The Big East Conference was riding high on Wednesday, after the Butler Bulldogs upset the No. 5 team in the country -- the North Carolina Tar Heels -- at the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. Suffice it to say, the train did not stop rolling in The Bahamas.
Led by a 17-point effort from the conference's Preseason Player of the Year, D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who also played a huge hand in the game's final, decisive moments, Georgetown knocked off the No. 18 Florida Gators 66-65 in overtime.
After going on an 8-0 run towards the end of first half, Florida closed the lead to four. Everyone was contributing for the Hoyas, despite Joshua Smith and DSR being in foul trouble. The Hoyas were balanced in terms of their offensive attack, from rebounding to scoring to assisting, and it didn't matter if it was freshmen or veterans. Everyone was playing a role.
Florida did not have a answer for stopping Smith, when he was in the game and he drew a lot of attention, which allowed Georgetown offense to run pretty well. Efficiency was hard to come by for both teams, and there was some sloppy play all around. But the one thing that Georgetown did well in this game was play stout defense, especially on the perimeter. Because Florida did not shoot the ball well from behind the arc. Micheal Frazier II and Dorian Finney-Smith played a huge role down the stretch for Florida, but as noted previously, they had some key turnovers down the stretch.
Near the end of regulation, the Gators had an opportunity to play for just one, but freshman L.J. Peak saved the day with a huge swat, sending the game to the extra period.
In overtime, it was a back and forth affair. LJ Peak, Paul White and D'Vauntes Smith Rivera, who scored the game winning basket and Eli Carter missed the game-winning shot with 3.4 seconds left, all made tremendous contributions. This was a huge test for the freshman and the team, and their composure was remarkable.
Smith-Rivera, who had his struggles early on, got into double figures for the second consecutive game after scoring 12 versus the Robert Morris Colonials. Paul White was huge in this game, and his late 3-pointer in overtime is his biggest play in this early season. Smith and Trawick played a key role down the stretch, but they got fouled out, and then the junior and freshman took over in the final minutes of overtime,
Kasey Hill was huge down the stretch as he scored eight points in the game, but Dorian Finney-Smith was the leading scorer for the Gators in the loss with 16.
Georgetown now gets set to play the highly touted Wisconsin Badgers on Turkey Day in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament.