Twenty minutes into the Georgetown-Lipscomb game, it seemed nothing would go the Hoyas’ way. Just hours after men’s basketball Head Coach John Thompson III announced junior forward Greg Whittington had been dismissed from the team, the Hoyas desperately clung on to a 27-26 halftime lead over the Bisons.
Then the shots started falling, and Georgetown (4-2) exploded for 43 second-half points en route to a 70-49 victory over Lipscomb (3-4). The Hoyas’ defense took a significant step forward and began to return to last year’s form, as it held the Bisons to 27 percent shooting from the field, and sophomore guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera continued his hot streak from Puerto Rico with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He also added eight rebounds and seven assists.
The Hoyas jumped out to an early lead, but poor shooting allowed the Bisons to climb back into the game. Lipscomb finished the first half on a 7-0 run to pull within one point of the lead entering halftime. But Georgetown started the second half strong and took a double-digit lead that it refused to relinquish.
The Hoyas relied on their superior size inside to outrebound the Bisons, 48-37. Strong interior passing and dishes from the guards allowed Georgetown to assist on 22-of-26 baskets compared to just 6-of-16 for Lipscomb.
Georgetown’s three-point shooting again showed its inconsistency, as the team shot 7-of-27 from beyond the arc. Without Smith-Rivera, who was 4-of-7 from three, Georgetown shot just 15 percent. One of those three-pointers, however, came from junior forward Mikael Hopkins, who is now 2-of-3 from three on the season. Hopkins finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.
The announcement of Whittington’s dismissal came hours before Saturday’s game. Whittington had not played this season after tearing his ACL in June. Last season, the forward averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds before he was suspended for academic reasons.
Georgetown next takes on High Point at home on Dec. 5 at 9 p.m.