Down by 11 with a little over three minutes remaining and eight with 96 seconds remaining, the Georgetown Hoyas had their backs against the wall as their skate on thin ice reached a melting point. Staring at them in the face was a 12-9 record, and yet another opportunity to get a big win over a BIG EAST opponent slipping through their hands.
However, senior guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and the Hoyas would not be denied as they would rally for a 15-3 run to stun Maurice Watson Jr. and the Creighton Bluejays 74-73.
DSR lead the way with 17 points including the two game-winning free throws with six seconds remaining. The Indianapolis native also grabbed three rebounds and led the Hoya defense with three steals.
Even though both freshman Jessie Govan and senior Bradley Hayes struggled with foul trouble, Georgetown only lost the rebounding battle by four boards.
For Creighton, Boston University transfer Maurice Watson Jr. was dominant with 16 points on a 7-of-15 mark from the field. His eight assists were the offensive motor for Creighton on the road in Washington D.C., even with the loss being dealt to them after Watson JR.'s foul trouble cost him a spot on the floor in the waning moments of hte game.
Overall, the referees' inability to control the game ran rampant throughout the second half as multiple players struggled with foul trouble, which nearly mired what was a very competitive game between these two clubs.
Here are three things we learned.
Georgetown's bubble withstands another game
Following early season losses to multiple mid-majors, Georgetown's bubble was close to bursting entering conference play. After a win over highly-ranked Xavier last week, the Hoyas look poised to make a run for the NCAA Tournament. That all looked moot as Creighton held an 11-point lead with a little over three minutes remaining.
Head coach John Thompson III called a timeout, desperately searching for a spark to lead his team back from the brink of defeat.
The ensuing late-game run gave Georgetown the victory and prevented the Bluejays from a season sweep. If they had picked up two losses against Creighton, another possible bubble team come March, they would almost certainly be facing a near unsurmountable situation. I
nstead, Georgetown withstands the pain of being a bubble team for at least one more day.
Creighton needs someone other than Watson to step up
As great as the junior from Philadelphia has performed this season, Creighton desperately needs another shot creator opposite him. Tonight, Watson seemed to be the only source of offense for the Blue Jays as they struggled to a 41.3 percent from the field and 19.0 percent from long range.
Watson either assisted or scored himself on 15 of Creighton's 26 baskets, proving once again that the Boston University transfer may be their only source of offense. Creighton fans surely cannot wait for the arrival of Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster next year to play opposite of Watson. For now they will have to slug it out.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera ate his Wheaties this morning
The Georgetown senior was as strong as ever in the final five minutes of tonight's contest. DSR scored nine of his 17 points during Georgetown's comeback and inspired the Hoyas back toward victory. With six seconds remaining, Smith-Rivera stepped up to the free throw line with a chance to take the lead for the first time since 18:21 left in the second half. His clutch scoring was the difference maker tonight at Verizon Center.