Washington, D.C. -- After a slow start to the game, Georgetown's offense and defensed picked up against Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders in the second half, and after the two teams were locked up at halftime at 34 apiece, the Hoyas rumbled their way to a 78-62 win.
Georgetown's big man Joshua Smith played a vital role in the Hoyas' victory. After an "unacceptable" performance, deemed by head coach John Thompson III, Smith rebounded with a 20-point 12-rebound game on Tuesday evening at the Verizon Center. He looked dominant at times in the paint, and there wasn't much any Islander could do to stop him.
Smith looked like himself and it was really good to see that. John Thompson III called Smith's performance "better," and Smith was a huge part of Texas A&M Corpus Christi's John Jordan not scoring as much as he could have, because when he was coming off of several on-ball screens, Smith was there to affect him with his length.
Georgetown was looking to get off to a fast start after halftime and sure enough, that's exactly what happened. Jabril Trawick and L.J. Peak started the second half off with getting to the rim and shooting a jumper, then the whole team got involved. It was looking to be a close game, but Georgetown came out with a sense of urgency in the second half, and went on a 6-0 run to lead 40-34, which made the Islanders call a timeout.
After that, the Hoyas never looked back.
Jordan was really effective in the first half, and the Hoya defense did not contain him as much as they needed to. He scored eight in the first half, but only finished with 14 points and just two rebounds. Comparatively, in the Islanders' previous game against Our Lady of Lake, he finished with 18 points. Georgetown's defense really did well in making adjustments, and John Thompson III talked about the difference in the first half and the second half.
"John Jordan can control the game as well as anyone. He's so poised, nothing fazes him, and he just skates along and gets to where he wants to go and places his people. So when you play against a really good point guard like that you have to work. In the first half, we didn't do as well as we needed to, to contain him. You're not going to stop him because he's so good at setting up his teammates, but he was just too free. In the second half we did a much better job. Aaron obviously gave us a huge boost."
The Islanders stayed in the game in the first half, but it because the amount of turnovers they forced in the first half. Georgetown had nine turnovers in the first 20 minutes, but in the second half, they did not the turn the ball over as much -- just seven times -- or this would have been a closer game if they committed more turnovers.
Georgetown shot much 11-24 in the first half and 16-29 in the second half.
The Hoyas did a lot of sagging off, and pressured the Islanders in the second half and Thompson III and his team decided to mix it up a little, implementing both defensive methods, which played a huge part on defense. Tre Campbell and L.J. Peak did a good job on defense as a whole. As a freshman, L.J. is natural scorer and more people are paying attention to that than his overall body of work because of his defensive prowess.
"We mixed that in. Tre Campbell is effective for 94 feet. He made him work," Thompson said. "Once you get him in the half court it was futile to try to push out on him at half court, but sit back and try to contain him. We switched the matchups a little bit, little Tre guarded him, L.J. guarded him for most of the second half and I thought he did a very good job."
D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera has been in a slump these past two games and only played 24 minutes on Tuesday night. He sat for most of the second half, but that did not affect the Hoyas at all because they have so many players that can run the position that he plays. Thompson III said that they have a lot of guys and the combinations they had on the floor were much better. He is comfortable with the players that he puts out on the floor and he is comfortable with about 11 players that he can play. The team as a whole is comfortable with one another, despite DSR's lack of playing time.
The rebounding was really well and that is evident because the Hoyas had 27 second chance points and the Islanders only scored seven. Rebounding in this game was excellent on both sides of the ball for the Hoyas, but for the Islanders not so much because Georgetown outrebounded them 39-23. It was important for the Hoyas to not let themselves get beaten on the glass for the second straight game, and it seems that point of emphasis was put into action while the team was on the floor.
Bryce Douvier led the Islanders in scoring with 16 points and shot 6-14 from the field and 2-4 from behind the arc, but Georgetown left him open on one of those 3-pointers. A lot of his points came in the paint because of some backdoor cuts. Georgetown's defense at times in the first half did have some communications issue, but the aforementioned adjustments seemed to make things, putting the clamps on Douvier, Jordan, and the rest of the bunch.