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.
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.
Indiana: opens Big Ten play at Nebraska on Wednesday.
Georgetown: plays its first Big East game of season Wednesday night at Xavier.
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