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Second half runs lead Georgetown over DePaul

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Second half runs lead Georgetown over DePaul

The shooting woes were evident, the early turnovers voluminous. The starting center dealt with foul trouble and key performers couldn't buy a basket. Yet Georgetown did enough right for a 13th straight regular season win over DePaul.

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 17 points and matched his career-high with eight assists as Georgetown pulled away for a 74-63 win over DePaul Saturday afternoon at Verizon Center.

L.J. Peak also had 17 points while freshman center Jessie Govan thrived with extended minutes for the Hoyas (10-6, 3-1 Big East). Three key runs kept Georgetown ahead for most of the second half including a 14-4 spurt for a 67-54 lead with 2:36 left.

The first 11 points in the decisive surge came on free throws including three courtesy of two technical fouls on Blue Demons coach Dave Leitao, who was ejected with 3:04 remaining. Georgetown made 23 of 32 free throws after attempting only seven in Tuesday's 79-66 loss at Creighton.

Georgetown attempted a season-high 31 3-pointers and made 11, enough to somewhat offset shooting 38.5 percent overall from the field. DePaul (6-10, 0-4) also labored shooting (35.7%) and went 3 of 10 from beyond the arc.

What the Hoyas lack in in-game consistency they're making up for in conference wins including its second victory over DePaul since Dec. 30. The Hoyas need a strong conference record for hopes of an NCAA Tournament at-large berth after struggles in non-conference play. The win moves Georgetown within 1/2 game of first place Villanova. 

The Hoyas opened Big East play with a 70-58 victory in Chicago as Smith-Rivera and Isaac Copeland each scored 15 points.

Govan, who started the second half, scored 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting including a 3-pointer in 30 minutes. Starting center Bradley Hayes had two points and four fouls in eight minutes.

Billy Garrett scored 16 points for the Blue Demons in the rematch.

Peak performer: Not known or his perimeter shot, Peak made 3 of 4 3-pointers, turning one into a four-point play. The sophomore scored 11 points in the first half and replaced Tre Campbell in the starting lineup opening the second half. Peak also made 8 of 9 free throws.

The first run: Trailing 32-28 late in the first half, the Hoyas jumped in front with a 14-3 overlapping halftime. Smith-Rivera's 3-pointer gave Georgetown its first lead since the opening two minutes at 34-33. Govan followed with a dunk, layup and set up Isaac Copeland for two free throws with a deft pass to the cutting forward.

The middle run: The Hoyas being the Hoyas and basketball being basketball, the comfortable cushion largely disappeared as the misfires returned. After DePaul pulled within 45-43, Govan and Tre Campbell drained consecutive 3-pointers for a 51-43 with nine minutes left.

First half: Energy lacked on the court and inside the Verizon Center during much of the first half. The Blue Demons took advantage of the muted scene and 10 turnovers by the Hoyas for a 30-28 halftime lead. Peak's late flurry -- all 11 first half points came in the final minutes -- pulled Georgetown closer despite shooting 33.3 percent from the field.

D'Vauntes the Disher: Smith-Rivera isn't a classic pass-first point guard, but his recent numbers show progress. Over his last four games, the senior has 28 assists, twice reaching eight in a single game in that span.

Still missing in action: Sophomore forward Paul White missed his fourth straight game and ninth on the season with an apparent hip injury.

Up next: Georgetown heads up I-95 for its first meeting this season against St. John's. The Hoyas and Red Storm duel Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. From there, the schedule becomes much tougher with Villanova followed by road games at Xavier and ex-Big East school Connecticut. 

Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.

Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.

Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing.  At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.

Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.

Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.

Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.

Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

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Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.