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Freshman comes off bench to lead Georgetown rout

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Georgetown head coach John Thompson III said his team had its worst practice of the season on Tuesday.

"By far," he said Wednesday night.

But freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had the best game of his young college career Wednesday, scoring a career-high 33 points on 10-of-12 shooting as No. 11 Georgetown ran away from DePaul in the second half for a 90-66 Big East Conference win before 9,987 fans. It was the eighth win a row for the Hoyas.

"We just let him get open shots," said DePaul reserve Jamee Crockett (10 points), who admitted the Blue Demons may have been focused more on Georgetown standouts Otto Porter, Jr. and Markel Starks.

Smith-Rivera had 12 points in the first half and made five of six 3-point shots in the game for the Hoyas (20-4, 10-3).

"He had not shot it that well from 3" this season, said DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell, a Maryland native who said he had about 10 or 12 family and friends at the game. "It was a little bit of a surprise. But he is a good player and a good shooter."

The Blue Demons, looking for back-to-back conference wins for the first time this season, are now 11-15, 2-11.

"I was not happy with our ball pressure," Purnell said. "Our transition defense was awful (at times). Georgetown is not going to lose a lot of games when they shoot 63 percent. Clearly I was not pleased with the fight we put up. We have to regroup."

Purnell, who picked up a technical foul with 11:17 left in the first half, is now 0-4 against Georgetown.

To make matters worse, DePaul was done in by two players who were averaging in single digits.

Smith-Rivera was averaging 7.4 points at game time.

"I just made shots. I am in the gym every day," he said. "I am feeling more comfortable with the system."

"He caught fire in both halves, really," said Georgetown big man Nate Lubick, who had 15 points and eight boards. "He just wasn't missing."

Jabril Trawick added 13 points for the Hoyas.

It was also a disappointing homecoming for DePaul starters Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young, both of whom are from Baltimore.

They both had several family and friends in the stands. Young led DePaul with 16 points while Melvin had eight.

But the night belonged to Smith-Rivera, who played 34 minutes off the bench.

"He is getting comfortable with what we are doing. Is that accurate?" said Thompson, nodding to Smith-Rivera, who was sitting to the left of his coach.

Smith-Rivera nodded in the affirmative.

The Hoyas led 43-29 at intermission after making 61.5 percent of their shots with just three turnovers.

The Blue Demons made just 35.5 percent of their shots in the first half but led the battle of the boards 21-13, but DePaul never threatened in the second half.

Lubick's basket gave the Hoyas a 59-38 lead and a basket and free throw by Trawick made it 67-43 with 11:41 to go.

Smith-Rivera made a 3-pointer to give Georgetown a 72-50 lead.

His free throw with 4:27 to go made it 79-59 and his 3-pointer with 2:45 made it 84-63 as Georgetown fans began to head to the exits.

DePaul has now lost 12 in a row to the Hoyas and has not won at Georgetown since Feb. 3, 1991. The Hoyas began the night tied for first in the Big East at 9-3 with Syracuse and Marquette.

Georgetown has now won 20 games four years in a row and seven out of nine years under Thompson III.

DePaul lost 86-75 at Georgetown during the 2010-11 season, the first for Purnell with the Blue Demons. The Hoyas won at DePaul 83-75 last season.

DePaul was coming off a 75-69 win Saturday at Rutgers while Georgetown won on Friday at Cincinnati for its seventh win a row. The Blue Demons ended a nine-game losing streak with the win at Rutgers.

Next up for DePaul is a home game on Saturday against Connecticut while the Hoyas play at rival Syracuse on the same day.

NOTES: The Hoyas are now 14-1 at home. ... DePaul has three players on its roster from Baltimore: junior forward Melvin (Lake Clifton), junior guard Young (Friendship Collegiate) and freshman forward Montray Clemons (Poly). ... Young entered the game with a team-high average of 16.7 points per game and Melvin was second at 16.5. ... DePaul associate head coach Ron Bradley is the former head coach at Radford.
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