Nov. 22, 2013
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SAN JUAN, P.R. – Sophomore D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera led four Georgetown players in double figures with a game-high 25 points, as the Hoyas connected on 63.5 percent from the field in a 90-63 win over Kansas State on Friday in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente.
The loss dropped the Wildcats (2-3) into the tournament’s seventh-place game on Sunday against the loser of tonight’s second consolation game between VCU (4-1) and Long Beach State (1-4).
“Obviously, the start of the game really got us in a hole,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “You can’t do that against good teams and we caught them after a very tough loss. For them, I’m sure they were a little extra motivated. They definitely played as well as they could. I thought they shot the ball better, picked on us with different people on the backdoors and the quick posts and things and spread us.”
The Hoyas’ offense worked to near perfection, as the team connected on better than 60 percent in both halves with 19 assists to 33 made field goals and just seven turnovers. The squad also held a 48-18 advantage in points in the paint and converted 16 Wildcat turnovers into 23 points.
Georgetown’s 63.5 field goal percentage was the highest by an opponent since Kentucky shot 68.8 percent (22-of-32) against K-State on Nov. 28, 2008. They are the first opponent to score 90 or more points against the Wildcats since Kansas did it on Jan. 29, 2011.
“We did compete and fight back to get it to 16-12, but boom right away they get it back up to where it’s double digits,” said Weber. “You’re just fighting uphill the whole game. We have to play better, we don’t have much size and we’re going to have to do a better job of playing post defense. Because of their system, they’ve got you spread out so much, hopefully if we would have had a day or so prep we could’ve competed a little better, but we didn’t. Now you’ve got to deal with it and move forward.”
Junior Thomas Gipson paced the three Wildcats in double figures with a team-high 18 points to go with a team-tying six rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench. Gipson scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half, as he knocked down 5-of-6 field goals and 3-of-4 from the free throw line.
Freshman Marcus Foster scored in double figures for the fourth straight game with 16 points, including an 8-of-9 effort from the charity stripe, while senior Will Spradling chipped in 12 points.
Georgetown ran off 10 straight points to start the game, as K-State turned the ball over four times before even getting off its first shot. A 3-pointer from freshman Nigel Johnson ended the drought, igniting a 12-6 run that pulled the Wildcats to within 16-12 after a Foster free throw at the 11:40 mark. However, the Hoyas responded with an 11-0 spurt over the next four-plus minutes to push the lead back out to double figures. The lead swelled to as many as 19 in the first half, as a lay-up by sophomore D.J. Johnson closed the deficit to 45-28 at halftime.
K-State closed to within 51-37 after a jumper by freshman Wesley Iwundu at the 16:06 mark of the second half. However, Georgetown slowly extended the lead to more than 20 points, which the team held for most of the half, including a 29-point advantage with less than a minute to go.
Smith-Rivera scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half, as the sophomore went 6-of-9 from the field with four 3-pointers to go with a 9-of-9 performance from the free throw line. Jabril Trawick totaled 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting, while Joshua Smith and Markel Starks added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
The Wildcats connected on 36 percent (18-of-50) of their field goals for the game, including 33.3 percent (4-of-12) from 3-point range, to go with a season-best 74.2 percent (23-of-31) from the free throw line.
The 27-point loss was the largest of the Bruce Weber era at K-State and the biggest since suffering a 97-70 setback at No. 9 Kansas on Feb. 7, 2007. It was the largest setback in a non-conference game since a 78-48 drubbing at California on Nov. 29, 2006.
K-State will take Saturday off before playing the final game of the tournament on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. CT against VCU or Long Beach State on ESPN3. The Wildcats and 49ers play less than a week ago on Nov. 17 with K-State posting a 71-58 win behind Foster’s game-high 17 points.