WASHINGTON -- Tuesday's Georgetown-Maryland game, the first regular season meeting between the local programs since 1993, oozes anticipation. It just won't be a battle of undefeated teams. Blame the Hoyas, but certainly credit Radford.
Needing frantic finishes at the end of regulation and the first overtime just to stay alive, the Hoyas couldn't muster a final save as Rashun Davis' 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left in double overtime propelled Radford to a stunning 82-80 win over the Big East power.
Georgetown (0-1) had numerous chances to pull away from Highlanders, who lost by 27 points in this matchup last season. Instead, the Hoyas, sporting a youthful rotation with mostly underclassmen, suffered their first season opening home loss since coach John Thompson III's first game at Georgetown in 2004.
Senior D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored all 15 of his points in the second half including a layup to put the Hoyas up 80-78 with 1:03 left, but Georgetown never scored again. After L.J. Peak's missed 3-pointer for the Hoyas, Davis moved into the frontcourt and from the left wing calmly sank his third 3-pointer of the game. The senior guard finished with 28 points in the first win over Georgetown by any Big South school in 13 tries.
Senior center Bradley Hayes had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Hoyas.
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The back and forth action, while thrilling for the casual college basketball fan, put the home crowd on edge. The Hoyas blew an eight-point second half lead and trailed by five with 33 seconds left when Isaac Copeland buried a 3-pointer. On the inbounds pass, Peak wrestled the ball away and muscled in the game-tying layup with 22 seconds left. Fouled on the play, Peak missed the go-ahead free throw, but Radford's YaYa Anderson's jumper missed everything on Radford's final possession.
Down 71-68 with 40 seconds left in the first overtime, the Hoyas forced three turnovers to tie the game.
After making 19 of 20 free throws in the first half for a 33-33 tie, the Hoyas went 4 of 12 over the rest of the game including 2 of 7 in the extra sessions. They also finished with 17 turnovers versus 14 assists.
With Maryland, Wisconsin and either Duke or VCU up next, perhaps the young Hoyas looked ahead and Radford. Eiither way, the possibility of an 0-4 start is in play for a team expected to challenge for the Big East title.
Hustle plays -- The Hoyas were consistently a step slow getting to the ball throughout, including 50-50 balls. Despite a size disadvantage, the Highlanders grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and finished with a 43-37 advantage on the glass.
Lineup -- Thompson wouldn't divulge his starting 5 at Thursday's media session other than the obvious Smith-Rivera. Isaac Copeland and Peak were no-brainers. Less so for Hayes and freshman Marcus Derrickson, but that's where Thompson turned. It was the first career start for Hayes, who shined in the NCAA Tournament win over Eastern Washington. Derrickson provides the lineup with a stretch-4 option though he went 0 for 3 from beyond the arc.
Shorthanded -- Sophomore Paul White was ruled out with a hip injury for precautionary reasons, the school announced pregame. He should be available for Tuesday's game at Maryland. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 5.0 points and 2.8 rebound in 33 games last season. Georgetown already lost big man transfer Akoy Agau (knee) for the season. No White bumped up Reggie Cameron into the nine-man rotation.
DSR watch -- Smith-Rivera entered the season 19th on Georgetown's All-Time scoring list with 1,386 points. Based on his previous season averages, the senior has a chance to crack the top-5. Based on his 15 points, DSR moved past Charles Smith (1,398) for 18th place. Smith-Rivera did so in 28 fewer games.
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