After a dominant first half, the Georgetown Hoyas (5-3) cruised to a 74-57 victory over the Brown Bears (3-6). Led by senior center and co-captain Bradley Hayes’ 12 points and 11 rebounds, the Hoyas exploited the Bears on the glass, securing eight more rebounds than Brown.
“Defensively in the first half I think we did a tremendous job of rebounding and limiting them to one shot,” senior guard and co-captain D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera said.
Sophomore forward Isaac Copeland provided a well-rounded performance with nine points, five rebounds and four assists, and sophomore guard L.J. Peak led the team in scoring with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
Smith-Rivera tallied four assists as well, to go along with 12 points and just one turnover.
The Hoyas broke out of the gate with a flurry of baskets, fouling just five times and shooting 49.2 percent from inside the three-point line and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc in the game.
On the defensive side of the ball, Georgetown limited Brown to just 28.1 percent shooting from inside the three-point line and 15 percent from outside it. The Hoyas are ranked as one of the best teams in the country in both efficient scoring and defending, ranking in the top 50 of offensive-shooting efficiency and the top 20 in defensive-shooting efficiency, per KenPom.com.
Despite a 46-15 first-half lead, the Hoyas still turned the ball over nine times and finished the game with 18 turnovers along with 22 fouls. Though the Hoyas’ defense remained effective in the second half, their sloppiness with the ball and consistent fouls allowed the Bears to outscore them by 14 in the second period.
“We’re going to have to take care of the ball significantly better against Wilmington,” Head Coach John Thompson III said of the team’s next game against the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks (5-0). “That’s what they do, they turn you over. We’ve got to look at that, we’ve got to analyze that and we’ve got to get better at that.”
Still, Georgetown was able to showcase its depth throughout the game and received significant contributions from all three of its freshmen: guard/forward Kaleb Johnson, forward Marcus Derrickson and center Jessie Govan. The three combined for 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting. While Derrickson has been a starter since the opening game, the other two freshmen each provided contributions off the bench.
“[Johnson and Govan] are good players and it’s not the first time that they’ve come in and contributed,” Thompson said. “I don’t think today was opening up the skies for them, but what they did today they’ve been doing.”
In the second half, Govan found Johnson on two backdoor cuts leading to the Hoyas’ easiest baskets of the game. However, easy baskets slowed down once the Bears switched to a zone defense and the Hoyas were forced to shoot contested jumpers and three-pointers.
Regardless of the team’s offensive struggles and inability to control the ball without turning it over, the Hoyas’ three-quarter-court press helped build Georgetown’s ultimately insurmountable lead.
“They’d shown it and I kind of expected them to do that. We worked on it a little bit today in shootaround. It is just hard to simulate that length and that athleticism,” Brown Head Coach Michael Martin said of Georgetown’s defensive pressure.
For the second time in three games, the Hoyas played their entire healthy roster, with senior guard Riyan Williams recording the first field goal of his entire career.
Georgetown will stay at home to face UNC-Wilmington on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m.