The Georgetown Hoyas squared off with the Butler Bulldogs last Saturday in Washington, D.C., and what came of this Big East battle was perhaps the best played conference game of the season. The Hoyas won this thriller by the score of 61-59, thanks in large part to a Mikael Hopkins jumper in the waning moments of the ball game, and a block on the other end to snuff out an attempt at tying the game to send it to overtime.
The first thing that will shock anybody when looking at the box score is how bad Georgetown shot the ball in the first half. The Hoyas were 8-for-26 from the field, but the saving grace for them was their free throw shooting. When a team gets to the line 14 times, and converts on 10 of those opportunities, then that will keep a team in the game. Their aggressiveness paid off, especially Jabril Trawick's, who finished the game with 10 points and six assists, with four of those 10 points coming off of free throws.
Butler, in the first half, had a big lead, but with a little over two minutes left in the first half, Georgetown started to pick up the defensive intensity. Prior to this, Georgetown was being plagued by a multitude of mistakes. Kellen Dunham scored 13 points in the first 13 minutes of the game, but after that went scoreless and did not help his team one bit. Butler head coach Chris Holtman believed that Dunham had open shots in that second half, but did not take any. Georgetown did a good job at limiting the main players, except for Roosevelt Jones, who dominated Georgetown inside the paint.
Georgetown picked up the pressure in the second half on defense. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 14 points, with some of those points coming in big moments of the game.
WIth six seconds left, the Hoyas were left with one play to make. It was designed for Trawick to go the basket, but John Thompson III told him to make a decision and he had trust in Isaac Copeland to pass him the ball in corner wide open and he drained a three. Butler had attention on DSR and they took advantage of that and he made the shot to give his team the lead. Smith-Rivera had a good block on Jones, so the game would not go overtime.
As Aaron Rodgers would say, John Thompson III was pretty relaxed in the first half and throughout the whole game because his team missed shots that they would make in the first half.
- Georgetown did a good job at giving Butler different looks in the second half because it seemed like that they were running a lot of zone.
- Isaac Copeland gives his team energy and when he hustles, he starts to get into a groove and the offense starts to come really easy for him.
- D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera does not always need to be efficient for Georgetown to win because he was 4-for-11 from the field but generated a lot of attention from the Butler defense.
- Roosevelt Jones just simply dominated Georgetown in the paint and he scored 28 points that looked like they came really easy for him.
- Kellen Dunham has to be more aggressive for his team to win because he just stopped taking shots in the second half and look invisible.
- Alex Barlow did not have an effect at all this game. Barlow has to score and pass the ball more.
- Georgetown shot 39 percent from the field in the second half, which is good because the first half, they did not look good at all.
- Mikael Hopkins and Joshua Smith did a good job at crashing the boards and getting second chance shots. It created more opportunities for the guards.
- Smith-Rivera had an offensive rating of 98 and was used on 24 percent of the Hoyas possessions
- Jabril Trawick had an offensive rating of 128, which is the highest he has had all season
What it means?
Georgetown came into this game 3-2 in conference play and with a win against a physical and aggressive team, they move to 4-2 with a matchup against the first-place Villanova Wildcats looming. Georgetown is a team that is showing the people that they can face adversity in a game and come back and win. The Hoyas were down by four at halftime, but throughout the whole first half until about the three minute mark, they kept hanging in there, then around the two minute mark, the defensive intensity start to get better and it carried over to the second half.
Butler is a team that likes to play slow-paced basketball and has players that can shoot the ball, but they need Kellen Dunham to be more aggressive and be confident. Butler's defense is really good and will get better as conference play continues. They will need to start to go a winning streak before March if they want to one of the teams in the conference to make the field of 64.
Georgetown's play will need to carry over, but they have to make baskets around the paint when they get the chance to because they have Villanova on Monday, who is the best team in the conference. And Georgetown has a chance to show them that they are the beast of the Big East. The young guys are doing a tremendous job, and each one stands out in a different game. They do a lot of the small things and that has been the most impressive thing and the depth that this team has will hurt a lot of teams.