Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Smith-Rivera notches career-high 33 as Georgetown routs St. John's

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's career-high 33 points were all Georgetown needed to pull away from St. John's in 93-73 victory, sending Red Storm to eighth straight defeat. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Post)

NEW YORK -- A play-making point guard inside Madison Square Garden is usually enough of a recipe for a win inside the "World's Most Famous Arena."

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera did little to change that narrative Wednesday evening.

Behind a career-high 33 points from the senior leader, Georgetown (11-6, 4-1 Big East) established control early in the game and never looked back, thoroughly dismantling longtime rival St. John's (7-11, 0-5) by the final of 93-73, becoming the eighth consecutive opponent to defeat the Red Storm after their upset win against Syracuse in this very building, back on December 13.

"Today," said Smith-Rivera after his virtuoso outing, which also included six rebounds and an 11-for-16 ledger from the floor, (he also connected on five of eight three-point attempts) it was just being in the right spot at the right time. My teammates found me."

"He's been doing this for four years," Hoyas head coach John Thompson III added, praising his floor general. "I just think that he understands where everyone is, and he can score, too. At the end of the day, he's just a scorer. He always is, he always will be."

On this night, Georgetown certainly appreciated Smith-Rivera's knack for scoring, something he began doing 54 seconds into the matchup, when he drained a three-pointer that extended the Hoyas' lead to 5-0 in the opening minutes. Soon after, when the visitors were up 9-3 at the 17:06 mark of the first half, St. John's head coach Chris Mullin called a timeout to try to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately for the first-year pilot of his alma mater, the tide was unable to turn.

"Tonight, I thought the tone was set," Mullin frankly stated, "and it was a tone that they (Georgetown) were going to control the game. And they did."

All told, the Hoyas shot 52 percent from the floor for the evening, holding St. John's to just 29 percent shooting in the opening stanza before the Red Storm attempted to make the final outcome more respectable. Regardless, the finished product was something one of the Red Storm's more experienced voices lamented, but reiterated that the rebuilding process with this program remained on schedule.

"Those guys, they came out tonight and they played hard," said Durand Johnson, who scored 10 points off the bench. "We were sleepwalking, to tell you the truth. Sometimes, it just happens. I don't really have an explanation for that. That's what I just saw."

"I feel like we can play anybody," he later proposed. "We've done that time and time again. All we've got to do is get over that hump."

Next up for Georgetown is a Saturday afternoon matinee against sixth-ranked Villanova at the Verizon Center, while St. John's regroups while traveling to Indianapolis to face Butler. Despite the schneid the Red Storm is currently in the midst of, Mullin sees potential, and is steadfast in his conviction that the best truly is yet to come.

"How you handle it (adversity) says more than what happens," Mullin imparted, "and they've been really good at that. We're going to win some games. The only way we won't is if we let games like this get us down. We've been very close, tonight, no; but the previous three or four games, I'd say yes."

No comments:

Post a Comment