Smith-Rivera leads Georgetown over Indiana

Indiana head coach Tom Crean directs his players during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Georgetown at Madison Square Garden in New York, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014. Georgetown defeated Indiana 91-87 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (AP) — Georgetown tried early to counter the far-flinging Indiana Hoosiers by pounding the ball into their bigger frontcourt, led by behemoth center Joshua Smith.

Nothing seemed to work: Smith got into foul trouble and the Hoyas struggled to make layups.

That all changed when Smith made his first appearance of the second half, nearly six minutes in.

Smith scored 12 of his 14 points after his return and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored seven of his 29 points in overtime, leading Georgetown to a 91-87 victory over Indiana on Saturday in the Indeed Invitational at Madison Square Garden.

“I didn’t want to pick up the early fourth (foul),” Hoyas coach John Thompson III said of not starting Smith the second half. “That decision was made knowing we were going to need him down the stretch.”

And he came through.

Smith, who picked up his third foul midway through the first half, led the Hoyas (8-3) on a 17-3 run to open a four-point lead on the 3-pointer-happy Hoosiers (10-3). But Georgetown wasted a late five-point edge before finishing with a spirited victory over another top program trying to move back into The Associated Press Top 25.

Aaron Bowen scored 22 points as Georgetown’s reserves outscored Indiana’s bench 24-2 in a game that drew just as many red-and-white clad fans from Indiana as the blue and gray of the Hoyas, who are based in Washington, D.C.

Georgetown took a 74-69 lead with 1:37 to go but Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell scored Indiana’s final eight points, including two 3-pointers — the second with 12 seconds to left — to tie it 77-all. The Hoosiers went nearly three minutes without scoring before Ferrell hit a pair of free throws with 87 seconds left to start the comeback.

Hanner Mosquera-Perea blocked Georgetown freshman L.J. Peak’s layup attempt with about two seconds to go to send it to overtime.

Smith opened the extra 5 minutes with a short jumper, Smith-Rivera made a 3 and Smith tipped in Smith-Rivera’s shot to take a lead they never relinquished.

“I believe that no matter who’s guarding me 1-on-1 that I can score on them.” Smith said.

Ferrell led the Hoosiers with 27 points (5 of 10 on 3-pointers) but he missed two 3-point attempts and had two crucial turnovers in overtime. Indiana had 17 turnovers overall.

“We play with a lot of freedom, but we’ve got to continue making our decision-making better,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “Today turnovers were as big a part of losing the game as anything else.”

Troy Williams had 23 points and James Blackmon, Jr. made 6 of 12 3s in scoring 22 points for the fourth-highest scoring offense in the nation (86.3 coming in). Indiana was 13 of 31 from long range.

Trailing 40-30 at halftime, the Hoyas abandoned an emphasis on the inside game that produced many missed layups in the opening 20 minutes and spread the offense with Smith — 6-foot-10, 350-pounds — on the bench.

Smith-Rivera made two 3s to start the half and a third about 4:30 in.

“It was definitely a rhythm changer,” Smith-Rivera said. “It changed how they were guarding us.”

But Georgetown didn’t make its move until Smith returned. The Hoyas scored 15 of the next 18 points — Blackmon’s 3 was the Hoosiers only points — to take a 56-54 lead with 8:41 remaining, their first advantage since going up 10-9 at 13:21 of the first half.

___

TIP-INS

Indiana: The Hoosiers previous loss to the Hoyas was in 1978, at Georgetown. They beat the Hoyas in Brooklyn in 2012. … Two of the Hoosiers’ losses this year came at the Garden. They lost to No. 4 Louisville on Dec. 9.

Georgetown: Sophomore Reggie Cameron played his high school ball across the Hudson River from Manhattan in Hackensack New Jersey.

PAINT NYC RED

Hoosiers fans filled Madison Square Garden with their red and white candy-striped hats, scarves and, yes, even pants.

UP NEXT

Indiana: opens Big Ten play at Nebraska on Wednesday.

Georgetown: plays its first Big East game of season Wednesday night at Xavier.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WISHTV.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s