t worry about his offense. I’ve lost a lot of hours and night’s sleep over a lot of different things as it relates to this young man, but none of them have to do with offense and it never will. If the ball isn’t going in, who cares, it means the basket is crooked," the coach cracked.

Smith-Rivera expressed some relief after making 10 of 16 shots overall.

“It feels great, man," Smith-Rivera said. "My teammates just supported me pretty much through all the games and I finally feel like the weight is off my shoulders a little bit. And coach has been telling me to just keep playing.  Like he said, he’s not worried about the offense, so shots were going to fall eventually and I appreciate my teammates for just continuing to find me and continuing to look for me when I’m open.”

Under pressure

Georgetown eventually routed Bryant 77-47 on Saturday, but it took 15 minutes before finding a rhythm. The Hoyas avoided a slow start against the Hawks, but lost their way early in the second half. After committing six turnovers in the first half, Georgetown committed 10 by the midway point of the final period as UMES deployed full court pressure.

Feasting off UMES turnovers fueled the first half surge. Struggles against the pressure defense and zone defense bogged down the Hoyas after halftime. Georgetown finds out Saturday if facing consistent zone defenses over the last two games help in the all important next game.

"I thought their zone was effective because it was unorthodox," Thompson said. "They went man a few possessions and we some good looks and they went right back to it." As for his team's offense heading into the Syracuse meeting, Thompson said, "We’ll see. It’s easy to sit here and say, 'the last two games you played against a zone.' What Bryant did and how they play their zone is different from Maryland Eastern Shore and that’s different from how Syracuse plays it. So, yes, you’ve gone against a zone, but with each one we have to look at different ways to attack it."

Welcome back, Tre Campbell

The sophomore guard, out the last three games with an undisclosed illness, made his first appearance since the first half of Georgetown's Nov. 17 loss at Maryland. Campbell finished with seven points in 19 minutes. The biggest key was simply getting Smith-Rivera's backup on the court. Georgetown used the two point guards together at times during the second half.

History lesson

Smith-Rivera (1,480 career points) passed Roy Hibbert (1,485) for 16th on the school's all-time scoring list.

Georgetown snaps 4-game road losing streak, tops Butler

usatsi_10610094.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Georgetown snaps 4-game road losing streak, tops Butler

INDIANAPOLIS -- Marcus Derrickson tied a career-high with 27 points, on 11-of-13 shooting, for his eighth 20-plus point game this season and Georgetown beat Butler 87-83 on Tuesday night.

After Georgetown missed two free throws, Kamar Baldwin made a scoop shot in the lane and Sean McDermott stole the inbounds pass, leading to another Baldwin basket to pull Butler to 84-81 with 1:29 to go.

Butler had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but Baldwin's long 3-pointer was short and Jahvon Blair sealed it at the line at 4.5.

Jessie Govan had his 12th double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds for Georgetown (15-10, 5-9 Big East). Trey Dickerson, a senior averaging 3.5 points per game, set a career-high in the first half with 12 points and finished with 18.

Kelan Martin had 22 points and eight rebounds to reach 20 points for the 17th time this season for Butler (17-10, 7-7). Tyler Wideman added 19 points and Baldwin had 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

RELATED: DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: Missed opportunities

Virginia jumps to top of new AP poll for first time since 1982

usatsi_10600460.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Virginia jumps to top of new AP poll for first time since 1982

A loss didn't prevent Virginia from climbing to No. 1 in AP men's basketball poll for the first time in more than 35 years after all.

The Cavaliers rose a slot to sit atop Monday's AP Top 25 despite an overtime home loss Saturday to Virginia Tech, part of an upset-filled week that allowed for plenty of uncertainty in the poll. The Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned 30 of 65 first-place votes to outdistance No. 2 Michigan State and rise above the turmoil that included last week's top three teams all losing.

Tony Bennett's Cavaliers had been at No. 2 before this season, but this is the first time the program has reached No. 1 since December 1982 — the senior season of 7-foot-4 great Ralph Sampson — back when the poll ranked only 20 teams. And that team fell out of that spot after its improbable upset loss to Chaminade in Hawaii, regarded by many as the biggest upset in the history of college sports.

Virginia looked set to reach the No. 1 spot after Villanova's home loss to St. John's before losing to the Hokies. Still, the Cavaliers ended up there a day after the NCAA selection committee had them as the No. 1 overall seed in its reveal of the top 16 seeds to date.

The Cavaliers — whose 12 previous weeks at No. 1 all came during the Sampson era — play with the top ranking for the first time since the Chaminade loss on Tuesday at Miami.

"I do not get too carried away with where we are," Bennett said after the loss to the Hokies. "I always say 'thus far,' and now we have to prove it again. ... Now we are going to get a chance to do it again and we are going to have to fight like crazy every game. Everybody is capable of beating everybody in this league and that is reality. If you are little off it is not enough."

RELATED: LATEST DMV COLLEGE HOOPS POWER RANKINGS

TOP-5 CHANGES

Michigan State (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) climbed two spots after a weekend win against Purdue in a top-5 matchup. The Spartans, who reached No. 1 for a week in January, earned 21 first-place votes.

Next came Villanova (23-2, 10-2 Big East), who fell to third after a five-week stay at No. 1 and earned nine first-place votes. Xavier (23-3, 11-2 Big East) inched up a spot to fourth and earned five first-place votes, followed by Cincinnati (23-2, 12-0 American Athletic Conference) at No. 5.

This is Xavier's highest ranking in its history, while Cincinnati is in the top 5 for the first time since spending a good chunk of the 2001-02 season there.

PURDUE'S SLIDE

Purdue (23-4, 12-2 Big East) fell from third to sixth after losing to Ohio State and Michigan State last week. Those losses snapped the nation's longest winning streak at 19 games, marking Purdue's first losses since falling to Tennessee and Western Kentucky on consecutive November days in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.

Texas Tech was next at No. 7, followed by Ohio State, Gonzaga and Auburn to round out the top 10.

RELATED: NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACETOLOGY

TOP RISERS

Rivalry wins against Duke and North Carolina State helped North Carolina climb seven spots to No. 14 for the week's biggest jump. It continued the Tar Heels' wild swings in poll positioning, including a nine-slot drop last month and two other slides of eight slots.

Ohio State rose six spots to No. 8 after the Purdue win, while No. 11 Clemson was up five spots.

LONGEST SLIDES

Oklahoma and freshman star Trae Young had the biggest fall of the week, down six spots to No. 23. The Sooners have lost three straight and six of eight after Saturday's loss at Iowa State .

St. Mary's (15th) and Arizona (17th) both fell four spots.

NEWCOMERS

The newcomers aren't entirely new this week. Both No. 21 Texas A&M and No. 25 Arizona State have been ranked multiple weeks this season and appeared in the top 10, with the Sun Devils reaching No. 3 on Christmas Day.

SLIDING OUT

Kentucky fell out of the rankings for the second time this season -- It hadn't happened since March 2014 before this year -- from No. 24 after three straight losses. Miami fell out from No. 25 after losing at Boston College.

MORE NCAA: MARYLAND OVERWHELMED BY PENN STATE