Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Five Things To Take Away From Georgetown's 78-72 Win Over DePaul

                                                            Photo Credit: USATSI

Here are five things to take away from Georgetown's 78-72 victory over DePaul:

1) No Such Thing As An Easy BIG EAST Game:

One thing has become very evident about the early portion of the BIG EAST schedule— there are no guaranteed wins from top to bottom as one game separates seven teams for the prime spot in the conference.

DePaul coach Oliver Purnell and Georgetown coach John Thompson III echoed the same sentiment during their respective press conferences.

"I can't even begin to think where you can say there is an easy win in this conference," Purnell said.

"When you have a conference that is from top to bottom that is deep as our conference is— going from one to ten and I have said to most of our local reporters that the difference between number one and ten is miniscule," Thompson III said. "Every game is going to be a tough fight home or away and you're going to have be poised and limit your mistakes."

2) D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera Taking Over Down The Stretch:

After falling short in its previous game at Providence, Georgetown (11-5, 3-2 Big East Conference) needed a spark to put the game out of reach and it came courtesy of D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera.

Smith-Rivera scored a game-high 25 for the Hoyas, including 6-of-8 free throws in the last minute of regulation and gained a double-digit lead in the process, only for the Blue Demons to pull to within single digits before coming up short.

The turning point came with 3:42 left when Smith-Rivera read the passing lane, stole the ball and layed it up to put Georgetown ahead 70-60.

"It was big, but I think down the stretch it was tough for us because [DePaul] continued to keep getting open looks," Smith-Rivera said. "It was definitely a momentum changer."

3) Lead Changes Galore:

Both teams traded leads on 12 different occasions as each team took its best punch. No team led by double-digits until the 3:42 mark in regulation.

4) Three-Point City:

Both teams shot the ball at an insane rate from long distance as Georgetown went 6-of-15 (40 percent), while DePaul (9-9, 3-2 Big East) shot 9-for-22 (40.9 percent).

Both teams made at least five three-pointers in the first half, but with the pace slowing down in the second half, Georgetown took control and relied on half court sets and points off turnovers to pull out the win.

5) DePaul Mixing Up The Pace:

The Blue Demons mixed up its style more notably in the second half, when it began to attack and penetrate more, even with Georgetown's Joshua Smith on the floor.

Even with Myke Henry's 17 points, DePaul settled for a lot of contested shots which allowed Georgetown to take advantage and pull away late in regulation.

Looking Ahead:

Georgetown returns to the hardwood on Jan. 17 as it hosts Butler at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., at 4 p.m. CT while DePaul hosts St. John's on Jan. 18 at 1:30 p.m. CT.

Both games can be seen on Fox Sports 1.

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Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.