The shooting woes that plagued Georgetown during its loss to Oregon in South Korea were left at customs upon arrival back in the States. After shooting a dismal 1-for-15 from beyond the arc, the Hoyas came out on fire and hit four of their first five long range attempts and blew out the overmatched Wright State Raiders at the Verizon center for their home opener.
The upset minded Raiders had no chance in this one from the start as Georgetown's hot shooting yielded eight first half three-pointers and a 19-point halftime lead. After trading buckets to open the game, the Hoyas went on an offensive onslaught led by the backcourt duo of Markel Starks and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Sensing an advantage against an inferior Wright State guard tandem, both Starks and Smith-Rivera went to work early and absolutely dominated the game. Starks, who is playing like the top guard in the Big East early in the season, was effective getting to the rim and finished with a strong 23 points and six assists.
After a dreadful evening against Oregon that saw him shoot 0-for-5 from beyond the arc, Smith-Rivera stepped his game up and flaunted the skill set that had many believing that he would take a giant step forward with his production this season. The 6-foot-3 guard was a model of efficiency, scoring 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting (3-for-4 from three) while grabbing five boards and dishing out three assists. Also getting in on the fun was freshman forward Reggie Cameron who hit three three-pointers in the first half to finish with nine points -- his first points as a Hoya. For the game, the Hoyas 10-22 (45 percent) from three.
Big man Joshua Smith took a giant step back after dropping 25 against Oregon and scored just six points on 2-of-6 shooting. JTIII seemed like he wanted the Hoyas to get out and run against the Raiders and Smith was noticeably fatigued and struggled to get up and down the court. After playing over 20 minutes and dominating inside against Oregon, Smith played just 17 minutes last night. At 6-for-10, 340 pounds, the big man will likely struggle with conditioning all season and it will be interesting to see how Thompson uses him as the season wears on. With Smith struggling, frontcourt mate Nate Lubick picked up the slack by playing an effective 25 minutes. The senior scored six points on 3-for-3 shooting and grabbed eight boards.
Defensively, the Hoyas took advantage of their superior length and athleticism by pressing the Raiders and switching up their defensive looks. Wright State was flustered and never got into an offensive rhythm and trailed by double-digits throughout. The Hoyas held their opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field, and forced the Raiders into bad jumpers all night long. After Georgetown's 25-6 first half run, all thoughts of an upset were nullified.
Georgetown will travel to Puerto Rico for their next contest against Northeastern as part of the annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off which begins next week.