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Georgetown vs. Indiana game recap: Keys to the Hoyas' 91-87 victory at Madison Square Garden

Georgetown gets a huge nonconference win against the Indiana Hoosiers, setting the stage for their jump into conference play on New Year's Eve.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to an explosive performance from one of its best players and one Hoya playing the game of his life, Georgetown defeated the Indiana Hoosiers 91-87 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon.

Georgetown started this game hot, but a lot of defensive mistakes would eventually lead to their lead slip sliding away. This was especially true from the perimeter, as they could not defend the 3-point line one bit in the first half. Indiana spaced Georgetown's defense out when they were in a zone and that helped put a beating on the Hoyas for quite some time.

In the second half, around the time that Joshua Smith came in, they went on a huge run, and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera led the charge to eventually help send them to overtime and eventually get the win.

Here are three things that led to Georgetown's victory on Saturday afternoon:

1. The sensational play of Aaron Bowen

John Thompson III learned his lesson against Kansas Jayhawks to play Aaron Bowen because in a huge nonconference game like this. he provided Georgetown with energy off the bench that they needed, and scored a career high 20 points to boot. Driving to the rim, and adding good defensive prowess as well, Bowen was really aggressive and gave them a spark after being sent in at the start of the second half.

2. Joshua Smith's second half performance

IN the first half, Georgetown center Joshua Smith was not looking like himself. He had just two points and picked up three fouls and was effectively taken out of the game. This was especially apparent when he inexplicably fouled a 3-point shooter on the Hoyas' first defensive possession of the game. In the second half, Smith made a Clark Kent-to-Superman-like change, looking completely different in a positive manner. He'd go onto finish with 14 points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists along with a block. This a performance that he can build on going into conference play against Xavier on New Year's Eve, where he'll likely be matched up with Musketeer big man Matt Stainbrook.

3. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera

The leader of the comeback was the Preseason Big East Player of the Year, who started the second half on fire. That was something that fans were looking for because Smith-Rivera had not had a game like this in a while on the offensive end. DSR is a key component to this team and as Thompson III mentions a lot, he is a natural scorer. Smith-Rivera scored 29 points and went 9-for-18 from the field. This a momentum builder for him because they will need play like this in the future from him on a consistent basis.